Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘oyster reef’

Reef dedication, seining to help celebrate Veterans Day on Delaware Bay

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Oyster reef to be dedicated to New Jersey Veterans at second annual event

By Emily Hofmann, Project Coordinator

a-seine-net-about-75-feet-long-is-dredged-in-the-bay-and-brought-up-on-the-beach-to-collect-the-species-for-study

A seine net about 75 feet long is dredged in the bay and brought up on the beach to collect the species for study. Photo courtesy of Middle Township Gazette.

You and your family are “whelk-come” to join American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation and for our 2nd Annual Veterans Day on the Bay on Saturday, November 12 from 11:00 AM -2:00 PM at Moores Beach on the Delaware Bayshore! In April, we held our 2nd Annual Shell-A-Bration where proud volunteers braved the elements and helped build an oyster reef at Moores Beach.

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The 1st Annual Veterans Day on the Bay was held on November 11, 2015 at South Reeds Beach. The oyster reef was dedicated to all veterans and highlighted veteran involvement in the effort to restore New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore. Event attendees honored their own military veterans by inscribing that special person’s name on a shell and placing that shell on “Veterans Reef.”

 

This year we’d like to continue to show our appreciation and mark the progress we’ve made by dedicating another reef to a specific military branch.

 

Please join us for the 2nd Annual Veterans Day on the Bay, which will feature:

  • Raw oysters and fare from Spanky’s BBQ
  • Beach Clean-up
  • Seining and marine wildlife study
  • Arts and crafts for children
davidbensonshells1

Photo courtesy of David Benson.

Help us study the wildlife living in this new reef with hands-on, interactive marine science activities like seining and species identification!

 

The highlight of the event will be the dedication of Moores Beach oyster reef in honor of our military veterans. Attendees are invited to honor their own military veterans by inscribing that special person’s name on a shell and placing that shell on the reef.

 

This family fun day and volunteer event will be held from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM; with the reef dedication ceremony taking place at 12:30 PM. Veterans Day on the Bay is rain or shine. The celebration will be a picnic-style event, so please bring blankets and chairs.

 

Join us at Moores Beach, at the end of Moores Beach Road (which intersects with NJ Route 47 near Delmont United Methodist Church) Maurice River, New Jersey, 08314.

 

RSVP appreciated to Quinn Whitesall, quinn@littoralsociety.org or Emily Hofmann, emily.hofmann@conservewildlifenj.org by November 7.

 


LEARN MORE:


 

Emily Hofmann is a Project Coordinator with Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

 

Volunteers and biologists add the next oyster reef to Dyers Cove

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Team works through threat of downpour to strengthen Delaware Bay’s resiliency and ecology

By Emily Hofmann, Project Coordinator

 

Although the weather was on the brink of being rainy and bleak, that did not stop a team of dedicated biologists and volunteers from building an oyster reef on the Delaware Bayshore this past Saturday. Committed volunteers and young people braved the weather to work alongside American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation to build a near-shore oyster reef at Dyers Cove, at the end of Dyers Creek Road in Newport, Cumberland County, New Jersey.

 

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This reef – like the one at South Reeds Beach – was built to protect restoration work done after Hurricane Sandy and provide habitat. Constructed to prevent sand loss from wind-driven waves and create calmer water for spawning horseshoe crabs, this is the third of five such reefs that have been built by the Littoral Society and CWF. The conservation organizations will continue to monitor whether the reef breakwaters help reduce beach erosion and create calmer water for spawning horseshoe crabs.

 

Due to the heavy rain over the course of the week, the conditions were not ideal. Low-tide never went below waist deep, so it was hard to construct the reef accordingly. But that did not stop the team!oyster-reef-build_5

 

“Every oyster reef we’ve built so far on the Delaware Bay incorporated a different restoration strategy. We have had to adapt new strategies with what has worked best in the past and with what will realistically work based on site conditions. By blending the successes from the previous reefs with innovative approaches, we have been able to construct three reefs to date,” said Capt. Al Modjeski, Habitat Restoration Program Director for the American Littoral Society.

 

The bayshore beaches need restoration and improved resiliency so that horseshoe crabs have proper breeding grounds. Crab eggs feed migratory shorebirds, like the Red Knot, which stops in New Jersey each spring on its long journey from South America to the Arctic Circle. The Red Knot and other shorebirds help bring $11 million in tourist dollars to New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore region each year.

 

“New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore hosts an annual wildlife spectacle of global significance – the time-honored migration of Red Knots to reach the eggs of these ancient horseshoe crabs,” said David Wheeler, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Executive Director. “Volunteer projects like this help connect the people of New Jersey with these endangered shorebirds and the largest population of horseshoe crabs in the world.”

 

“Originally, this event was a bare-bones volunteer effort of placing shell bags off the Dyers Cove eastern beach,” said Capt. Al. “But thanks to a donation from Betancourt, Van Hemmen, Greco & Kenyon, we will have a ‘shell-a-bration’ that celebrates the ecology and community of the Delaware Bayshore.”

