Conserve Wildlife Blog

Is that spinach? No, it’s rare seabeach amaranth!

July 9th, 2020

By Michele S. Byers

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation doesn’t just work with organisms of the furry, feathered, and scaly varieties, we also work with NJ’s threatened and endangered plan life! Michele S. Byers recently highlighted CWF’s contribution to surveys of the rare and endangered seabeach amaranth on

Check out the excerpt below and read more on!

If you are lucky enough to walk on the beach this summer, you may notice a plant that looks like spinach growing in the bare sand, apart from sea grass and other dune vegetation.

Don’t step on it! It could be the rare seabeach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus) that is making a comeback in New Jersey.

It’s good news since seabeach amaranth is a federally threatened and state endangered plant. It was rediscovered in the state in 2000 by Rutgers grad student Jay Kelly, now a biology professor at Raritan Valley Community College.

Last year, scientists with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey counted 7,195 seabeach amaranth plants – a nearly 600% increase from the 2018 total of 1,053 plants.

Island Beach State Park has emerged as a stronghold, with 1,591 seabeach amaranth plants found last year, compared with 307 counted the previous year – a more than 400% increase.

According to the DEP, the resurgence of seabeach amaranth is especially remarkable because the plant was not seen in New Jersey from 1913 to 2000 and was considered gone from the state. The plant was rediscovered in 2000 near Sandy Hook following a beach fill project.

Continue reading on

Learn more about the seabeach amaranth here!

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