On Saturday, April 14, nearly a dozen volunteers turned out to help fix tree tubes and remove invasive Japanese honey suckle at Giampietro Memorial Park in Vineland, NJ.
The maintenance day was hosted by the American Littoral Society and Vineland Environmental Commission as a follow up to work done in the spring of 2019.
Initial work was done with the help of the Vineland Environmental Commission, Vineland High School Environmental Club, and the Littoral Society's South Jersey Restoration Corps. It featured planting of approximately 1,200 trees and shrubs across 4 acres.
That project was designed to help restore what's known as a riparian buffer along Cedar Branch, a tributary to the Menantico Creek, that regularly floods the park. As the trees and shrubs mature, they will help to slow the flow of water and reduce flooding.
On Saturday, April 24, a group of hardy volunteers waded into the cold waters of Beaverdam Creek to place recycled Christmas trees between cribbing, where they will help reverse erosion that has been eating away at the shoreline of Slade Dale Nature Preserve for a century. The structures will help slow water flowing through the eroded area and capture sediment carried by the current.
Located in New Jersey's Point Pleasant Borough, the Sanctuary’s pine-oak forest, hardwood swamp, and salt marsh provide a space of protected wilderness in an otherwise heavily developed coastal area of NJ. The salt marsh at Slade Dale helps protect uplands from flooding during storms. It also provides nursery habitat for fish, and foraging habitat for birds such as osprey, egrets, and bald eagles.
The shoreline has eroded approximately 300 feet since 1930, and almost all low marsh habitat has been lost.
In 2009, Bradley Beach had a parking lot at the northern end of Ocean Avenue. Almost 12 years later, that sandy lot has become a natural habitat for migrating birds and wildlife, serving also to protect Bradley’s residents from ocean surges and hurricane force winds.
With support from the American Littoral Society, Monmouth County and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the site was restored to the type of maritime forest that would have been common along the Jersey shore hundreds of years ago. The restoration project has been recognized by environmental organizations throughout New Jersey as a model for resiliency and coastal protection and has received national recognition and numerous awards.
"The project incorporated innovative design and has provided a nature-based model for future resiliency projects along the east coast," said Capt. Alek Modjeski, Habitat Restoration Director for the American Littoral Society. “Perhaps most important, the area is heavily trafficked by people, and serves as a visible example of how natural systems can benefit shore communities.”
It all started with the support of Bradley Beach’s former Mayor, Julie Schreck, who’s early efforts to engage environmentalists, and to secure county and private funding, has culminated in the completion of “Phase 3” of this decade-long sustainability project. Ms. Schreck was mayor from 2008-2012, and died in 2014.
Photo by Mark Willard via the William Penn Foundation
Call for clean water, justice and jobs in environmental justice communities like Camden, Chester, Philadelphia and Wilmington
BY TIM DILLINGHAM, ANDREW KRICUN, DON BAUGH | MAY 11, 2021
Perhaps nowhere in the nation are the issues of environmental, social and economic inequities and injustice more evident than in a 27-mile stretch of the Delaware River valley bordered by the cities of Camden, Chester, Philadelphia and Wilmington.
Our country faces a series of challenges that have exposed long-standing vulnerabilities to the health of our environment, our communities and our democracy. In addition, the American Society of Civil Engineers recently graded our nation’s drinking water infrastructure a C- and its wastewater infrastructure a D+, which represents entirely inadequate protection of the public health and the environment.
Saturday, May 14
Sessions at 11:30 a.m., Noon and 12:30 p.m.
On Facebook LIve and
In-Person (limited group size)
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
175-10 Cross Bay Blvd
Free, Registration Required for In-Person Attendance
Register for Session One
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Click Here to Register for Facebook Live Session
Join the American Littoral Society and partners for the Fifth Annual Horseshoe Crab Festival. This year the festival will offer both in-person and virtual attendance to those who want to see the annual mating ritual of the Horseshoe Crab.
Check links above to see how you can take part in the festival. Read on for more information.
Join the American Littoral Society and Upstream Alliance on May 11 or May 26 to learn more about the spawning horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds of the Delaware Bay. Take part either through self-guided tours or via a free guided tours on the Delaware side of the bay.
The events, which will run from 3-10 p.m. on the dates above, are scheduled during peak time for horseshoe crab spawning and shorebird migration along the Delaware Bay.
From late April until early June, horseshoe crabs emerge by the thousands from the depths to lay eggs on the Delaware Bay's sandy beaches. At the same time, shorebirds flock to those beaches - many coming from a continent away - to gobble up the eggs.
When: 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25
Where: The Bradley Beach Maritime Forest, near the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Lake Terrace
What: Dedication of the Maritime Forest to Julie Schreck, former mayor of Bradley Beach, and recognition of completing the next step in the restoration project
On Tuesday, May 25 the American LIttoral Society and others will recognize completion of the next phase of the maritime forest in Bradley Beach and dedicate the restored coastal green space to the town’s former mayor.
Bradley Beach Borough will dedicate the forest to Julie Schreck, who was mayor of the town from 2008-2012 and passed away in 2014. She was instrumental in launching the restoration project, which began in 2013.
Earth Day was big for the American Littoral Society this year. The Society hosted a week-long series of events that included some of the first involving volunteers since Covid quarantines began about a year ago.
We were amazed and thankful for the outpouring of volunteer support for our cleanups and plantings during Earth Week 2021, especially with many Covid precautions still in place. Concern for protecting beaches and restoring habitat brought dozens to the warm sands of Asbury Park, a park in Vineland, a windy beach on the Delaware Bay, the chilly waters of Beaverdam Creek, and a shoreline in Jamaica Bay to lend a hand with Littoral Society projects.
Volunteers have long played a crucial role in Society restoration projects, both large and small. The Society began in 1961 as a band of scuba diving hobbyists providing data to what eventually became the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration laboratory on Sandy Hook. The same spirit became key to the Society's efforts to engage people in caring for the coast..
At all events Covid precautions were followed, with groups kept below state regulations, staff and volunteers wearing masks, and social distancing between individuals or pods.
Middle Township Mayor Tim Donohue (L) and Business Administrator Kim Krauss joined the American Littoral Society on Earth Day to plant dune grass on Reeds Beach.
Horseshoe crabs spawning on a Delaware Bay beach will have an extra measure of security thanks to an Earth Day volunteer dune grass planting effort.
The grass planting is part of an ongoing effort by the American Littoral Society and partners to restore and protect Bayshore beaches for horseshoe crabs, migrating shorebirds, and local communities.
“A healthy ecosystem is the Delaware Bay’s foundation of economic well-being,” said Tim Dillingham, the executive director of the American Littoral Society. “People come to see the natural phenomenon from all over the world. Supporting habitats is in everyone’s best interest.”
On Earth Day, Middle Township Mayor Tim Donohue and Business Administrator Kim Krauss, along with several hardy volunteers, put their hands in the sand, joining the society in planting dune grass along South Reed’s Beach to protect the horseshoe crab habitat. The day also included a beach cleanup, with Township staff hauling away the trash.
This new year brings tremendous changes to the nation’s politics and opens up new opportunities for coastal and ocean conservation.
Obviously, the new President and very different Administration top the list of changes. The Biden Administration has established responding to climate change as a top policy priority and has released a number of Executive Orders and administrative actions establishing an ambitious agenda, which faces some very long-term challenges.
The political dynamics between a narrow Democratic majority Congress and Biden will be tremendously consequential as to the success of this agenda, and like past administrations in similar environments we are likely to see a reliance on administrative actions rather than legislation.