The team at the Delaware Bayshore office hopped right into Spring by visiting schools in South Jersey to deliver programs on stream ecology and macro invertebrates, pollution and stormwater management, and Green Stormwater Infrastructure.
Fourth graders at Anthony Rossi Elementary School in Vineland explored samples collected from nearby streams in search of macroinvertebrates during our “Stream Study” program.
By sorting and identifying the creatures that live in the stream, the students assessed the health of 2 local streams and learned which macroinvertebrates are most sensitive to pollution. Among the creatures we found were dragonfly nymphs, caddisfly nymphs, cranefly larvae, and even a crawfish! Student discussed how streams become polluted and how we can help protect stream habitats in South Jersey.
Did you know that Red-Winged Blackbird symbolizes good luck, protection, and prosperity? Well, we're hoping that their presence at the American Littoral Society’s Julie Schreck Maritime Forest in Bradley Beach, NJ is a sign that the habitat restoration project is not just good for local wildlife but also for the surrounding community.
It was 13 years ago when the Society broke ground on this important ecological pocket gem and transformed an unused half-acre hardpan lot into an important stopover for migratory birds and butterflies. Today it hosts over 20 species of native grasses, shrubs, and trees (all budding right now) and several species of birds, insects, and mammals, while also enhancing local storm resilience.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, maritime forests, like all wetlands and estuaries, are essential for storm protection. They also conserve important nutrients and groundwater.
During the month of May, shorebirds make an incredible trek from South America to the Canadian Arctic with one critical stop – the Delaware Bay. Shorebirds, including the federally-listed endangered Red Knot, will spend just a few short weeks on bay beaches, where they will feast on horseshoe crab eggs that will give them enough energy to continue their migration.
These remote beaches are not only loved by wildlife, but humans too. Human presence and activity on these beaches can scare the birds, causing them to flee and spend less time foraging and gaining weight.
From May 7 to June 7, several beaches along the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay will be the focus of efforts to help the birds forage with minimal disturbance. Volunteer stewards will be on hand to explain the importance of giving the resting and feeding birds some space during their stopover, free from dogs, Frisbees and even curious people like us.
Stewards are needed throughout the May across several beaches in Cumberland and Cape May counties. If you are interested in becoming a Shorebird Steward, please reach out to Habitat Restoration Coordinator, Quinn Whitesall email@example.com for more information and to register for the training on April 30.
While Shorebird Stewards are volunteers, a travel stipend will be offered to each steward for their mileage. This is a partnership program with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ and the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife.
The weather is warming, Spring is here, and the Wreck Pond team are back on-site for more fish sampling at the coastal lake located on the border of Spring Lake and Sea Girt, NJ.
Through the month of June we will be looking for adult river herring, a migratory fish that includes alewife and blueback, that lives much of its life in the ocean but spawns in places like Wreck Pond.
River herring are prey for important recreational and commercial species, such as cod, haddock, and striped bass.
These sampling events are conducted around the lunar cycles, every 12 hours for a 3½ day span. Sampling event #2 began Wednesday, March 30 and runs until the morning of Sunday, April 3. Sampling Event #3 will begin on the evening of Thursday, April 14 and continue through the morning of Monday, April 18. If you would like to participate or have questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
Remembering THE GIANTS WHO CAME BEFORE US
There are many talented and committed women currently on the staff and Board of the American Littoral Society (find their bios on our website under Who We Are, within the Staff and Trustees pages).
However, we have benefitted from some truly tremendous “alumni,” who constantly remind us to be aware that in doing our work, we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We'd like to remember two of them to conclude Women's History Month.
Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964), a famed biologist and writer, became a best-selling author with The Sea Around Us (1951). She led the charge to ban the use of DDT, a pesticide which led to the decline of many bird species due to brittle eggs, and is often credited with being the impetus behind the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (established in 1970 by Pres. Richard Nixon).
Rachel Carson is a giant in the environmental field and is very deserving of recognition, not just for sounding the alarm regarding unrecognized and unabated environmental impacts, but also for forcing change.
