Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Habitat Restoration’ Category

Award Winning Program Removes Rubble for Horseshoe Crabs

Monday, December 30th, 2019

reTURN the Favor Honored with 2019 New Jersey Governor’s Excellence Award

By: Meghan Kolk, Wildlife Biologist

Volunteers making piles of rubble at Seabreeze. Photo by Meghan Kolk.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation has been a partner in the reTURN the Favor (RTF) program since its establishment in 2013.  This multi-partner program organizes a large group of trained and dedicated volunteers who collectively spend thousands of hours covering miles of Delaware Bay beaches to rescue stranded horseshoe crabs.

This year RTF was honored with a New Jersey’s Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award, New Jersey’s premier awards program for recognizing outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects throughout the state, in the Healthy Ecosystems & Habitats Category.

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MAJOR INCREASE OF ENDANGERED SEABEACH AMARANTH PLANTS SOUTH OF SANDY HOOK

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

NJDEP biologist measuring seabeach amaranth
Photo by NJDEP

An annual plant census along New Jersey’s coastal beaches south of Sandy Hook shows a significant surge in the number of seabeach amaranth, a federally threatened and state endangered plant species, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced today.

Biologists with the DEP and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey counted 7,195 plants, a more than 600 percent increase from the 2018 total of 1,053 plants. Similarly, 1,591 of the plants are at Island Beach State Park, compared with 307 found there in 2018 — a more than 500 percent increase.

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Giving Back to Great Bay Terrapins

Monday, November 25th, 2019

CWF partners with NJ Fish & Wildlife to enhance habitat for terrapins in Little Egg Harbor

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

A female terrapin nesting along Great Bay Blvd.

Northern diamondback terrapins are a coast hugging, saltmarsh living, shellfish eating, aquatic turtle. Their ultimate survival depends on the ability of adult females to safely access nesting areas during summer months. Since 2010 CWF has worked to document and reduce roadkills of terrapins on roads in southern Ocean and northern Atlantic Counties. 

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Press of Atlantic City Op-Ed: Osprey recovery successful, but we can still help them thrive, says Ben Wurst

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

By Ben Wurst, CWF Habitat Restoration Manager

Ospreys have made great progress toward recovery in New Jersey, rebounding from a low of 50 nests in 1974 to 589 active nests in 2018. This progress should be celebrated, and victory can and should be declared, as The Press of Atlantic city suggested in their March 1 editorial “Maybe it’s time NJ declares victory in restoration of ospreys.”

But as a biologist who has studied ospreys for many years I also know that declaring victory doesn’t just mean we should walk away and abandon them.

Ben Wurst banding an osprey nestling. Photo by Northside Jim.
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Fishing For A Cleaner Barnegat Bay

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Ghost pots in Barnegat Bay

By: Emily Heiser; Wildlife Biologist

Derelict fishing gear continues to plague the depths of Barnegat Bay.  Often lost through storm events or due to boat traffic, lost or abandoned crab pots (ghost pots) become an unintentional deathtrap for a variety of marine species and reduce otherwise harvestable resources.  CWF and their partners at MATES, Stockton, and ALS have been working to recover lost pots in Barnegat Bay since 2015.

Over the course of the last three field seasons, 1,300 crab pots have been recovered and their bycatch has been extensively documented.  Notably, CWF and MATES have been focusing on how to further help northern diamondback terrapins who often find themselves caught in ghost pots.  In 2016, one pot contained the remains of 17 terrapins.

As we enter the fourth field season of pot collections, the project hopes to not only recover as may pots as possible, but also to glean further information on how the pots move in a variety of substrates and under a variety conditions.  To bring further awareness to the issue, CWF teamed up with the awesome folks at Citizen Racecar to produce a short informational film about ghost fishing and its effects on Barnegat Bay.  Visit our Facebook page to view the video: https://www.facebook.com/wildlifenj/

This project is funded primarily by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with additional support by the New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Covanta and Schnitzer Steel also support the project by recycling the metal in the retrieved crab pots.