Plans to bring fireworks back to Hampton Beach beginning on June 19 have fizzled once again after piping plovers built a nest that’s too close to the display area.
The federally protected shoreline birds that forced the cancellation of fireworks a year ago have nested in two spots on the beach that will make it difficult to hold the summer tradition until the eggs hatch and the young plovers fly away.
According to Chuck Rage, chairman of the Hampton Beach Village District commissioners, eggs were laid on the beach near Bernie’s Beach Bar, in the area of A Street, and in the dunes.
Because of the location of the nests and their proximity to the fireworks display, wildlife officials are concerned about the noise and how it could impact the tiny chicks.
Piping plovers are an endangered species and anyone who disturbs them can face hefty fines.
“This isn’t just a Hampton thing. The whole Eastern seaboard has this problem,” Rage said.
Fireworks, which weren’t held last summer because of the plovers and the pandemic, were expected to begin on June 19 to celebrate the 21st Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic. Another show was planned for June 23.
Both fireworks displays have been canceled. Additional fireworks dates could be impacted, but officials are waiting to see exactly when the plovers mature and move on.
Rage said the eggs near Bernie’s Beach Bar are expected to hatch around June 20 and the hope is that they will move out pretty quickly like they did last year.
The eggs on the beach in the area of A Street are due to hatch by early July, he said.
Rage said once the chicks by Bernie’s take off, the location of the fireworks will be moved farther away from the ones near A Street, which would allow for the shows to begin.
“We’re going to move things around in order to satisfy the environmental people,” Rage said.
The fireworks are sponsored by the commercial taxpayers from the Hampton Beach Village District.
District officials apologized for the cancelations in a statement announcing plans to call off the first two shows.
“We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience and we hope they mature quickly so we can put on all our events without any further worries,” the statement said.