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    Charlestown, R.I.

    Beach trail closed to protect piping plovers

    Rhode Island environmental officials are temporarily closing an off-road vehicle trail through the East Beach-Ninigret Conservation Area to help protect a nesting shorebird. Robert Paquette, chief of Rhode Island state parks, said the 2-mile trail is closed except to pedestrian traffic as of Monday afternoon to protect nesting piping plovers. East Beach remains open and can be accessed from the main parking lot. Paquette said the decision to close the trail to vehicles was made in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is scheduled to reopen on or before Aug. 1.