FIRE ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County is getting involved in a lawsuit filed by the New York Audubon Society to protect the piping plover nesting grounds on Fire Island.

The piping plover is an endangered species that nests in the island’s dunes.

As 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported, the Audubon Society convinced a federal judge to stop a federal project repairing the dunes damaged by Superstorm Sandy for fear that it could harm the birds.

Now, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone wants the stop-work order lifted.

“The county attorney’s office is preparing papers to file with the U.S. District Court to intervene in the lawsuit from the Audubon Society,” Bellone said. “This project must move forward.”

Fire Island resident Janet Sonner said she’s glad the county is getting involved.

“If our dunes disappear, Fire Island will disappear and there will be no nesting place for the plover,” she said.

Another Fire Island resident, Betty Adie, said the lawsuit makes no sense.

“If a hurricane comes in here, those plovers are not going to be there,” she said.

The Audubon Society, however, thinks both people and birds can be protected, Rivera reported.

The next court hearing on the lawsuit is set for Oct. 8.

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