(AP) – The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is proposing to loosen rules designed to protect sandpipers, plovers and other migrating coastal birds.
The DEP says it determined that the coastal birds could still be protected with smaller buffer zones designed to protect them from contact with people.
The DEP has proposed reducing the buffer zone for shoreland birds’ feeding areas from 250 feet to 75 feet. The buffer zone would remain 250 feet for roosting areas.
Lawmakers adopted the original rules to protect shorebird habitat last June, but an angry outcry surfaced as property owners learned of the 250-foot buffer zone.
DEP Commissioner David Littel says the proposed change aims to address concerns of property owners, real estate agents and conservationists.