Coastal Stewardship

You can help make beaches safer for birds.

Iconic coastal birds like terns, plovers, and pelicans rely on our beaches and barrier islands around the country to rest and nest, but they're vulnerable to disturbances like human development and sea-level rise. 

Boaters and beachgoers, unaware that birds are nesting at these sites, may get too close, flushing parents from their eggs and chicks. Without the protection of their parents, well-camouflaged chicks and eggs can be crushed underfoot, overheat in the sun without shade from their parents, or succumb to opportunistic predators like crows and gulls.

Audubon's Coastal Bird Stewardship Program trains volunteers to protect our coastal nesting birds through long-term monitoring, signage and fencing, beachgoer education, and working with coastal communities.

Do you love spending time on the beach or the water? Share the love with our coastal birds by giving them the space they need to nest, rest, and feed.

How to keep coastal birds safe

  • Keep your group, vehicle, and pets a respectful distance—and encourage others to do the same. Be aware of rules, signage and fencing, and always clean up trash.
  • Volunteer for a local coastal stewardship program or connect with a an Audubon chapter.
  • See a need for better stewardship on your beach? Download Audubon’s toolkit, a guide to engaging in advocacy, organizing volunteers, and being proactive in your community.
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Birds We Steward
! Priority Bird
Least Tern
Gulls and Terns
! Priority Bird
Black Skimmer
Gulls and Terns
! Priority Bird
Snowy Plover
Plovers
! Priority Bird
Piping Plover
Plovers
! Priority Bird
American Oystercatcher
Oystercatchers
! Priority Bird
Wilson's Plover
Plovers
Royal Tern
Gulls and Terns
! Priority Bird
Brown Pelican
Pelicans