A sandy area.
Not a lot of sand away from the lake in Superior. Wisconsin Point? What's with the fence?
It's not Wisconsin Point, but it's near Wisconsin Point.
Odd spot for a town dump?
Yes, it's also near the dump commonly referred to as the Wisconsin Point Landfill. And yes, that is an utterly idiotic place for a dump.
Name this beach and/or the thing this fence represents for solid nerd points.
Is the fence the state border?
Is that a piping plover I see peeking out of the grass?
Does the fence represent the eternal struggle between good and evil?
Ramos knows the answer and is teasing.
Vicarious, the fence could represent the eternal struggle between good and evil in the minds of some people ... and birds.
Somewhere boring and polluted, that sucks.
Oh wait! You mean more specifically.
It's actually not boring or significantly polluted, despite being near a dump. When you're there you can't see the dump, but to get there you must drive past the dump.
Luna Party headquarters.
I never went to a Luna party in this particular spot, but I am told it did happen there at least once. (Link to old Luna on Wisconsin Point post here.)
I can't blame anyone for not knowing the actual name of this beach. Had it not been in the news recently, I wouldn't have known myself.
Shafer Beach? I've never been there but I think I do know the news article you're talking about.
Shaffer Beach is correct! Sonya has the biggest brain on the Internet.
(I've also seen it rendered as Shafer Beach and Shafers Beach, but I believe Shaffer is correct.)
It's not labeled on most maps, including the Google satellite view below, and I have no idea what the official boundary might be, but Shaffer Beach is roughly the area around the ends of Lake Shore Road and Moccasin Mike Road -- as far as I know. (Click on the map to see it a little bigger.)
The new fencing and string grids are part of a "gull enclosure," which is supposed to keep predators out and allow the rare piping plover to nest.
From the Associated Press:
Federal funds aim to restore piping plover in Wisconsin
April 15, 2012
SUPERIOR, Wis. â€” A federal grant could help bring back a small shorebird that's rarely seen in the Twin Ports area to the beaches of Lake Superior.
The St. Louis River Alliance, with a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will focus its efforts to restore the piping plover on Shaffer Beach, near Superior.
The piping plover has been spotted on occasion on the shores of Lake Superior, but there haven't been confirmed nestings in 25 years. In the coming weeks, crews will erect a mix of posts, cables and wires along 600 feet of shoreline near Superior to keep gulls away from the diminutive bird.
As the plovers head north from Florida, monitors hired by the River Alliance will keep watch for the rare birds.
"Plovers already come here during their migration. We hope to give them a reason to stay and nest," said Julene Boe, executive director of the St. Louis River Alliance.
The birds like to nest where the sandy shore mixes with small rocks and driftwood, just outside areas of dune grass.
If any do nest, the monitors will help keep unleashed dogs, people and predators away from the eggs and chicks. Crews will install mesh cages that keep predators out while allowing the plovers to come and go.
From late April into July, trained volunteers will watch for the plovers and mark GPS coordinates.
"It's a chance to sit on a beach on Lake Superior and help watch for this incredible little bird," said Connie Moeller, grants administrator for the River Alliance.
A similar plover recovery effort has worked on Long Island off Ashland in Chequamegon Bay. The National Park Service acquired part of the island in 1986 specifically to protect piping plover habitat. In 1998, a pair of piping plovers from Michigan stayed and nested on Long Island.
The colony's numbers have been slowly building, and last summer six pairs of adults nested on the island, according to the Duluth News Tribune. They also hatched a record nine chicks that survived long enough to learn how to fly. The 21 birds are the only plovers that return to Wisconsin.
Where is Superior?
If you take Lake Shore Road to Moccasin Mike Road from Shaffer Beach, take a right at the highway, you can't miss it. If you end up on a big bridge, you went too far. We used to dig the clay at that beach while "studying" for our UWS pottery class.
Heck yeah, cool project. Love this beach and good experiences with hanging out there. I was eying Google maps last week to scope out a spot to canoe to and camp at a bit farther toward the Amnicon river confluence ... zoomed in on the Shafer beach area, and noticed this South Shore Drive (planned) outlining, which potentially connects Lake Shore Drive amd Moccasin Mike Road. Does anyone have knowledge of this? I hope it's not a residential zoning (or anything at all, for that matter), for the sake of nature and atmosphere of the place.
Apparently the picky little buggers aren't complying with this little program yet.
MPR: "Piping plovers avoid nesting in Duluth"
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