It took awhile, but the TV program involving the Littoral Society's horseshoe crab tagging events is finally available for anyone to watch.
Last year, a crew from Xploration: Awesome Planet covered horseshoe crab tagging on the Delaware bayshore. The show, hosted by Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, explores the most spectacular places – on the earth, inside the earth, and above the earth.
The tagging event became part of an Awesome Planet episode on animal migrations. In the linked video you'll see Habitat Restoration Coordinator Shane Goodshall and Habitat Restoration Technician Quinn Whitesall as they lead a tagging event.
The episode also touches on the work done by the Littoral Society to restore beaches for horseshoe crabs following Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the migratory shorebirds that rely on the crabs to make their epic annual trek from South America to the Arctic Circle.
The beach restoration work has continued through annual Shell-A-Bration and Veterans Day on the Bay events, during which intertidal oyster reefs are built to protect the restored beaches from erosion. In April of this year, 70 volunteers moved 50 tons of shell to construct the latest reef off Thompsons Beach in Maurice Township, NJ.
The reefs prevent sand loss from wind-driven waves, create calmer water for spawning horseshoe crabs, and re-establish a natural habitat for numerous other aquatic creatures. Oyster reef living shorelines have also been established at South Reeds Beach, Moores Beach and Dyers Cove.
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.
The reef projects are being funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through their Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grants Program, and are being developed in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. The project which began immediately after Hurricane Sandy is scheduled to conclude this summer.
So take a few minutes, meet Shane and Quinn, and learn about the work the American Littoral Society is doing along the Delaware Bay. To learn more, visit the Delaware Bay page on this website.
Building the reef at Thompsons Beach during the 3rd Annual Shell-A-Bration.