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In 2015, over 130 volunteers and veterans built an oyster reef at South Reeds Beach in the first annual Shell-a-Bration. That same year, Veterans Day on the Bay dedicated the reef to all veterans and highlighted veteran involvement in the effort to restore New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore. The second annual Shell-a-Bration, held in April 2016, saw a handful of dedicated volunteers brave a blizzard to build a reef at Moore’s Beach. The third annual Shell-Bration will be held this coming Spring 2017.

 

“There are many strategies to defend our Delaware Bayshore, but one of the best and most productive are these oyster reefs,” stated Dr. Larry Niles, a biologist with the American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. “They not only replicate a lost but important habitat on Delaware Bay – reefs once covered much of the bayshore – but they provide just enough protection to make a difference in how long our beaches persist against the unrelenting forces of nature. In a way, we are fighting nature with nature.”

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The projects are being funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through their Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grants Program, and are being developed in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

 

Emily Hofmann is a project coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation


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Restoration Work Continues Along New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore, New Oyster Reef Built at Moores Beach

Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Second Annual “Shell-a-Bration” brings volunteers to strengthen coast’s resiliency and habitat

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

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Today, conservation organizations leading the efforts to restore New Jersey’s Delaware Bay beaches today organized the Second Annual “Shell-a-Bration” oyster reef building volunteer event.

 

Dedicated volunteers braved the elements and worked alongside American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey to establish a near-shore whelk shell bar at Moores Beach in Maurice River Township along New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore. The shell bar was built to prevent sand loss from wind-driven waves. An approximately 200-foot oyster reef was constructed offshore to test whether the reef bars help reduce beach erosion and create calmer water for spawning horseshoe crabs.

 

“The Second Annual Shell-a-Bration truly celebrates the ecology, community, and culture of the Delaware Bayshore,” stated Captain Al Modjeski, Habitat Restoration Program Director, American Littoral Society. “It reinforces the connectivity between the natural and human-built bayshore communities through reef building and celebrates the significance of the Bay’s resources through restoration.”

MooresBeachOysterReef3

“There are many strategies to defend our Delaware Bayshore, but one of the best and most productive are these oyster reefs,” stated Dr. Larry Niles, a biologist with American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. “They not only replicate a lost but important habitat on Delaware Bay — reefs once covered much of the bayshore — but they provide just enough protection to make a difference in how long our beaches persist against the unrelenting forces of nature. In a way, we are fighting nature with nature.”

 

Shorebirds, like the federally listed Red Knot, depend on an uninterrupted supply of horseshoe crab eggs when they stopover in Delaware Bay during their migration. In recent years, countless horseshoe crab eggs have been lost because of the devastating storms that swept away the beaches they depend on.

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The new oyster reef will attenuate waves but still allow for horseshoe crab breeding. In existing areas where crabs can breed without interruption, like creek mouths protected by sand shoals or rock jetties, egg densities can exceed ten times the egg densities on unprotected beaches.

 

“New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore hosts an annual wildlife spectacle of global significance – the time-honored migration of Red Knots to reach the eggs of these ancient horseshoe crabs,” said David Wheeler, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Executive Director. “Red Knots fly to New Jersey’s Delaware Bay from as far away as Tierra del Fuego in South America to feed on horseshoe crab eggs. Volunteer projects like the Shell-a-bration help connect the people of New Jersey with these endangered shorebirds and the largest population of horseshoe crabs in the world.”

 

Last year, over 130 volunteers and veterans built the South Reeds Beach oyster at the First Annual Shell-a-Bration. Veterans Day on the Bay 2015 dedicated the South Reeds Beach oyster reef to all veterans and highlighted veteran involvement in the effort to restore New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore. Event attendees honored their own military veterans by inscribing that special person’s name on a shell and placing that shell on “Veterans Reef.” Guests also helped study the wildlife living in this new reef with hands-on, interactive marine science activities like seining, trapping, trawling, and species identification.

Our "assembly line" of volunteers all working together to build the reef.

Our “assembly line” of volunteers all working together to build the reef.

Veterans Reef and the Moores Beach Oyster Reef are two of the many projects that American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation are working on to restore the ecology and economy of the Delaware Bayshore.

 

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.

 

Additional work after 2012 restored another mile of shoreline, including two new beaches of poor quality even before Sandy. To date, the groups have placed 85,000 cubic yards of sand and restored seven beaches along New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore. In early 2016, groups began another phase of restoration work at Cook’s Beach and Kimble’s Beach in anticipation of the return of the horseshoe crabs and red knots in May.

 

The projects are being funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through their Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grants Program, and are being developed in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

 

Learn More:

 

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

Oyster Reef in Delaware Bay Dedicated to New Jersey Veterans

Thursday, November 12th, 2015
“Veterans Day on the Bay” brings families, volunteers and veterans to South Reeds Beach on New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore

by: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

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Conservation organizations leading the efforts to restore New Jersey’s Delaware Bay beaches today organized “Veterans Day on the Bay,” a celebration to dedicate the oyster reef at South Reeds Beach in honor of military veterans’ service to our country.