Learn more about Rachel Carson: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rachel-Carson
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy decimated Delaware Bayshore beaches, destroying vital horseshoe crab spawning habitat and migratory shorebird feeding grounds. For a decade, the American Littoral Society has been working hard to restore these coastal habitats and ensure that the region has an ecologically healthy and resilient future. To date, we have restored seven beaches along Delaware Bay through dune grass plantings, sand replenishment, and the construction of eight oyster reefs.
Please consider a donation to help support our Beach Restoration program in the Delaware Bayshore region. Your gift will provide the much-needed resources to continue protecting and restoring vital horseshoe crab and shorebird habitat.
Saturdays, March 5, 19 and 26
Boat departs from Highlands Terminal at 12:15 p.m.
326 Shore Drive
Adults $45, $30 Children 12 and under
Click here for more info and to purchase tickets
Join the American Littoral Society aboard the Seastreak ferry for a Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise on Saturdays in March. We'll explore the area and discuss the incredible history, geography, and ecology of this unique environment.
Sandy Hook Bay and the greater NY/NJ Bight are well-known for their abundance of diverse wildlife. Whales, rays, and sea turtles populate these waters during the summer months, but winter is the best time to see seals and many migratory birds!
For 61 years, the American Littoral Society has cared for the coast and promoted the study and conservation of marine life and habitat. Our Eco-Cruise follows the requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 in order to protect habitat and marine animals in and around Sandy Hook. We believe it is imperative to give the wildlife around Sandy Hook the courtesy and respect they deserve. Please join us as we safely gaze upon them in their natural habitat from a proper distance.
It's almost time for the arrival of spawning horseshoe crabs and hungry migrating shorebirds on Delaware Bay Beaches. You can help make sure that meeting is as trouble-free as possible by volunteering to be a Shorebird Steward.
During the month of May, shorebirds make an incredible trek from South America to the Canadian Arctic with one critical stop – the Delaware Bay. Shorebirds, including the federally-listed endangered red knot, will spend just a few short weeks feasting on horseshoe crab eggs that will give them enough energy to continue their migration.
When the shorebirds arrive to the Delaware Bay, they are vulnerable to a wide range of threats including habitat loss, changing climates, and human disturbance. It is imperative that the birds spend the limited amount of time they have to feed on horseshoe crab eggs and meet the weight threshold that will sustain their journey to the Arctic breeding grounds. Providing this information to the public about how important these beaches and horseshoe crab eggs are to their survival and the Delaware Bay ecosystem as a whole, is a primary goal of the stewardship program.
Please join the American Littoral Society in welcoming Lindsay McNamara to our staff.
Lindsay, a born and raised Jersey Girl, has loved being at the beach for as long as she can remember. She thinks that everyone should get to experience finding a sand dollar fully intact, seeing a pod of dolphins swim across the current, and watching sandpipers scurry across the sand.
Having first stepped foot in Building 18 back in 2012, Lindsay’s role at the Society has been a decade in the making. She enjoyed working on outreach efforts for our Delaware Bay habitat restoration work from 2014-2016 and is thrilled to join our great staff as the new Director of Development, Membership and Outreach.
She comes to the Society with 10 years of experience working in conservation, development, and communications. Lindsay holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and an M.A. in Public and Organizational Relations. In her spare time, you can find her photographing birds, reading, camping, or kayaking.
In this month of advocacy, the Society continues raising awareness about issues affecting our marine ecosystem faces specifically around shellfish, hurdles the organization faces to implement projects and grow programs, and action items to progress forward.
Shellfish are vital parts of the local economy as well as the ecosystem, as they serve to clean water, create habitat, and protect shorelines. Unfortunately, as the human populations grew along the coast, many shellfish species faced over-harvesting, disease, habitat loss, and ultimately mortality. In Barnegat Bay alone, oyster populations are less than 1% of their size 100 years ago.
In an effort to reverse that decline, while also cleaning water and making the coast more resistant to storms, the American Littoral Society works to implement projects that involve living shorelines, oyster reefs, and shell recycling. Unlike beach replenishment, these projects address shoreline protection, habitat creation, water quality improvement, and oyster population growth.