Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Sandy’

New Jersey’s Hidden Coast – The Final Episode

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

NEW JERSEY’S HIDDEN COAST – EPISODE 6

by Emily Hofmann, Assistant Communications Manager

 

“Our work on the bayshore is not just about wildlife, it’s about people, and how keeping nature strong keeps us all strong in the face of disasters like hurricanes.”

 

We want to ensure that New Jersey’s Hidden Coast remains a vital part of our livelihood for generations to come.

 

This is the final episode to our video series, “New Jersey’s Hidden Coast.” Catch a glimpse of the Bay, the horseshoe crab at the center of the bay’s system, and the incredible relationship between horseshoe crabs and migratory birds, like the red knot. We reveal the real value of horseshoe crabs, the challenges to the ecosystem, and the potential for thriving regional economy along the bayshore. We will show Hurricane Sandy as a catalyst for decisive action and the work being done to rebuild the area for both people and wildlife.

 

Catch up on the previous episodes, here on our blog or on YouTube. Explore the use of “living shorelines” instead of bulkheads and the importance of marshes to the marine ecosystem. Discover the on-the-ground, grassroots efforts of the community to build oyster reeds alongside veterans. And examine the future of the Bay and the work that needs to be done to preserve our conservation successes year after year.

 

Discover Delaware Bay:

 

New Jersey’s Hidden Coast – Strengthening Bayshore Beaches

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

NEW JERSEY’S HIDDEN COAST – EPISODE 5

By Emily Hofmann, Assistant Communications Manager

 

Like all ecosystems, Delaware Bay is amazingly complex, and there’s no one way to fix it. Between climate change, sea level rise, and the growing risk of major storms, there’s a lot to consider.

 

We’ve learned that restoring healthy marsh habitat is a key component in rebuilding Delaware Bay beaches; however, we’re also trying to further strengthen bayshore beaches by building reefs – living underwater infrastructure. By creating some reef structures we can keep the sand where we’re putting it.

 

Learn more about strengthening New Jersey’s Hidden Coast – the Delaware Bayshore in our fifth episode to our series.

 

A new episode of our video series “New Jersey’s Hidden Coast” will air every two weeks throughout the summer! Catch a glimpse of the bay, the horseshoe crab at the center of the bay’s system, and the incredible relationship between horseshoe crabs and migratory birds, like the red knot. We will reveal the real value of horseshoe crabs, the challenges to the ecosystem, and the potential for a thriving regional economy along the Bayshore. We will show Hurricane Sandy as a catalyst for decisive action and the work being done to rebuild the area for both people and wildlife.

 

Over the next several weeks, we will explore the use of “living shorelines” instead of bulkheads and the central importance of marshes to the marine ecosystem. We will discover the on-the-ground, grassroots efforts of the community to build oyster reefs alongside veterans. And we will examine the future of the Bay and the work that needs to be done to preserve our conservation successes thus far.

 

Discover Delaware Bay:

 

New Jersey’s Hidden Coast — After the Storm

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
New Jersey’s Hidden Coast — Episode 3

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

At 8:00 PM on October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Brigantine, New Jersey, only about 30 miles from New Jersey’s Hidden Coast – the Delaware Bayshore. The storm was devastating for the people of the area, many of whom lost their homes and livelihoods. It was equally hard on the area’s wildlife, bringing many species, including the famous horseshoe crab and red knot, perilously close to extinction.

 

What happened? Watch the story unfold in the third episode of our video series.

 

A new episode of our video series “New Jersey’s Hidden Coast” will air every two weeks throughout the summer! Catch a glimpse of the bay, the horseshoe crab at the center of the bay’s system, and the incredible relationship between horseshoe crabs and migratory birds, like the red knot. We will reveal the real value of horseshoe crabs, the challenges to the ecosystem, and the potential for a thriving regional economy along the Bayshore. We will show Hurricane Sandy as a catalyst for decisive action and the work being done to rebuild the area for both people and wildlife.

 

Over the next several weeks, we will explore the use of “living shorelines” instead of bulkheads and the central importance of marshes to the marine ecosystem. We will discover the on-the-ground, grassroots efforts of the community to build oyster reefs alongside veterans. And we will examine the future of the Bay and the work that needs to be done to preserve our conservation successes thus far.

