The ocean is a special place that’s worth protecting and, in the face of climate change and unprecedented rollbacks of environmental protections, the ocean needs a voice now more than ever.
At the American Littoral Society and Healthy Ocean Coalition (HOC) we believe that we’re stronger and more influential together, as an inclusive community that loves the ocean. That is why we're dedicating the month of June to help amplify the educational and advocacy initiatives.
Throughout the month the Littoral Society and HOC will be drawing attention to ocean issues and hosting online events or activities that will be brought to your attention via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So keep your eye out for additional ways to participate.
Moores Beach is among the Delaware Bay beaches in New Jersey that were restored following Hurricane Sandy and is now protected by an inter-tidal reef engineered by the American Littoral Society.
The following is a report from our partner Dr. Larry J. Niles of Wildlife Restoration Partnerships. It was initially posted on his website: A Rube With a View.
Direct Flight to the Arctic or Stopover?
A migratory stopover for arctic nesting shorebirds must provide each bird the energy necessary to get to the next stopover or to the ultimate destination, the wintering or breeding area. Delaware Bay stands out among these shorebird refueling stops because it delivers fuel in the form of horseshoe crab eggs giving birds options. Our telemetry has shown that Red knots, the species we best understand, may leave Delaware Bay and go directly to their Arctic breeding areas, or stopover on Hudson Bay. The choice of going straight to the breeding area or stop at another stopover may be critical to understanding the ecological dramas now underway on Delaware Bay.
This year has been like none of the 23 years we have studied shorebirds and horseshoe crabs on Delaware Bay. As I described in these updates, persistent northeast winds caused two unusual conditions that affected red knots and the other shorebirds species, ruddy turnstones, semipalmated sandpipers, dunlin, short-billed dowitcher, and sanderlings. First, the wind blowing in from the cold ocean chilled the bay and slowed the horseshoe crab spawning to nearly a standstill until the last week of May. Whereas in other years, we would have seen tiny ribbons of eggs threading the tideline, this year we have none. Shorebirds depend on this natural largess, gobbling eggs with almost no effort and laying down weight like starving people at a fast-food restaurant.
The American Littoral Society is known for connecting people to the coast. For literally (littorally?) decades, much of our work has focused on wet feet and sandy hands.
We love nothing better than sharing our passion, knowledge and concern for marine and coastal wildlife and their habitats with others standing on the beach, in the marsh, on the boardwalk. Those connections have been central to our efforts and successes in protecting coastal wildlife, securing clean water, and shaping better approaches to living with the shore.
Like the rest of the country, we have been sheltering at home since March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This presented a new challenge – how to carry forward our mission of coastal conservation while quarantined, separated and unable to get our feet wet.
With spring well underway and many people having extra time on their hands this year to do some backyard gardening, this is the perfect opportunity to talk about a staple in the environmentalist’s home toolbox: the rain barrel.
In a nutshell, rain barrels capture the stormwater that falls on your roof by hooking into your gutter's downspout. This has two main benefits, both of which are connected to each other - reducing the amount of water going into streams and helping you cut back on water consumption.
Most rain barrels can hold about 55 gallons of water. That's water that often would have otherwise flowed down your driveway and into a stormdrain or, potentially, into your basement. (If set up properly, a rain barrel can be used to keep water away from your foundation by attaching a hose that leads away from the house to the overflow hole.)
The storm sewer system will carry the runoff to a nearby freshwater stream, which will dump it out into a bay or the ocean. Because of all of the impervious surfaces humans have built over the years, including the roofs of buildings, the hydrology of streams has changed dramatically.
This is a hard Earth Day. Many of us are separated from each other, and sometimes limited in our ability to get out into the environment to celebrate. It is also a momentous Earth day because it marks 50 years since Democratic Sen. Gaylord Nelson and Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey decided to organize a day of teach-ins at school campuses across the United States to promote consciousness about air and water pollution.
Hopefully, the somewhat slower pace imposed on us by the Covid-19 crisis provides us with some time to reflect on how far we’ve come in our efforts to protect the planet in the five decades since that first Earth Day, as well as what challenges lay ahead.
The Covid-19 crisis has affected the American Littoral Society's ability to provide in person educational and volunteer opportunities, which has disrupted our ability to reach supporters to drive donations.
To help offset these losses, the Society will be participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020.
Save the Date and get ready to help spread the word about coastal conservation!
Littoral Society Applauds Gov. Murphy’s Action to Drive Environmental Protection and Economic Development Through Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
New Jersey plans to use money from a regional plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to fund clean energy projects, protect the health of citizens and prepare coastal communities to better weather future storms and rising seas, according to a Friday, April 17 announcement by Gov. Phil Murphy.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and Economic Development Authority (EDA) released a strategic funding plan for investing the state’s auction proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the cap-and-trade pact among northeastern states dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity generating sector.
New Jersey plans to invest an estimated $80 million each year in programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, drive forward projects that boost clean energy and create jobs, protect the health of residents in environmental justice communities and increase the resiliency of coastal communities.
New Jersey’s renewed participation in RGGI and the investment of proceeds into the clean energy economy and climate change mitigation are key components of the Murphy Administration’s interconnected environmental and economic development goals. In addition, funds from the RGGI auctions will be heavily dedicated to projects that will benefit the state’s environmental justice communities.
The American Littoral Society applauds the governor's action, which comes in part through the Global Warming Solutions Act, which the Society helped craft more than a decade ago.
Dear Littoral Society Members and Supporters:
The power of our coastal community and the beauty of our coastal environment remain evident even in the midst of this enormous public health crisis. Though we are separated for a time, many draw hope and strength from memories of time spent together on boardwalks and beaches watching waves and wildlife.
In this time of social distancing, many are rediscovering how important it is to have open spaces where we can walk, listen and breathe with family or in solitude. That this comes with the advent of Spring, with its traditional themes of life renewed, brings added joy and melancholy.
For those involved with the Littoral Society, the coast and its wonders unite us because we have worked together to protect and restore them. We build reefs and living shorelines, tag fish and horseshoe crabs, take walks and do cleanups because we want to share our enjoyment of bays, estuaries and the ocean while also preserving those experiences for future generations.
Next year will be a bit brighter for sharks, as New Jersey joins the growing list of states that have banned the shark fin trade. New Jersey's long-awaited shark fin ban will go into effect on January 1, 2021.
The law, which was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in January of this year, is intended to end the shark fin trade, which kills approximately 100 million sharks each year.
"The American Littoral Society and numerous other organizations worked toward this goal for years, as we watched the decline of shark populations in the oceans," said Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the Littoral Society. "New Jersey has now joined the other states that have already taken action to end the terrible practice."
The Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve Land Ethics Award for Best Overall Project was presented to the American Littoral Society on March 12. The award was presented for the design and implementation of green infrastructure in the Metedeconk River Watershed.
Located in New Hope, PA, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve inspires the appreciation and use of native plants by serving as a sanctuary and an educational resource for conservation stewards. The Land Ethics awards honors and recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the promotion of native plants and have exhibited a strong land ethic while promoting sustainable designs that protect the environment.