[PRESS RELEASE] Town of Hempstead Wins Audubon’s First-Ever Share the Shore Award

This Long Island community's dedication to beach stewardship has made a haven for birds and local people.

ALBANY (May 19, 2021) – “Audubon has been collaborating with the Town of Hempstead since 2013 and I cannot think of a more deserving community to receive our first-ever Share the Shore Award. The Town’s beaches support some of the greatest diversity and numbers of beach-nesting birds on Long Island—and it’s in great part because they invest in the staff and resources needed to successfully protect birds and their habitat. Even during COVID and in the face of budget cuts, they remained dedicated to keeping the beach safe during nesting season. Their conservation work serves as a model for what other coastal communities can achieve, and we are incredibly proud to be their partner,” said Jillian Liner, director of conservation for Audubon New York. 

“Share the Shore” is Audubon's effort to protect federally and state-threatened shorebirds that depend on our beaches to nest successfully. Every May–August, vulnerable species like the Piping Plover, Least Tern, and American Oystercatcher hatch chicks on the shores of the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Coast. Their chicks can weigh less than a single scoop of ice cream. 

The program unites scientists with local community members and leaders who love their shorelines and are dedicated to improving them for birds and people.

Thanks to a decades-long effort to make their entire shoreline a place where vulnerable birds can thrive, Audubon is proud to present the Town of Hempstead with our first-ever “Share the Shore Award” in New York. The City of West Haven is also being celebrated in Connecticut.  

Want to see your community launch or grow an award-worthy program for birds? Add your name here! 

“The Town of Hempstead has long worked to conserve our coastal habitats and the diverse wildlife found here, including the beach-nesting birds that make their home on Long Island’s south shore,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin.  “I am pleased to see Hempstead Town recognized by Audubon through the Share the Shore Award for our culture of conservation, and I look forward to working collaboratively with residents, fellow coworkers and the members of the Town Board as we continue to ensure the unique natural environment of America’s largest township is preserved for the future.”  

Audubon’s newest science shows that the population of vulnerable species grows 2 to 34 times faster at stewardship sites, compared to birds in protected areas without known stewardship. Thanks to their commitment to protecting and managing their beaches, the Town of Hempstead has helped turn the stretch of shoreline from Point Lookout to Lido Beach into a haven for beachgoers and vulnerable wildlife. 

“It is so heartening to know the Town of Hempstead’s efforts to safeguard our coastline and the diverse array of beach-nesting birds found there has been a resounding success,” said Hempstead Town Clerk Kate Murray.  “I am grateful for Audubon’s selection of Hempstead Town to receive the Share the Shore Award, and look forward to continuing this preservation effort alongside my Town Board colleagues.” 

"The Town of Hempstead is a critical partner in the effort to help recover the Piping Plover and other shorebird species on Long Island. The Department of Conservation and Waterways, under the leadership and direction of Tom Doheny, and his staff, Tara Schneider-Moran, Rob Longiaru, John Zarudsky and others, plays a vital role and leads by example in the areas of species protection, outreach and public education, monitoring, and habitat management. We applaud their efforts and affirm this recognition," stated Steve Papa, Senior Biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Long Island Field Office. 

"Our Piping Plovers, Least and Common Terns, Black Skimmers, and American Oystercatchers face almost impossible odds for survival against human development and disturbance, dogs, cats, raccoons, gulls, crows, storms, flooding, and plastic pollution. The dedication of the Town of Hempstead conservation staff to protect our at-risk shorebirds from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, as acknowledged by the Share the Shore Award, should serve as an inspiration and model for coastal communities everywhere,” said Brien Weiner, president of South Shore Audubon Society.

“The Town of Hempstead is a dedicated partner and strong advocate helping to protect vulnerable shorebirds on Long Island and a well deserving recipient of this award from Audubon New York,” said Acting DEC Region 1 Director Merlange Genece. “The town and Audubon’s partnership on these important shorebird conservation activities is invaluable to our stewardship efforts and serve as an important model for other communities to follow. We applaud the town for this recognition and look forward to working with all partners to expand these conservation efforts.”

Audubon invites coastal communities to voice their interest in helping beach-nesting birds. Add your name here! 


Audubon New York, a state office of the National Audubon Society, protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at and on FacebookTwitterand Instagram. 

CONTACT: Sharon Bruce,

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