BAY SHORE, N.Y. (AP) — A New York federal judge has denied a conservationist group's bid to block part of a Fire Island sand-dune project over an endangered bird.
Newsday reports (http://nwsdy.li/1wbECay ) that U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein denied the request from Audubon New York on Friday. Fire Island is a long, thin barrier island that runs parallel to the south shore of Long Island.
The group had sued claiming the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' $207 million dune-replenishment project would harm piping plovers by destroying their habitat.
Elected officials said the project was necessary to help protect heavily populated parts of Long Island.
U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop praised the judge's decision as "a great victory."
Bishop said the dune project is crucial for the protection of low-lying communities.