EWN Publications

Creating Nesting Habitat for The Common Tern (Sterna Hirundo) on The Repaired Ashtabula Breakwater: Lessons Learned

Michael P. Guilfoyle, Richard J. Ruby, Burton C. Suedel, Thomas J. Fredette, Paul Bijhouwer, Andrew Hannes, Karen Adair, Cynthia J. Banks, and Anthony M. Friona
October 19, 2017

About This Publication

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development (ERDC), Environmental Laboratory (EL) developed this technical note to summarize data collected during avian monitoring efforts on a repaired breakwater in Ashtabula Harbor, Ashtabula, OH. The repaired breakwater included a modified design that provided nesting habitat for the state-listed (Ohio) Common Tern (Sterna hirundo). The purpose of the nesting structure was to demonstrate simple design changes, executed during repairs to an existing breakwater, that increases environmental benefits consistent with the Engineering With Nature (EWN) initiative (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] 2012). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), and the Dredging Operations and Environmental Research Program (DOER) funded this project. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), with expert consultation from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the New York Department of Natural Resources (NYDNR), assisted with the implementation of this project. Elements of this work included (1) specific features of the repaired breakwater utilized to attract terns to the structure, (2) development and implementation of a monitoring program to assess the use of the structure by terns, (3) description of media coverage of this effort, and (4) final results and lessons learned from the project and future efforts to monitor the breakwater.

Research Projects

The Ashtabula breakwater tern nesting demonstration project assesses whether suitable habitat can be created on the harbor breakwater by making simple, low cost modifications to the concrete blocks used to repair the ...