The Littoral Society’s mission is to promote the conservation and study of marine life and its habitats. That is the “why” of our work.
Having been around since 1961, the language of our mission harkens back to a more formal, subdued era. But make no mistake, “promoting the conservation and study” of coastal wildlife is dynamic, growing, community-based, and aimed at strategically putting back missing pieces – whether they are gone because of a storm or human irresponsibility.
Our largest effort has been restoring miles of beaches along the Delaware Bay. Those beaches are critical to spawning horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds such as the Red Knot. The beaches, fundamental components of the Bay ecosystem, were simply gone after Hurricane Sandy.
Through tremendous partnerships and unprecedented collaborations with state and national resource agencies, we rebuilt the beaches in the spring of 2013 in order to ensure that the crabs had a place to lay eggs that would feed the birds making their way from South America to the Arctic.
We restored that missing piece in order to preserve the habitat that has brought these iconic species back to the Delaware Bay every year for millennia.
Beyond that, Osprey, Barn Owls, river herring, oysters, sea bass, and countless other denizens of the tidal marsh have benefited from our work.
Just as important, we aim to rebuild a human connection to the coast.
Our work is facilitated by community science, sweat equity and community engagement. We want your hands involved in our projects in order to nurture new stewards of coastal wildlife at the same time we are building marshes, oyster reefs and living shorelines.
By connecting people to the coast, we hope to foster an understanding of our interdependence with the natural world – a missing piece in much of our society – and a shared sense of responsibility to preserve it for future generations.
There is an arcane debate within the restoration world about what point in history the project is restoring toward or which world from the past are we trying to get back to?
At the Littoral Society, we like to think we are restoring toward tomorrow. While we are putting pieces back, we are building stronger, more resilient ecosystems, and recruiting new hands that will carry forward the Littoral mission of caring for the coast in the years to come.