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Protecting Special Places

delawarebay3 barnegatbay4 jamaicabay sandyhookbay sarasota-bay

By: Dr. Larry Niles, LJ Niles Associates LLC

The value of a shorebird stopover like Delaware Bay can be seen in the shaky cam movie by this author.  Red knots – some recently arrived after a grueling 6,000-mile flight over 6 days of continuous flying – arrive on the Bayshore desperate for food. Over the last 10,000 years, the species has evolved to fly directly to the Bay to feed on the eggs of the horseshoe crab.

The 450-million year-old crab – which is actually in the spider family – crawls ashore and lays pin-sized eggs about 6 inches deep in the sand. When there are many crabs, as here on Delaware Bay, one crab often unearths the eggs of another. Thus they leave millions of fatty eggs on the surface, offering an energy-rich, soft feast for the starving birds. In turn, we get to watch the birds racing for an egg ‘hot spot’!

The birds often arrive beyond depleted. A normal weight for a knot is 130 grams.  Many arrive on Delaware Bay below 100 grams, the equivalent of a human in the throes of profound starvation. But when the birds fly north from the coast of northern Brazil, there’s no turning back. Once they go, they must go all the way.

flight path

Map of geolocator track of a South American wintering red knot

Read more: 2015 Delaware Bay shorebird project continues

 members day annual meeting beach
Please join the American Littoral Society for a day of celebration and to thank you, our members. Activities include guided walks along the bay, beach, and marsh, a BBQ and an election of Trustees.
Date: Saturday, June 13
Time: Noon to 4pm
Location: 18 Hartshorne Dr. Highlands, NJ 07732
Cost: Free for members, $20 per non-member guest 
• Birding
• Seining
• Trees & Plants
Things to keep in mind...
  • Event is rain or shine so dress for the weather and comfort
  • Bring chairs or blankets for a picnic-style lunch
  • Field trips leave promptly at 12:15 p.m.
  • Upon arrival, check-in and sign up for your walk of choice
  • To avoid parking fee, notify rangers at the entrance booth that you are coming to the American Littoral Society
  • Public transportation from NYC to Sandy Hook is available by ferry, for schedule and fares click here.

Videos by NJTV & NJ.com

On Thursday, April 16, the American Littoral Society expanded its oyster reef restoration project by placing 120 cubic yards of whelk shell within the shallow waters of Barnegat Bay off Good Luck Point in Berkeley Township, NJ. An ongoing effort to restore important habitats in the Bay, the project will introduce new innovations intended to increase its success in returning oysters to the Bay.

Read more: Effort to Restore Bay Includes New Innovative Approaches


We are fortunate to be a top 10 finalist in Solution Search's 
"Reducing Our Risk" contest, and we need your votes!I

In a (nut)seashell: American Littoral Society - Northeast Chapter - is competing for a monetary prize and national promotion in a contest of solutions to reduce risk of extreme weather.

Read more: Help support us with your vote!

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Upcoming Events (Red=NJ; Blue=NY; Green=FL)

Sat May 30 @ 3:00PM - 06:00PM
Jamaica Bay Ecology Cruise
Tue Jun 02 @ 6:00PM -
Horseshoe Crab Walk
Fri Jun 05 @ 3:00PM - 04:00PM
Montauk Spring Weekend
Sat Jun 06 @ 3:00PM - 04:00PM
Montauk Spring Weekend
Sun Jun 07 @ 3:00PM - 04:00PM
Montauk Spring Weekend
Sat Jun 13 @12:00PM - 04:00PM
Annual Meeting + Members' Day
Sun Jun 21 @ 6:00PM -
Summer Solstice Walk
Fri Jun 26 @ 9:30AM -
Pine Barrens Canoe Trip
Sat Jul 11 @ 9:30AM -
Fossil Hunt
Thu Jul 23 @ 6:00PM -
Sunset Seining