Endangered piping plover reaps rewards of Delaware's $38 million restoration at Prime Hook

Biologists say a $38 million restoration project at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is benefiting a slew of species, including piping plovers.

At least one small species is reaping the rewards of a nearly $40 million restoration project at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

The piping plover, a tiny cotton ball-esque shorebird that lays its eggs in the sand, is a federally threatened and state endangered species that relies on dwindling coastal habitats to raise its young.

Efforts to restore breached beaches and flooded wetlands at Prime Hook may have played a role in attracting a record number of mating piping plover pairs to the First State.

This year the species had an all-time high successful breeding and nesting season in Delaware, with 16 breeding pairs of birds raising 36 fledglings. Twelve of those 16 pairs relied on Fowler Beach at the refuge for their nesting grounds. It was first used by the species in 2016 following a habitat restoration project. Read full story.