Littorally Advancing: An Interview With Tyrese Gould Jacinto of Native American Advancement Corporation
Since 1961, the American Littoral Society’s work has been focused on caring for the coast, and we believe that there is much to learn from those who have stewarded the land and water since long before our time. The Lenni-Lenape, whose territory stretched from Maryland and coastal Delaware through eastern Pennsylvania, all of New Jersey, and into upstate New York, have lived in the Delaware Bayshore area for over 10,000 years.
As the first people of the coast, the Lenape have worked to maintain a sustainable environment well before Europeans arrived. Today, there are approximately 12,000 Lenape people in the region. Tyrese Gould Jacinto, pronounced Ty-ese, is one of them.
Known by her tribe as Bright Flower, Ty has spent her life working to protect her local ecosystems while empowering her community to fight the effects of climate change. Her organization, the Native American Advancement Corporation (NAAC), has raised over $20 million since 2010 to increase energy efficiency in homes, remediate lead paint, provide green jobs training for at-risk youth, and advocate for access to the Cohansey River.
Your efforts to help protect Delaware Bay horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds paid off as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) recently decided not to restart the harvest of female crabs for bait.
The decision came on Thursday, November 10 during the ASMFC 80th Annual Meeting, which was held in Long Branch, NJ. Members of the Horseshoe Crab Management Board cited an influential public comment process, which included more than 34,000 letters in support of the crabs and the red knots.
“Acknowledging public concern about the status of the red knot population in the Delaware Bay, the board elected to implement a zero female horseshoe crab harvest for the 2023 season as a conservative measure,” the commission said in a statement. The commission will still allow a harvest limit of 475,000 male-only horseshoe crabs next year.
The American Littoral Society was an exhibitor at the New Jersey Education Association annual convention in Atlantic City, NJ on November 10 and 11. The convention is the largest gathering of teachers and education professionals of its kind in the United States.
Society staff spoke with the attendees about field trips, classroom lessons, and new programs being offered through our Sandy Hook and Delaware Bay offices. From discussing Climate Change Education to playing Ocean Jeopardy, our team had a great time visiting with New Jersey educators and can’t wait to come back next year!
If you are an educator or group leader looking for engaging programs for youth, visit the Littoral Society website to find out more about American Littoral Society’s Education programs.
The American Littoral Society’s Delaware Bayshore team proudly participated in the first annual Environmental Education Day at Bridgeton Public Library on October 25.
Students from six elementary schools in Bridgeton, NJ had the chance to meet environmental professionals from the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, Citizens United Maurice River, the American Littoral Society, Belleplain State Forest, and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance/Pinelands Adventures. Each organization had the opportunity to showcase the work that they do and engage the students with an interactive lesson and activity.
At the Littoral Society’s table, students played a metamorphosis matching game, decorated their own oyster shell, and learned about pollinators and monarch butterfly migration. It was a great day collaborating with our partners at the Bridgeton Public Library and engaging youth in their local environment!
Early in November, American Littoral Society staff spoke at the 10th Annual Delaware River Watershed Forum about the lessons learned from our Restoration Corps (aka R-Corps) Summer Work Experience program.
The forum, held November 3-4 in Philadelphia, PA, focused on celebrating the successes of the past 10 years and looking ahead to the next 10 years of working to protect the land and water of the Delaware River Watershed.
The event was hosted by the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, which is comprised of more than 170 organizations (including the Littoral Society) working in the four states that span the watershed. The conference put special emphasis on ensuring equitable access to the benefits of a healthy watershed for underserved communities. Members of the Coalition had the opportunity to share their work on this collective endeavor, as well as discuss ways of learning from each other’s successes and challenges.
Field season for the Delaware Bayshore Habitat Restoration Team is wrapping up! But before the busy season comes to an end a high school student came along to shadow Habitat Restoration Coordinator Quinn Whitesall and Habitat Restoration Technician Toni Rose Tablante for a routine sampling day.
Shane Faucett, a junior at Pennsylvania’s Nazareth Area High School whose family helps tag horseshoe crabs with the Society every year, chose to trade his classroom for the bay to fulfill his school’s professional shadowing requirement.
A rare 70-degree day in November made for a perfect time on the beach. While we waited for low tide, Shane asked career-related questions, while also inquiring about the Society’s work. As the day went on and the tide went out, Toni Rose and Shane geared up with waders and life jackets to see what could be found on our intertidal reef.
Ring in the New Year with a walk on the beach. Join the American Littoral Society at Sandy Hook, NJ or Ft. Tilden, NY on January 1 at 11 a.m.
The walks are free and suitable for anyone able to walk a few miles, with part of that distance being on sandy beaches. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Dress for the weather and bring your own water.
Read more to find additional information and registration links for each walk.
ADVOCACY UPDATE: ASMFC May Adopt Controversial Horseshoe Crab Harvest Changes at November Meeting
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) appears poised to permit harvesting female horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay for the first time in 10 years. The verdict is expected to come at the ASMFC 80th Annual Meeting, which will be held in Long Branch, NJ, November 7 - 10. The Horseshoe Crab Management Board is set to meet on Thursday, November 10 from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. and a decision on implementing a new Adaptive Resource Management (ARM) plan for horseshoe crabs in the bay is the first item on the agenda.
The American Littoral Society and many other environmental organizations oppose the change because it would endanger Delaware Bay horseshoe crabs and the migratory shorebirds (like the Red Knot) which depend on them. Red Knots are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
While the meeting is free and open to the public, it isn't clear that anyone attending will be allowed to comment. The announcement of the upcoming meeting included guidance from the Interstate Fishery Management Plan Policy Board on public input at the open sessions at the annual meeting. It says that the Policy Board intends "to end the occasional practice of allowing extensive and lengthy public comments" on items that have completed their official public comment period.