Top Ten Most-Endangered Public Lands

Fire Island National Seashore
By Andrea Keller

The summertime jaunt from New York City to Long Island's Fire Island, which has become almost a cliche, has resulted in a construction boom that's accelerating beach erosion and destroying the protective natural dune system here. Pressure from homeowner associations has prompted the Army Corps of Engineers to propose a massive $100 million re-sanding program along Fire Island. The proposal, however, does not prevent further destruction of the dune system and may disrupt the nesting of the piping plover, an endangered shorebird that the Park Service has been working for years to recover.

Recommended solution: Restore the natural dune system and establish a cooperative land-protection program that includes buyouts and land swaps, and prohibits construction in the dunes.


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