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.
The American Littoral Society Rumson St. Patrick’s Day parade experience was a big hit on March 12, thanks in no small part to Doug Douty of the Lusty Lobster and his walking oyster bar.
Our float highlighted the Society’s "Shuck It, Don't Chuck It!" oyster shell recycling program and the “Bags in the Bay” pilot project being expanded to the Two Rivers Area as part of ongoing Society efforts to help clean up New Jersey’s bays and estuaries.
The Bags on the Bay restoration research project has been underway in Barnegat Bay since 2016. The project involves hanging bags of recycled shells off docks. The bags are periodically pulled out of the water to catalog the species inhabiting the bag with a heavy emphasis on searching for natural oyster spat on the shells. Once analyzed, the shells are re-bagged and rehung.
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