NJ Congressman Jeff Van Drew (center), joined American Littoral Society staff and military veterans at the Littoral Society's 5th Annual Veterans Day on the Bay.
At the American Littoral Society's 5th Annual Veterans Day on the Bay celebration the Society dedicated the reefs built at Cooks Beach to the US Navy.
The intertidal reefs at Cooks Beach were built by volunteers and Littoral Society staff in August 2019 during the Littoral Society's annual Shell-A-Bration. Over the past five years the Society has engineered eight reefs designed to preserve Delaware Bay beaches restored following Superstorm Sandy.
Attendees at the event were once again given the opportunity to honor the veterans they hold dear by inscribing that special person's name on a shell that was placed on the reefs.
The Littoral Society was honored to be joined NJ Congressman Jeff Van Drew.
The event will also featured food from Spanky's BBQ, arts and crafts for children, as well as hands-on study of the wildlife living in this new reef through interactive marine science activities such as seining and species identification.
The First Annual Veterans Day on the Bay took place on November 11, 2015 at South Reeds Beach. The reef was dedicated to all veterans and highlighted veteran involvement in the effort to restore New Jersey's Delaware Bayshore, which had been devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Event attendees honored their own military veterans by inscribing that special person's name on a shell and placing that shell on "Veterans Reef."
As part of the restoration effort the Society created a program for hiring veterans to help survey restoration sites and monitor the work after completion.
After restoring beaches at a number of Delaware Bayshore locations, the Society began building near-shore reefs at many of those sites. Oyster reef living shorelines have already been established at South Reeds Beach, Moores Beach, Dyers Cove, and Thompsons Beach.
In addition to preventing sand loss from wind-driven waves and and creating a natural and protective living space for numerous other aquatic creatures, such as oysters, the reefs also make calmer waters for spawning horseshoe crabs headed for the beach.
The crabs are critical to the area economy. Crab eggs feed migratory shorebirds, like the Red Knot, a federally-listed endangered species which stops in New Jersey each spring on its long journey from South America to the Arctic Circle. The Red Knot and other shorebirds help bring $35 million in tourist dollars to New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore region each year.
Once again we intend to show our appreciation and mark the progress we've made by dedicating another reef to a specific military branch while giving attendees the opportunity to honor the veterans they hold dear by inscribing that special person's name on a shell that will be placed on the reef