With the help of community and FEMACorps volunteers, the American Littoral Society moved the last of our recycled Christmas trees - collected and transported by Lacey Township - to the Slade Dale Restoration site. Participants joined us on the morning of Saturday, May 21 to help ferry the trees from shore to the breakwaters installed in Beaverdam Creek.
Known as branchbox breakwaters, they are wooden structures designed to control erosion by using trees and brush to slow currents and waves, as well as capture the sediment being carried in the water.
The shoreline at Slade Dale Sanctuary has eroded approximately 600 feet since 1930. 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. Besides providing nursery habitat for fish, and foraging habitat for birds such as osprey, egrets, and bald eagles, the salt marsh at Slade Dale also helps protect uplands from flooding during storms.
House left in water after Hurricane Sandy
My second week sure was busy. To kick things off, I went on my first solo adventure to take photos of a future restoration site in Bay Point. I drove over there with my phone, a Google Maps print-out, and checklist from Shane. As I approached the set location, I drove past one house- the only one left in the area. I continued further down the road around the bend, getting closer to the shoreline. I found a single house left in the water, which I later found out was effected by Hurricane Sandy.
It was a super windy day, with the waves crashing beside me. I got to a point where I could no longer drive the truck, because of rocks and piles of phragmites that had blown in from the recent Nor’easter.
Taking the rest of my trip on foot, I walked about a mile, stopping to take photos from north, east, south, and west vantage points.
During the months of May and June, horseshoe crabs gather on Delaware Bayshore beaches by the thousands for an annual rite of spring that dates to the days of the dinosaurs. Like those ancient creatures, many of those who work for the Littoral Society gathered on one of those beaches last week.
But we were there for a staff meeting.
While many on the staff spend most days knee deep in restoration projects or talking to people about the work the Society does, we seldom have the opportunity to all come together in one place and see the fruit of that labor. As we frequently tell people who join us for volunteer events or come out for a Littoral activity, it's one thing to hear about caring for the coast and quite another to see or touch that work.
So more than a dozen of us (including our staff morale officer Manny) trekked from offices in Millville, NJ, Sandy Hook and New York's Jamaica Bay to Thompsons Beach in order to get our hands sandy and our feet wet (as well as a bit muddy) while taking a look at two of our restoration projects and tagging some Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus).
Participants in our 7th Annual Lobster Run 5K Run/Walk to Care for the Coast had a great day to soak up the sun, listen to The Attic play fun tunes, drink beer from Ross Brewing, and enjoy brunch from Langosta Lounge.
Nearly 300 people came out on Saturday, April 30 to show their support for protecting the coast we all love so much. Many others stopped by to say hello and ask about the work of the Littoral Society.
Other event sponsors are: OceanFirst Bank, Playa Bowls Powered by Juice Beach, Muller Insurance Company, the Bayshore Family of Companies, Boardwalk Family Chiropractic, The Pilates Project, Team Turtle, and Parker|Waichman LLP.