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Oregon town cancels fireworks to spare sea birds


While many cities and towns will forgo fireworks this year because of dry drought conditions and the risk of spreading fires, one town in Oregon has cancelled their festive display so as not to disturb... birds:

The coastal town of Depoe Bay is about to experience its quietest July 3 in 19 years.

Town officials this year reluctantly announced they were cancelling the annual pre-Independence Day fireworks show, following pressure from federal wildlife managers who said the noise disrupts protected sea birds.

Business owners, dependent on the popular show for foot traffic, are not happy.

"It's a great loss to our community," said Peggy Leoni, co-owner of Trollers Lodge, a small motel in Depoe Bay.

But Rebecca Chuck, deputy project leader with the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, said the move was necessary to protect species such as the Brandt's cormorant that nest at Pirates Cove. The cove is less than a mile south of Boiler Bay, where the fireworks show is held, and seabird colonies on the north coast face intensifying pressure from bald eagles and other predators.

The event at Boiler Bay has been a tradition since 1993.

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