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.
The American Littoral Society is hosting two great events and we need your help! Please sign up below to volunteer for the Green-up Bridgeton Litter Clean-up and the Upper Deerfield School Rain Garden Planting.
The event in Bridgeton, NJ will take place on Saturday, April 29 from 8 a.m. to noon. The Upper Deerfield rain garden planting is scheduled for Saturday, May 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
It took us long into the night to reach our next port. We went from the relatively populated area of Braganza to the dark heart of this coastal region of Viseu. In three trucks, we caravanned through a maze of remnant tropical rainforests, cattle pasture an impenetrable second-growth woodland. Along the rain-slicked red clay road, small and desperate looking towns popped out of nowhere always looking like the past was a better day. The road cut through countless mangrove forests that define this region. We reached Viseu too late to do anything but find a place to stay the night.
A bridge across the many rivers from Braganca to Visiu, Brazil. Photo by Christophe Buiden
It’s hard to imagine the difficulties of people living at latitude 37 degrees north when coming to the equator in northern Brazil. It challenges even the hardiest of biologists. But after three days our team has not only acclimated but accomplished surveys in two separate estuaries.
Ruddy turnstone multiyear flight recorded by a geolocator caught in Maranhoa Brazil.
By Larry Niles, LJ Niles Associates LLC
We leave a cold and dark New Jersey with mixed feelings for our destination to tropical Brazil. It will be warm and sunnyish – though forecasts predict drenching thunderstorms threatening us every day of our trip. We will explore a very new place, the ocean coast of Para, a largely unsurveyed coast known to be a wintering shorebird mecca. At the same time, we will undergo trials experienced by few biologists. Zika is prevalent in Para, but recent cases of malaria are equally alarming. Of course, one must be ever vigilant for food and water pathogens. Last year, I developed food poisoning ending me up in a rural hospital, with a room full of very sick people. On arrival, I wondered what comes next?
A small part of the sprawling city of Sao Jose de Ribamar.
Volunteer to bag shell
The American Littoral Society needs your help to bag shell for two new intertidal reefs to be built in the Delaware Bay this spring. We have the materials in place, but need some helping hands to fill the bags on Saturday, Jan. 28 & Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Foul weather dates are Sunday, Jan. 29 & Feb. 26. The work will take place at 8779 Berry Ave., Port Norris, NJ.
Google maps: http://ow.ly/gopZ306DRko