Saturday’s shell bagging event on the docks of the Maurice River in Port Norris, NJ resulted in a record number of shell bags being produced.
The unseasonably warm, sunny day encouraged 44 volunteers from New Jersey and New York, along with students from the Vineland High School Interact Club, to fill more than 1,000 net bags with shell. Those bags will be used to build an intertidal reef at Thompsons Beach at the Littoral Society’s 3rd Annual Shell-a-bration on April 8.
The Shell-a-bration will be held from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at 163 Thompson Beach Rd, Delmont, NJ. Volunteers and other attendees at the event will carry the bags to a marked site just off the beach.
The Thompsons’ reef – like the three others constructed off Del Bay beaches – are intended to protect restoration work done after Hurricane Sandy. That storm stripped the sand from beaches critical to horseshoe crab breeding. The Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation restored the beaches to their original condition after removing tons of debris.
The reefs will prevent sand loss from wind-driven waves and create calmer water for spawning horseshoe crabs. Other oyster reef living shorelines have already been established at South Reeds Beach, Moores Beach and Dyers Cove.
Stay tuned to this sitte for further information regarding the April 8 Shell-a-bration.