Share Our Shores

How to have a bird-friendly visit to the beach


St. Simons Island

Wildlife Beaches Have Dogs on Leashes

Even well-behaved dogs can look like predators to shorebirds. Threats, such as an unleashed dog, can scare off shorebirds and prevent them from getting food and caring for their eggs and chicks. By keeping your dog on a leash, you can help shorebirds safely feed, nest, and rest. 

Sharing the Shore

Help keep birds safe by staying off of the dry sand! Activities that may seem harmless, such as walking your dog on the beach, can scare shorebirds who need these areas to feed and care for their young. We can ensure that birds have quiet, protected places to raise their young by giving birds space and leashing our dogs on the beach.

Wildlife Zones

Here on St. Simons Island, we have designated specific zones for wildlife to give our coastal birds safe places to feed, nest, and rest. Within these areas, we ask you to walk on the wet sand and away from nesting shorebirds.

You may have seen these signs on the beach where federally endangered Piping Plovers roost and Least Terns and Wilson’s Plovers nest. These areas are dedicated to protecting our dynamic coastal ecology and vulnerable shorebird populations. 

An Important Place for Birds and People

Beaches are important nesting, feeding, and roosting sites for local shorebirds. Our Georgia coast is internationally recognized as an Important Bird Area that provides habitat for at least 300,000 shorebirds every year, including threatened Red Knots, endangered Piping Plovers, and rare Wilson’s Plovers.  

Our active nesting areas and established bird stewardship program provides the opportunity for our local community to get involved with protecting habitat for shorebirds, seabirds, and other wildlife.

Least Tern with chick

Wilson’s Plover photo by Ray Hennessey

Wildlife Beach Zone sign
Featured Video

Home Sweet Home

Reducing dog disturbance of shorebirds

Shorebirds face many threats, including habitat loss, predation, climate change, and human disturbance, that prevent them from tending to their young and getting the food they need to survive.

Get Involved

Interested in becoming more involved? Volunteer to teach beach visitors about St Simons Island’s shorebirds, seabirds, and our Wildlife Beach Zone designation. Manomet will be supporting an on-going bird stewarding program to train volunteers like you for this important role.

Useful Links

Contact Information

Lydia Thompson
Shorebird Patrol Coordinator
St Simons Island

Allie Hayser
Shorebird Technician
Georgia Bight Shorebird Conservation Initiative

Abby Sterling, PhD
Director of the Georgia Bight Shorebird Conservation Initiative