Deputy Regional Director Charlie Wooley joined Seney National Wildlife Refuge staff, Friends and partners in marking the addition of lakeshore acreage to Seney National Wildlife Refuge on April 27, 2013. The 19.85 acres of land known as the Helstrom Addition, was commemorated in honor of Michigan native John J. Helstrom and is within designated critical habitat for the endangered Great Lakes piping plover. A proponent of preserving the natural environment, Helstrom often remarked about the beauty of Whitefish Point and its importance to bird populations.
After a 25-year absence, piping plovers returned to the point in 2009 and successfully fledged young. Nesting has increased over the past three years and in 2012, four pairs fledged 11 chicks. Plovers have been observed using the newly acquired acres as recently as last summer. The signing of the deed in late August signaled the end of an effort that began with the Service and partners meeting in Newberry, Mich. more than two years earlier.
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