Future Farmers' Food judged jersey fresh
Students from the Salem County Career and Technical High School's Future Farmers of America Chapter used local products last week in cook-off competition at the school, and the American Littoral Society's Shane Godshall served as a judge.
Shane, who is Habitat Restoration Coordinator for the Littoral Society in the Delaware Bay region, was asked to judge the contest because of past work he has done with the FFA chapter. FFA students work on projects such as biological security on farms, hydroponics, and Diamondback Terrapin rehabilitation. Shane has previously spoken to FFA students and others at the Vo-Tech on topics such as land preservation, storm water issues, and Delaware Bay habitat restoration.
Saturday’s shell bagging event on the docks of the Maurice River in Port Norris, NJ resulted in a record number of shell bags being produced.
The unseasonably warm, sunny day encouraged 44 volunteers from New Jersey and New York, along with students from the Vineland High School Interact Club, to fill more than 1,000 net bags with shell. Those bags will be used to build an intertidal reef at Thompsons Beach at the Littoral Society’s 3rd Annual Shell-a-bration on April 8.
It took us long into the night to reach our next port. We went from the relatively populated area of Braganza to the dark heart of this coastal region of Viseu. In three trucks, we caravanned through a maze of remnant tropical rainforests, cattle pasture an impenetrable second-growth woodland. Along the rain-slicked red clay road, small and desperate looking towns popped out of nowhere always looking like the past was a better day. The road cut through countless mangrove forests that define this region. We reached Viseu too late to do anything but find a place to stay the night.
A bridge across the many rivers from Braganca to Visiu, Brazil. Photo by Christophe Buiden
After a few weeks of work and two fuel pumps, the American Littoral Society’s Nissan Frontier truck is back on the road and ready for action.
Thanks to Doug King of All Shore Auto of Monmouth Beach for donating time and parts to the repair of our truck. He saved the Society over $700.
The truck will be heading down to the Delaware Bay on March 1 to support shell bagging efforts while the Delaware Bay office's truck gets new rotors. Again, All Shore Auto will donate the labor and parts to keep our vehicles on the road.
It is looking like a very busy spring monitoring season and having our small fleet at 100 percent will help us keep up on restoration work underway in New Jersey.
If you care for the coast, please consider making a donation or joining the American Littoral Society.
Balloons seem great for celebrations. Like buoyant billboards, they declare love, joy and celebration at birthdays, weddings, graduations and other special occasions.
But balloons can kill.
Birds, turtles, dolphins, whales and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. In addition, many animals can become entangled in balloon strings, which can strangle them.
Surveys of beach litter show the amount of balloons and balloon pieces found on the beach have tripled in the past 10 years.
The old saying is: If you love something, let it go. With balloons and nature, the opposite is true. Show your love for the environment by holding on to your balloons. Please don't ever release them outdoors. Instead, choose an alternative to balloon releases. Do a flower or tree planting. Toss wildflower seed bombs into a field. Use ribbons, bunting, cakes or banners to make a statement. Paint rocks, light candles and blow bubbles. Try kites, garden spinners or pinwheels for something dynamic and festive. This website has a host of options.
There are plenty of creative ways to celebrate a special day that don't involve adding more plastic pollution to the environment.
The American Littoral Society cares for the coast. Our work includes debris and beach cleanups. Please consider helping us continue to care for the coast.
It’s hard to imagine the difficulties of people living at latitude 37 degrees north when coming to the equator in northern Brazil. It challenges even the hardiest of biologists. But after three days our team has not only acclimated but accomplished surveys in two separate estuaries.
Ruddy turnstone multiyear flight recorded by a geolocator caught in Maranhoa Brazil.
By Larry Niles, LJ Niles Associates LLC
We leave a cold and dark New Jersey with mixed feelings for our destination to tropical Brazil. It will be warm and sunnyish – though forecasts predict drenching thunderstorms threatening us every day of our trip. We will explore a very new place, the ocean coast of Para, a largely unsurveyed coast known to be a wintering shorebird mecca. At the same time, we will undergo trials experienced by few biologists. Zika is prevalent in Para, but recent cases of malaria are equally alarming. Of course, one must be ever vigilant for food and water pathogens. Last year, I developed food poisoning ending me up in a rural hospital, with a room full of very sick people. On arrival, I wondered what comes next?
A small part of the sprawling city of Sao Jose de Ribamar.
Wreck pond passes storm test
Thanks to Jim Nickels of Monmouth University there are now several water meters installed at Wreck Pond. These meters will be used to record water depth, temperature, and salinity. The data collected from these meters will be compared to data collected by the Society’s own water meter as well as data collected in the citizen science program to better assess some of the impacts of the new fish passage culvert on the pond.
One of the things these data will tell us is how water levels fluctuate in the pond during different tidal and weather conditions. This could not be timelier, given the recent nor’easter that struck New Jersey. This is the first storm to have hit Wreck Pond since the installation of the new culvert, and while the data are not yet analyzed, we do know that Wreck Pond did not flood, with residents saying the water level did not rise much above the normal high tide mark.
The storm did cause flooding elsewhere in New Jersey.