World Oceans Day is so important to the American Littoral Society that we've decided to wrap an entire week of events around it. There is something for everyone with events ranging from festivals to films and dune grass plantings to parties.
The week will begin with Barnegat Bay Festival and conclude with the Littoral Society's Annual Members Day Celebration on Sandy Hook.
Here's a full rundown so you can save the dates:
There are still a number of spots available for horseshoe crab tagging along the Delaware Bay.
While the events in Cape May County have filled to capacity, you can still volunteer for a number of dates in nearby Cumberland County, NJ. These events are being held along the New Jersey side of Delaware Bay at Dyers Cove, Fortescue, Moores, and Thompsons beaches.
To volunteer, go to http://www.horseshoecrabtagging.org/volunteer.html. While dates listed are closed for Cape May County, all are still available for Cumberland County beaches. Start times will be approximately 30 minutes later than those listed. Participants
Join the American Littoral Society at an environmental awareness fair on Thursday, May 18 before the New Jersey premier of How to Let Go of the World (and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change).
The fair and film will be at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Ave., Deal Park, NJ. The fair will feature a number of environmental organizations, including Clean Ocean Action and the Jersey Shore Chapter of Surfrider.
Littoral Society members won't want to miss the Society's annual gathering on Sandy Hook, scheduled for Saturday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year our special guests will be African penguins courtesy of Jenkinson's Aquarium of Point Pleasant, NJ.
Members Day is the free annual gathering for members of the American Littoral Society. In addition to electing trustees, the event will feature food, fun, excursions, music and camaraderie.
Other activities on the agenda, in addition to seining, nature walks and birding include:
This spring the American Littoral Society will be conducting school field trips at the Wreck Pond restoration site. The field trips are part of the pond restoration project and are intended to continue educational programs begun at some area schools over the winter.
Field trips will involve students from St. Catherine School in Spring Lake, NJ, Wall High School in Wall Township, NJ, and Communication High School, which is part of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. Field trips will run through May and into the beginning of June.
One of the American Littoral Society's most prolific fish taggers crossed a major milestone on Sunday, May 7.
William "Bucktail Willie" Shillingford tagged his 20,000th fish this past weekend. It was a 22-inch bluefish, one of more than a dozen he caught on that outing. The tag number was 893953, for anyone looking to make a little of their own history by catching that fish.
The task seemed imposing at the start of the day: Turn 50 tons of whelk shell into a reef off a remote beach on the Delaware Bay using little more than manual labor.
But thanks to 70 volunteers, aided by staff from the American Littoral Society, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, that mountain of shells turned into something worth shell-a-brating.
The work was done as part of the Third Annual Shell-A-Bration, an event which has brought together people from nearby communities to help protect and restore beaches damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This year's event was held on Saturday, April 8 at Thompsons Beach in Maurice River Township, NJ.
It took awhile, but the TV program involving the Littoral Society's horseshoe crab tagging events is finally available for anyone to watch.
Last year, a crew from Xploration: Awesome Planet covered horseshoe crab tagging on the Delaware bayshore. The show, hosted by Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, explores the most spectacular places – on the earth, inside the earth, and above the earth.
The tagging event became part of an Awesome Planet episode on animal migrations. In the linked video you'll see Habitat Restoration Coordinator Shane Goodshall and Habitat Restoration Technician Quinn Whitesall as they lead a tagging event.
On Saturday, April 29, the American Littoral Society partnered with the city of Bridgeton, NJ on a city-wide effort to clean up litter. Volunteers went into parks and neighborhoods as part of the "spring cleaning."
"After a long winter, you would be surprised at the amount of loose litter and trash that builds up. Not only is it a blighting influence, but it also impacts our natural resources and it's bad for the community" said Littoral Society Conservation Coordinator Meredith Brown.
The effort provided a perfect lead-in to a municipal program aimed at keeping Bridgeton beautiful.