The American Littoral Society’s new Ask a Scientist series features our expert staff answering your questions.
For the first installment in the series, we are joined by Quinn Whitesall McHerron, Delaware Bayshore Habitat Restoration Coordinator, to answer your questions about horseshoe crabs. She has been managing the Society’s horseshoe crab tagging program since 2014. Through the years, she has introduced thousands of people to these living fossils and the wonders of Delaware Bay.
Quinn and the tagging program have been featured on several programs, including a Japanese variety show “Sekai no Hate Made ItteQ!” and the television series Xploration Awesome Planet, as well as several news articles, publications, and a podcast.
Her passion for the coastal environment was evident before she joined the Littoral Society. She received her B.S. in Marine Science at Stockton University and is currently pursuing the Professional Science Master Coastal Zone Management Program at Stockton.
This video was filmed at Reeds Beach in Cape May County, NJ. Joining Quinn on the sand is Zach Nickerson, Conservation Coordinator for the Littoral Society.
We were inspired at the 2022 Restore America’s Estuaries Conference to start this series, and we wanted to thank San Francisco Estuary Partnership for helping us bring the idea to New Jersey!
As the weather warms up and the flowers start to bloom, the American Littoral Society’s Delaware Bayshore team got busy bringing students out to their school rain gardens for some outdoor exploration!
Recently, our team visited Anthony Rossi Elementary School in Vineland, and Buckshutem Road and Indian Avenue Schools in Bridgeton to bring interactive, STEM-based outdoor experiences to their classrooms. Through these programs, students and teachers were encouraged to try new things, learn new skills, and make connections with nature right outside their door.
With magnifying glasses in hand, children got to discover that their rain garden is full of life by peeking under a leaf, digging in the dirt, and listening for buzzing bees! Students became scientists, using the rain garden as a living laboratory for learning and discovery.
The American Littoral Society’s “Shuck It, Don’t Chuck It” Shell Recycling Program is happy to announce the opening of our second community drop-off station outside the Shore Fresh Seafood Market and Restaurant in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.
“I am pleased to announce another milestone in Shore Fresh Seafood Market's partnership with the American Littoral Society! We have officially opened the 'Shore Fresh Community Shell Recycling Drop-Off Site.' This drop-off will help cultivate a community of sustainable aquaculture and conservation. These recycled oyster shells can be used for a plethora of green projects along the shore - just like the living shoreline project in Forked River! I want to offer a huge Thank you to Kyle Patterson, Nicole Haines, Serena Celestino Lutz, and the entire market staff at Shore Fresh Point Beach for all the help over the past year with this project! I am so proud of the work that everyone has put towards this in the past year more and look forward to the future.”
The new site is located at 57 Channel Drive in Point Pleasant Beach, next to the inlet for Lake Louise. We are thrilled to be working with Shore Fresh to increase the reach of our shell recycling program, which in turn increases our coastal restoration capacity.
To find the drop-off site, go to the waterside of the Shore Fresh parking area closest to the Broadway bridge (towards the right when facing the front of the restaurant). You can also find the location marked with a yellow pin on the Participating Restaurants interactive map on the Shell Recycling page of our website.
During April and early May, the American Littoral Society Education program hosted five beach plantings and clean ups. As part of those events, more than 8,000 native species were planted on beaches in Monmouth County, NJ and 70 pounds of trash were removed. This work involved volunteers from a number of corporations and students from area schools.
In addition to helping plant beaches in Perth Amboy and Bradley Beach, corporate volunteers also learned about the importance of living sustainably and avoiding using single use plastic items, as well as what it means to make coastal communities more resilient.
Monmouth County students got involved through the Littoral Society’s “Beach Grasses in Classes” program. In addition to hearing about the importance of dunes in their community, their classroom presentations focused on native and invasive grasses, how to stabilize a dune, and general beach ecology.
Participating students then came out for a volunteer event in in Asbury Park, NJ on Sunday, April 23 (just after Earth Day) to plant their little culms of American beachgrass and other native grasses on bare spots along the dunes.
Many thanks to the New Jersey Plant Materials Center in Cape May and Cicconi Farms in Jackson, NJ for providing plants used for these events.