Volunteers Highlight Littoral Society Earth Week Events
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.
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.
Meet at the refuge visitor center 30 minutes before the in-person sessions in order to carpool to a nearby beach or drive directly to the beach site at the south end of Broad Channel. There will be three in-person sessions, which are each limited to 25 people at each. There is no limit on the number that can attend virtually.
For more information contact Northeast Chapter Director Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Due to Covid precautions, registration is required. 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.
Maritime Forest to be Dedicated
Tuesday, May 25
11 a.m. - Noon The Bradley Beach Maritime Forest
Ocean Avenue and Lake Terrace
Bradley Beach, NJ
The Bradley Beach Maritime Forest will be dedicated to Julie Schreck, former mayor of Jersey Shore borough, during a special ceremony.
The American LIttoral Society and officials, along with Mayor Schreck's family and friends will gather to recognize completion of phase three of the project and dedicate the restored coastal green space.
Julie Schreck 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.
In addition to renaming the forest for Mayor Schreck and unveiling new signs, the ceremony will include remarks from dignitaries, family, and friends, who will also have the opportunity to tour the forest after the dedication.
Did you know that horseshoe crabs predate the dinosaurs and that they’re medical saviors?
Join The American Littoral Society for a webinar about these fascinating, ancient creatures. We’ll learn about their lifecycle, when and where they lay their eggs, when best to spot them, and even the importance of their blood to humans.
The Littoral Society will wrap up their talk with a question-and-answer session during which they will provide information on volunteer opportunities.
Join the American Littoral Society for horseshoe crab tagging in and around the Shark River inlet. Groups will meet at the pavilion in Neptune City's Memorial Park. Schedule meeting times are 30 minutes prior to high tide in Shark River Hills to allow for training and assignment of beach.
Volunteers should dress to get wet, have a change of clothes, bug spray, and flashlights or head lamps. A limited amount of chest waders, drills, and bits will be available. A tagging packet containing data sheets, pens, ruler, clipboard or measuring board, health and safety form, tags, informational packets, and a membership brochure will be provided. Volunteers will be trained and learn about the biology and importance of horseshoe crabs prior to tagging live crabs.
The same beaches from past years will be surveyed to include Memorial Park Beach in Neptune City, L Street Beach in Belmar, the Marina on Riverside (2 sites), and S. Riverside Drive (2 sites). Only staff or experienced volunteers will be allowed to tag at the Hillside Avenue site. In all, up to 7 sites may be surveyed in 2021.
In the event restrictions associated with the COVID 19 Pandemic are still in effect, tagging may be cancelled, limited to staff only with a virtual component, or may still be limited and performed by a single group or persons that have been on lockdown together for at least 14 days or more. Each group or person will be responsible for one designated beach within Shark River Inlet over the survey duration. It is recommended that proper PPE be worn.
To receive tagging packets and a drill with bits, you must show up May 25 at 7PM or contact Capt. Al Modjeski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edgar the Friendly Egret is back in Broad Channel, NY for the season and vigorously solicits the NE Chapter staff for the freshest spearing we can get.
Spring Migration Bird Walk in Jamaica Bay
In case you missed it: On Saturday, April 24, Littoral Society naturalist Don Riepe led a limited attendance bird walk from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge building. The event was also streamed via Facebook LIVE program.
Late April is the beginning of peak time for passerines and waterbirds in Jamaica Bay. Tune into this re-broadcast to meet some of the species that pass through Jamaica Bay at this time of year and learn about the mystery of migration.
Opening of Old Mill Dam Fish Ladder
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.
Volunteers Shore Up Dunes to Protect Restored 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.
We are currently planning to host our annual Members Day celebration, Annual Meeting, and Board of Trustees election on Sandy Hook on Saturday, June 26. However, there is still a possibility that we will have to pivot to a virtual event, so please keep an eye on your mailboxes and email inboxes for the most up to date information.
If we are able to gather in person, Society staff and all members will be asked to follow current local, state, and federal COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines including mask wearing and social distancing.
Members Day is a members-only event, please make sure your membership is up to date in order to attend! If you’re not sure of your membership status, please email email@example.com and we will let you know.
Get ready to hit the boards for the 6th Annual Lobster Run 5k to Care for the Coast. Register now to get a head start on fundraising for your team! Register now at www.raceforum.com/lobster.
Saturday, September 18
The Littorally Local Host Committee is looking for new members! Join a team of committed community members who help spread the word about the event, invite their networks to participate, and solicit auction items. If you’re interested in joining the committee or donating to the virtual auction, please contact Hillary Critelli at Hillary.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership, Renew or
Your loyalty and support enable us to continue to protect and care for the coast. Your membership supports marine science education programs for thousands of students, protecting and restoring marine life and habitat, and our efforts to defend the coast from harm.
You are vitally important to this work; coastal conservation is a group effort. Your membership in the Society adds your voice to many others in support of marine life and the coast.
Seniors can join or renew for $30, and Individuals for $40, or Families for $50.
There are more ways than ever to show your support for the American Littoral Society. Now available at the Society online store are short-sleeve t-shirts in multiple designs/colors, as well as long-sleeve t's and baseball caps with the Society's name and/or logo.
The long-sleeve shirts have the definition of littoral on the back. The baseball caps are focused on the Society's Fish Tagging Program and feature a tagged black seabass.
Purchase proceeds cover the cost of the item and contribute to the Society's operating budget.
You can support the Littoral Society by purchasing our official merchandise through our store on Bonfire.com. All proceeds support coastal conservation!
In addition to shirts in a variety of designs, our Bonfire merchandise now includes Coastal Canine Doggie Tees, a beach tote, and a women's racerback style bearing the Knots for Crabs design.
Bonfire is a free online platform where anyone can design, sell, and buy custom products. We handle payment processing, order fulfillment, and customer service so you can focus on connecting with your community.
Make sure that our coast remains a home for the coastal wildlife you love. A bequest to the American Littoral Society is a generous and straightforward way to care for the coast. This can be expressed in a will as simply as, “I bequeath [a sum of money, a percentage of my estate, or an IRA, life insurance policy, or investment/bank account] to the American Littoral Society, 18 Hartshorne Drive, Suite 1, Highlands, NJ 07732.”
Consult with your attorney to determine what is best for your situation.
Your membership donation helps the Society reach its fundraising goals to keep our coast safe and healthy. It also helps our staff create new and exciting ways to connect you with the coast even if we can't be there physically together. If you would like to go above and beyond membership, please explore these other ways you can help the Littoral Society continue to care for the coast.