Virginia project raises concerns about seabirds

Royal terns (Sterna maxima) are among the seabirds that conservationists say will be affected by a proposed bridge and tunnel project in Hampton Roads, Virginia. ©Ryan Hagerty/USFWS

Conservationists are concerned about the effects of a bridge and tunnel project in Hampton Roads, Virginia on the nesting grounds for thousands of seabirds. The state had planned to create an artificial island for the birds, the New York Times reports, but it later backed off. “The dynamics really changed,” TWS member Sarah Karpanty, a professor of fish and wildlife conservation at Virginia Tech and a member of the team that had been working with the state to protect the birds, told the Times.

Michael Parr, president of the American Bird Conservancy, recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for Virginia to build a new breeding island for the birds. “But this will take time, and construction needs to start almost immediately,” he wrote.