 

“We want to dedicate this work to our nation’s armed forces veterans to give them well deserved recognition for their service to all Americans,” stated Dr. Larry Niles, a biologist with American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey who has studied federally-listed Red Knots for three decades. “We also hope to give them an intimate experience of successful wildlife conservation to spark their interest and encourage them and their families to take part in future work.”

 

Veterans Day on the Bay dedicated the South Reeds Beach oyster reef to all veterans and highlighted veteran involvement in the effort to restore New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore. Event attendees honored their own military veterans by inscribing that special person’s name on a shell and placing that shell on “Veterans Reef.” Guests also helped study the wildlife living in this new reef with hands-on, interactive marine science activities like seining, trapping, trawling, and species identification.

 

“Delaware Bay has been so vital to this community for generations, and through this project we hope to strengthen the connections that young and old feel to this incredible natural resource that is home to wildlife of global importance,” said David Wheeler, Executive Director for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. “The living construction of Veterans Reef is a small but meaningful embodiment of all that our military veterans have done in building a strong American defense to give us security and protect the many freedoms we hold dear.”

 

Volunteers and veterans worked alongside American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey to establish a near-shore oyster reef at South Reeds Beach in Cape May Court House on the Delaware Bayshore in April 2015. The reef was built to prevent sand loss from wind-driven waves. Conservation groups will continue to monitor whether the reef bars help reduce beach erosion and create calmer water for spawning horseshoe crabs.

 

The South Reeds Beach Oyster Reef is one of the many projects that American Littoral Society and Conserve Wildlife Foundation are working on to restore the ecology and economy of the Delaware Bayshore.

 

“We are rebuilding habitats along Delaware Bay in order to strengthen the ecology, communities and economy of that area. Grants for the project enabled hiring several military veterans, and they continue to play a valuable role in the work. It is in recognition of the service veterans provide to their country and communities, that we are dedicating the reef at Reeds Beach to them,” said Tim Dillingham, Executive Director for American Littoral Society.

 

“Congratulations to the American Littoral Society, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, and the veterans who helped build this oyster reef,” said Amanda Bassow, Northeastern Regional Director for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which helped fund the project in partnership with the Department of Interior. “This project will help Reeds Beach be more resilient to the impact of future storms, while also providing important habitat in Delaware Bay.”

 

Shorebirds, like the federally listed Red Knot, depend on an uninterrupted supply of horseshoe crab eggs when they stopover in Delaware Bay during their migration. In recent years, countless horseshoe crab eggs have been lost because of the devastating storms that swept away the beach habitat they depend on.

 

“Restoring beach habitat on the Delaware Bay benefits Red Knots because it provides important feeding habitat for a bird threatened with extinction. The restored beach and oyster reef also protects the local community by providing increased resilience to future storms. Projects like these that help fish and wildlife, in addition to supporting local communities, are a priority for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” explained Eric Schrading, Field Supervisor for the New Jersey Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

The new oyster reef will attenuate waves but still allow for horseshoe crab breeding. In existing areas where crabs can breed without interruption, egg densities can exceed ten times the egg densities on unprotected beaches.

 

Projects like the South Reeds Beach oyster reef are being funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through their Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grants Program, and are being developed in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

 

Learn More:

 

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

Veterans Day on the Bay

Friday, October 16th, 2015
Oyster Reef in Delaware Bay to be Dedicated to New Jersey Veterans

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

VeteransDayFlyerFinalYou and your family are “whelk-come” to join Conserve Wildlife Foundation and American Littoral Society for our Veterans Day on the Bay on Wednesday, November 11 (Veterans Day) from 1-4 PM at South Reeds Beach on the Delaware Bayshore! In April, we held a Shell-a-Bration where over 100 volunteers helped build an oyster reef at South Reeds Beach. Since its creation, we have been monitoring this living shoreline’s ability to help keep sand on the beach and provide habitat for marine wildlife.

 

On Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, we’d like to mark the progress we’ve made and dedicate the reef to all veterans.
Please join us for Veterans Day on the Bay, which will feature:

  • Raw oysters and fare from Spanky’s BBQ
  • Bonfire on the beach
  • S’mores
  • Arts and crafts for children

Help us study the wildlife living in this new reef with hands-on, interactive marine science activities like seining, trapping, trawling, and species identification!

 

The highlight of the event will be the dedication of “Veteran’s Reef” in honor of our military veterans. Attendees are invited to honor their own military veterans by inscribing that special person’s name on a shell and placing that shell on Veterans Reef.

 

This family fun day and volunteer event will be held from 1:00-4:00 PM, with the reef dedication ceremony taking place at 2:30 PM. Veterans Day on the Bay is rain or shine. Please park along Beach Drive, but be mindful of local residents’ driveways. The celebration will be a picnic-style event, so please bring blankets and chairs.

 

Join us at 2 Beach Avenue, South Reeds Beach, Cape May Court House, New Jersey.

 

Learn more:

 

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

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