Kids These Days: How To Protect Our PIPL (Piping Plover) And Our IP (Intellectual Property)

From a distance, I saw a bunch of kids goofing around at Barnegat Light State Park. They reminded me of a bunch of Piping Plover chicks going rogue and foraging for wermz. As I approached, I started giggling because there was one chick in particular who looked a little too big and too awkward.

Hey! We know that awkward chick! That’s Emily Heiser (EMHE) of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ. Longtime readers might remember her from last season. She was one of two Dorothies we met on the other side of the Rainbow last year. Others might remember her as mastermind behind Plover Prom.

I’ve been hoping to catch up with Emily all summer but it’s been tough. That’s because she has a fancy new job and is just way too busy for my nonsense. She is now a full time member of the team at the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, where she’ll be working with both Beach Nesting Birds and Terrapin. I’m a lucky Islander who has had the chance to spend a lot of quality field time with EMHE. She is as smart, as tough, and as sweet as they come. The CWFNJ could not ask for a better person to help them take care of our wildlife, and neither could we.

Then it hit me. Today is the big Beach, Birds, and Biology Wildlife Adventure she put together.

Chick Tag: In this camp game, kids try to pick up as many lentils in the sand as they can. If EMHE (the predator) tags them, they have to run to home base and back before they can collect more. Whoever has the most lentils at the end wins. It’s fun, but also super sad and real because watching it is almost exactly like watching Tufters’ and Tacey’s chicks try to forage while getting constantly sent running back to the dune to hide from the endless disturbance.

I knew the message of the game had gotten through to the kids when someone whined towards the end:


You got that right, junior.

Beach Scavenger Hunt Activity Sheet.
Girl With The Dragonfly
Fake Piping Plover Eggs. The kids got to be Junior Beach Biologists for the day, learning how to find Piping Plover nests on the beach.
EMHE calls the kids together under the shade to brainstorm some sign ideas for endangered species areas.
I like it.
That’s some good typography right there. Very nice.
Don’t Smoke??… OK. I get it. Not exactly high on the list in terms of the threats PIPL face, but OK, we’ll go with that…
Monsters. Now that’s what I’m talking about in terms of real threats.
That’s 110% sass right there. Read that sign carefully. Love. It. Future EMHE in training.
Wait… what? What’s he pointing to?
Are these kids copyrighting their activities?
Yep. It has a “C” on it so we can’t nick it.
Kids These Days.

Emily Heiser is a masterfully creative and fun individual. Programs like these are right up her alley and watching the huge success of the Beach, Birds, and Biology camp makes me excited for the future. We can be sure she’ll be sprinkling her magic all over these programs in the coming years.

She just needs to be careful handling any left over materials from these activities. The kids these days appear to be ready to lawyer up.

We can suppose that’s a good thing. Restoring some balance to the coast between its value as a natural paradise and its value as a huge playground requires a good attitude, the right messages, some good laws, and a little fun.
The future of the beach is in their hands. Including their ability to litigate successfully.

Truly, it was the Wildlife Adventure of a lifetime, and such a thrill to see EMHE hard at work in her new full time position with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ.

Remember that the Conserve Wildlife Foundation is the non-profit arm of the State’s Non Game Endangered Species Division. It is a novel idea. Instead of spending all of our tax dollars on wildlife, New Jersey shovels off as much work as it can to the non-profit Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, putting the care of wild neighbors directly in our hands. Where it should be.

So please consider making a donation today to support programs like this one. Do it for the kids. If we teach them to fix the beach for us, we don’t have to do anything. And think of it as a tax break. Not only is your donation 100% tax deductible, but supporting this non-profit helps keeps the work of the State to a minimum. Making laws and such. Come to think of it, it looks like we might have a bunch of future State law makers on our hands here.

Most of all, it is a thrill to see Emily and see first hand how she is managing her new role. So how is she managing it?

“Pretty Well”, I’d say.

Help keep the shore a little wild. Support the CWFNJ. It’s the right thing to do.