We need your help to Protect horseshoe crabs and shorebirds!
The countdown is on: only a few weeks until the much-anticipated return of the spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds to the Delaware Bay region.
Horseshoe crabs play a vital role to the Delaware Bay ecosystem especially, as their eggs provide nourishment for imperiled shorebirds such as the federally threatened Red Knot. Each year, thousands of Red Knots fly over 9,000 miles from Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America to breeding grounds in the Arctic Circle. The Delaware Bay is a major stopover point during this long journey, where the Red Knots feast on horseshoe crab eggs to gain the necessary weight to fly the remainder of the way to the Arctic Circle.
Overharvesting of horseshoe crabs by the bait industry and negative impacts from the biomedical industry have put a severe strain on the ecological connection between horseshoe crabs and shorebirds like the threatened Red Knot.
Since 2008, the Littoral Society and partners have been advocating to protect horseshoe crabs in our region. Our work resulted in New Jersey's legislature passing a ban on taking any horseshoe crabs, with exemptions for biomedical use, including research and the development of vaccines. The New Jersey moratorium remains in place, but it is the only one enacted by states bordering the bay.
We need your help! We are seeking $5,000 over the coming weeks to support our efforts in advocating for a similar crab harvest moratorium in our neighboring state of Delaware. Your urgent donation will support our work in protecting these living fossils and their time-honored migration to our region.