It is a well-known fact that plastics have a direct impact on seabirds’ health (strangulation, suffocation, invasive species transportation…) but we are not always aware of other major consequences such as chemical pollution, and impact on reproduction rates, endocrine disruptors…
However, it is important to note that this pollution also indirectly affects birds and biodiversity. A good example is waste collection actions and mechanized beach cleanups: indeed, they are supposed to combat the spread of litter but indirectly impact shorebirds through nest trampling and disturbance. These initiatives are essential for the environment, especially thanks to data collections which are useful for plastics pollution monitoring. Paradoxically, when not strictly coordinated, they might result harmful to the environment they intend to protect.
A “Low footprint” guide recommending good practices and actions will be provided for natural area managers and organizers of beach clean-up actions. The guide will explain the areas (upper beach, high environmental issues areas…), periods (tides, nesting period…), and behaviors that should be avoided to minimize the disturbance of ecosystems, focusing on beach-nesting birds.
This guide will come with a risk map identifying sensitive nesting areas on each pilot site. These areas should be avoided during the main nesting season.
Training courses to use these project tools will be organized throughout the project by different actors involved in beach cleaning actions.