 

Discover Delaware Bay:

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

Wildlife Beach Restoration Groups Applaud Endangered Species Act Designation for Red Knot

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Shorebird now federally protected as threatened species under Endangered Species Act

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

A red knot in breeding plumage along the Delaware Bay. © Bill Dalton

A red knot in breeding plumage along the Delaware Bay. © Bill Dalton

Wildlife conservation organizations leading the efforts to restore New Jersey’s Delaware Bay beaches for at-risk shorebirds today applauded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to designate the Red Knot, a migratory shorebird, as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. A “threatened” designation means a species is at risk of becoming endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

 

“This federal designation will make a big difference in strengthening the protections of this incredible shorebird,” said David Wheeler, Executive Director for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

“Here in New Jersey, we are restoring the vital beach habitat that had been decimated by Hurricane Sandy, and this designation ensures the safeguards we are providing can be complemented along the East Coast,” Wheeler added.

 

Since the 1980’s, the Knot’s population has fallen by about 75 percent in some key areas. Wildlife biologists believe the major threat to the Red Knot is the dramatic decline of horseshoe crab eggs, an essential food source at the most critical stop over during their 8,000 mile trip from southern wintering grounds to Arctic breeding territory. High-energy horseshoe crab eggs provide nourishment for Red Knots to refuel and continue their journey.

 

“This is an important and needed step in the conservation and recovery of the Red Knot. It is an essential step in preventing the extinction of this amazing long distance traveler,” stated Tim Dillingham, Executive Director for American Littoral Society.

 

The largest concentration of Red Knots is found in May in the Delaware Bayshore of New Jersey and Delaware, where the shorebirds stop to gorge themselves on the eggs of spawning horseshoe crabs. In just a few days, the birds nearly double their weight to prepare for the final leg of their long journey.

 

“The major decline of horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay is one of the largest threats to the survival of the shorebird,” explained Dr. Larry Niles, a biologist who leads the beach restoration efforts for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and American Littoral Society, and has studied Red Knots for three decades. “Agency groups have been working hard for the last two years, and will continue for the next two years going forward to rebuild the habitat damaged by Hurricane Sandy that the horseshoe crabs rely on. This work is integral to the recovery of the Red Knot and the shorebird’s best hope for survival.”

 

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and the New Jersey Recovery Fund to remove 8,000 tons of debris and added 45,000 tons of sand to the beaches just before the annual spring arrival of the Red Knot in 2013.

 

Learn More:

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Plovers and Parrots in Paradise

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
A RETURN TRIP TO THE BAHAMAS

By Todd Pover, Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager

Piping Plover on Wintering Grounds, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas. © Tom Reed

Piping Plover on Wintering Grounds, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas. © Tom Reed

Last month marked the third January I have been able to go to the Bahamas in the name of piping plover research. This recent trip was a little different than the others in that it was not an official work funded trip. Still, it wasn’t a traditional vacation either as a good portion of the trip was dedicated to plover surveys and related work. (It’s hard keeping me away from those pipers!)

This being on my own dime, I did make it a point to sample some of the Bahamas other wildlife this time around. At the top of my list was the Bahama parrot. Once found on many Bahamas islands, the parrot is now only present on Abaco and Great Inagua, and is a protected species in the Bahamas. Abaco National Park, overseen by the Bahamas National Trust, encompasses over 20,000 acres, including some of the most critical parrot habitat. Ongoing research of the parrot’s breeding success is being conducted on Abaco as well – it is heartening to see significant conservation effort being put towards parrots in the Bahamas.

Flock of Bahama Parrots in Flight on Abaco. © Tom Reed

Flock of Bahama Parrots in Flight on Abaco. © Tom Reed

I had heard the calls of parrots on previous trips, but since I literally had my “head in the sand” looking for plovers I hadn’t actually seen them. For awhile I didn’t think I would get a glimpse of them this time either – although we were at a parrot hotspot in Abaco known as Bahama Palm Shores, once again I heard them but couldn’t quite get them in my sights.  Parrots can be quite social and their chatter was clearly audible in the trees around us – tantalizingly close – but surprisingly hard to see for a large colorful bird. Our patience paid off as suddenly a flock of at least 100 parrots lifted up and circled over us, temporarily blackening the sky (perhaps “brightening the sky” is more appropriate in this case). What a spectacular sight and later we would see a smaller flock close up foraging in a field. (more…)

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