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PHOTO — Mayor Edward M. O’Brien praises city officials and West Haven Watershed Restoration Committee members Wednesday, July 26, for the recent improvements in the Sandy Point municipal parking lot on Beach Street as Councilman Nicholas W. Ruickoldt, D-2, looks on. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
WEST HAVEN, July 26, 2017 — Mayor Edward M. O’Brien and Councilman Nicholas W. Ruickoldt praised city officials and West Haven Watershed Restoration Committee members Wednesday, July 26, for the recent improvements in the Sandy Point municipal parking lot on Beach Street.
With nearly two dozen people gathered in the beachfront parking lot, O’Brien applauded Ruickoldt, D-2, for obtaining $15,000 from the city to help beautify the lot, while Ruickoldt commended O’Brien — as well as Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, Assistant City Planner David W. Killeen and Mark E. Paine Jr., assistant to the public works commissioner — for overseeing the undertaking.
The upgrades financed by the Department of Public Works included the installation of a flagpole, three wooden planters and a guardrail, along with a butterfly garden and a sign containing an informational kiosk.
Thanks to a grant from Audubon Connecticut, the restoration project included plantings of “bird-friendly” flowers, shrubs and trees indigenous to the Sandy Point salt marsh by members of the Watershed Restoration Committee, whom O’Brien called “selfless and tireless” for “volunteering their time, talents and energy to preserving the area.”
The project, accomplished through a collaboration of the city and the committee, also included the construction of an observation deck where bird lovers can watch piping plovers and other shorebirds. The handicapped-accessible deck was paid for by Local Capital Improvement Program funds from the state Office of Policy and Management.
The Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary, a site listed on the Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail, has been designated an “Important Bird Area” by Audubon Connecticut, a state office of the National Audubon Society.
Sandy Point, which serves as a migratory route for some of the most endangered bird species, is now supervised by trained volunteer bird monitors, known as Audubon Wildlife Guards, from Audubon Connecticut.
— MICHAEL P. WALSH, Public Relations Information Coordinator