Putting sand back on a beach is fairly common practice on the east coast of the US, but not for restoring and protecting the places that wild things live.
However, the American Littoral Society and partners have been doing such projects on the New Jersey shoreline of the Delaware Bay for nearly a decade. The result has been better habitat for horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds.
A study in the July 9 edition of the Marine Ecology Progress Series (a peer-reviewed scientific journal) quantifies the benefits of that work, while also indicating that outcomes can be further improved by expanding project scope and integrating other coastal restoration strategies.
Such restoration will be critical for the conservation of coastal species as sea levels rise and current and past coastal management practices continue to degrade habitats.
Tourism related to migratory shorebirds attracted by spawning horseshoe crabs has been estimated at $13 million annually in New Jersey.
Study co-authors include Tim Dillingham and Capt. Al Modjeski of the American Littoral Society, as well as Joseph A. M. Smith, Lawrence J. Niles of LJ Niles & Assocaites, and Steven Hafner, Asst. Director of the Stockton University Coastal Research Center.
Find more information about the project and publication at: https://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v645/p91-107/