Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Marine’ Category

WILDLIFE WEDNESDAYS SUMMER PROGRAM MAKES A SPLASH FOR ASBURY PARK STUDENTS

Friday, August 7th, 2020

by Morgan Mark, CWF Intern

CWF took Asbury Park School students on a virtual field trip to the Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center in Barnegat Bay.

Asbury Park elementary schoolers participating in the district’s Summer Enrichment Program have had a wild reason to look forward to Wednesdays this summer – Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s virtual Wildlife Explorers Program sponsored by New Jersey Natural Gas. 

CWF Director of Education Stephanie DAlessio has been teaching students about the wildlife that lives, breeds, and migrates in their community. Virtual field trips, engaging lessons, and live webcams have exposed elementary schoolers to a gamut of topics ranging from oystercatcher adaptations to ocean litter.

This two-month curriculum reinforces the Asbury Park School District’s emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and gives students access to nature right from their own homes. To participate in activities authentic to biologists, students have been recording weekly observations and data in science field journals, holding meaningful discussions about the environment, and completing at-home activities.

“New Jersey Natural Gas has been involved in the Asbury Park community for nearly 70 years,” said Tom Hayes, the Director of Customer and Community Relations. “Strengthening sustainability and engagement in our communities, especially educating about our environment, are the main focus of our community involvement, so this is exactly the type of program we are excited to be a partner on.”

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Swam with Dinosaurs and Famed for Caviar, Atlantic Sturgeon at risk in New Jersey

Monday, July 27th, 2020

Latest Podcast explores climate change threats to this ‘living fossil’  

by Milena Bimpong

Delaware State University professor Dr. Dewayne Fox and PhD student Matthew Breece weigh an adult Atlantic sturgeon. (Activities authorized under NMFS Permit No. 16507-01). © Delaware State University

A ‘living fossil’ today swims the Delaware River, having survived eons from the days of the dinosaurs through the caviar craze a century ago that nearly wiped it out for its roe, or valuable eggs.

However, as explored in the latest episode of State of Change – Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s regular podcast exploring climate change impacts on New Jersey wildlife –the Atlantic sturgeon faces an abundance of modern threats.

From a historic population of 360,000 adults, “Based on our best estimates, there’s less than 300 in the river. There’s less than 1 tenth of 1% that was there historically,” says Dewayne Fox, a professor of fisheries at Delaware State University. “The loss of one or two adults is a significant loss of spawning potential in the Delaware River.”

Among the largest river fishes in North America, the Atlantic sturgeon can grow up to 14 feet and weigh up to 800 pounds. One sturgeon from New Jersey is believed to have been over 1,000 pounds. The Atlantic sturgeon’s features indicate that their existence can be traced back to millions of years.

Yet that lengthy run was in jeopardy after facing ensuing perils of caviar harvesting and pollution.

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NY Daily News: Whale hits small boat off the coast of New Jersey

Friday, June 12th, 2020

By MICHAEL SHERIDAN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

A whale jumped from the water and landed on a boat off the coast of New Jersey. (Friends of Seaside Park)

Now here’s one whale of a tale.

A boat off the coast of New Jersey was struck by a whale that leapt from the water and landed on the craft Monday.

The massive mammal slammed into the 25-foot boat around noon, according to a post on the Friends of Seaside Park Facebook page.

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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.

 

US Fish & Wildlife: A new reality for plovers on the Jersey Shore

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018
by Bridget Macdonald

Senior biologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Todd Pover releases a piping plover, a species he has helped monitor for 25 years. (Jim Verhagen)

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy plowed ashore near Atlantic City, N.J., with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. In its wake, state officials declared it the most destructive natural disaster in the history of New Jersey. It changed communities dramatically.

Natural features of the coastline underwent significant changes too, but in some cases, those changes presented new conservation opportunities that could protect people and wildlife in the face of future storms.

“We were able to identify places where piping plover habitat had been enhanced by the storm,” explained Todd Pover, a senior biologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey who has been involved in monitoring the federally threatened shorebird for 25 years. Places like Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, where the storm erased the dunes in a three-quarter mile stretch of beach, creating an open expanse from ocean to bay.

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