Photo by Mark Willard via the William Penn Foundation
Call for clean water, justice and jobs in environmental justice communities like Camden, Chester, Philadelphia and Wilmington
BY TIM DILLINGHAM, ANDREW KRICUN, DON BAUGH | MAY 11, 2021
Perhaps nowhere in the nation are the issues of environmental, social and economic inequities and injustice more evident than in a 27-mile stretch of the Delaware River valley bordered by the cities of Camden, Chester, Philadelphia and Wilmington.
Our country faces a series of challenges that have exposed long-standing vulnerabilities to the health of our environment, our communities and our democracy. In addition, the American Society of Civil Engineers recently graded our nation’s drinking water infrastructure a C- and its wastewater infrastructure a D+, which represents entirely inadequate protection of the public health and the environment.
Saturday, May 14
Sessions at 11:30 a.m., Noon and 12:30 p.m.
On Facebook LIve and
In-Person (limited group size)
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
175-10 Cross Bay Blvd
Free, Registration Required for In-Person Attendance
Register for Session One
Register for Session Two
Register for Session Three
Click Here to Register for Facebook Live Session
Join the American Littoral Society and partners for the Fifth Annual Horseshoe Crab Festival. This year the festival will offer both in-person and virtual attendance to those who want to see the annual mating ritual of the Horseshoe Crab.
Check links above to see how you can take part in the festival. Read on for more information.
Join the American Littoral Society and Upstream Alliance on May 11 or May 26 to learn more about the spawning horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds of the Delaware Bay. Take part either through self-guided tours or via a free guided tours on the Delaware side of the bay.
The events, which will run from 3-10 p.m. on the dates above, are scheduled during peak time for horseshoe crab spawning and shorebird migration along the Delaware Bay.
From late April until early June, horseshoe crabs emerge by the thousands from the depths to lay eggs on the Delaware Bay's sandy beaches. At the same time, shorebirds flock to those beaches - many coming from a continent away - to gobble up the eggs.
When: 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25
Where: The Bradley Beach Maritime Forest, near the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Lake Terrace
What: Dedication of the Maritime Forest to Julie Schreck, former mayor of Bradley Beach, and recognition of completing the next step in the restoration project
On Tuesday, May 25 the American LIttoral Society and others will recognize completion of the next phase of the maritime forest in Bradley Beach and dedicate the restored coastal green space to the town’s former mayor.
Bradley Beach Borough will dedicate the forest to Julie Schreck, who was mayor of the town from 2008-2012 and passed away in 2014. She was instrumental in launching the restoration project, which began in 2013.
Earth Day was big for the American Littoral Society this year. The Society hosted a week-long series of events that included some of the first involving volunteers since Covid quarantines began about a year ago.
We were amazed and thankful for the outpouring of volunteer support for our cleanups and plantings during Earth Week 2021, especially with many Covid precautions still in place. Concern for protecting beaches and restoring habitat brought dozens to the warm sands of Asbury Park, a park in Vineland, a windy beach on the Delaware Bay, the chilly waters of Beaverdam Creek, and a shoreline in Jamaica Bay to lend a hand with Littoral Society projects.
Volunteers have long played a crucial role in Society restoration projects, both large and small. The Society began in 1961 as a band of scuba diving hobbyists providing data to what eventually became the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration laboratory on Sandy Hook. The same spirit became key to the Society's efforts to engage people in caring for the coast..
At all events Covid precautions were followed, with groups kept below state regulations, staff and volunteers wearing masks, and social distancing between individuals or pods.
Middle Township Mayor Tim Donohue (L) and Business Administrator Kim Krauss joined the American Littoral Society on Earth Day to plant dune grass on Reeds Beach.
Horseshoe crabs spawning on a Delaware Bay beach will have an extra measure of security thanks to an Earth Day volunteer dune grass planting effort.
The grass planting is part of an ongoing effort by the American Littoral Society and partners to restore and protect Bayshore beaches for horseshoe crabs, migrating shorebirds, and local communities.
“A healthy ecosystem is the Delaware Bay’s foundation of economic well-being,” said Tim Dillingham, the executive director of the American Littoral Society. “People come to see the natural phenomenon from all over the world. Supporting habitats is in everyone’s best interest.”
On Earth Day, Middle Township Mayor Tim Donohue and Business Administrator Kim Krauss, along with several hardy volunteers, put their hands in the sand, joining the society in planting dune grass along South Reed’s Beach to protect the horseshoe crab habitat. The day also included a beach cleanup, with Township staff hauling away the trash.
This new year brings tremendous changes to the nation’s politics and opens up new opportunities for coastal and ocean conservation.
Obviously, the new President and very different Administration top the list of changes. The Biden Administration has established responding to climate change as a top policy priority and has released a number of Executive Orders and administrative actions establishing an ambitious agenda, which faces some very long-term challenges.
The political dynamics between a narrow Democratic majority Congress and Biden will be tremendously consequential as to the success of this agenda, and like past administrations in similar environments we are likely to see a reliance on administrative actions rather than legislation.
Fish in the Wreck Pond watershed now have a little bit of extra room to roam thanks to the Earth Day opening of a fish ladder at the Old Mill Pond Dam.
The 60-foot-long fish ladder is part of ongoing efforts to restore Wreck Pond and its 12.8 square mile watershed in the southern Monmouth County municipalities of Wall Township; and the Boroughs of Spring Lake Heights, Spring Lake and Sea Girt.
The restoration project, which launched in 2014, has been coordinated by the American Littoral Society in conjunction with federal and local partners.
The opening of the ladder, on April 22, 2021, will provide access an additional mile of habitat for alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis), both river herring species that live in saltwater but spawn in fresh water. This stretch of habitat has been inaccessible to the migratory fish for more than a century, due to the installation of the dam at Old Mill Pond.
While Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, the American Littoral Society will mark the occasion with a series of events on and around that date in New York and New Jersey.
Events will range from a beach cleanup in Howard Beach, NY to a dune grass planting on Reeds Beach, near Cape May, NJ., as well as several sites in between.
Many of these events will involve volunteers and all will be outdoors. However, due to Covid restrictions in NJ and NY, group sizes are limited. In order to ensure our compliance with state restrictions, we are asking attendees to register online for in-person events.
Littoral Society staff and volunteers will follow all state-mandated COVID-19 safety protocols and ask that all volunteers wear a mask, keep six feet distance from other volunteers, and to please stay home if you or someone you have been in contact with are sick. Society staff reserves the right to ask volunteers who are not following these guidelines to leave immediately.
Click the Read More link to find our Earth Day events.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking input from conservation groups, farmers, forest owners, and others on climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategy through an executive order that could impact many USDA programs, including the programs that support Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) projects and other water quality work.
The American Littoral Society is a partner in the DRWI, which unites more than fifty organizations and countless landowners working to protect forests and farms, clean up streams, and make our cities and suburbs greener. From the New Jersey Highlands to the Pine Barrens, Pennsylvania farm country to Philadelphia and the bay, the Delaware River Watershed Initiative is bringing people together to ensure swimmable, fishable, drinkable water for years to come.
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