The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and Greener New Jersey Productions co-produced a series of videos and a half-hour program documenting the restoration work that was completed in spring of 2013 on the Delaware Bayshore.
The beaches along the Delaware Bay are key habitat for horseshoe crabs and migrating shore birds that feast on the crab eggs. In October of 2012, Super Storm Sandy caused severe erosion along these beaches. A coalition of conservation groups, government agencies and foundations came together to undertake the work of restoring this globally significant area in 2013. Greener New Jersey Productions had the opportunity to document this amazing story.
Watch the complete show below or watch the shorter videos of the several steps taken to restore the beach habitat.
A Race Against Time – Half-Hour Show
- Without a Day to Spare – March 2013
- Heroic Efforts, Extraordinary People and Truckloads of Sand – March 2013
- Spring Tides and Smart Networks – April 2013
- Sampling Sand and Overcoming Obstacles – April 2013
- . . . these tiny little birds that you hold in your hand . . . The Funders Speak Out
This project is funded by major grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the NJ Recovery Fund (a consortium of private foundations administered by the Community Foundation of NJ), as well as additional funding from the NJ Natural Lands Trust and the NJ Corporate Wetlands Partnership.
Critical Wildlife Habitat
This is critical wildlife habitat – horseshoe crabs rely on the beaches to spawn and lay their eggs. The eggs provide a crucial food source for thousands of migrating shore birds such as the Red Knot on their way to the Arctic. Both the horseshoe crab and Red Knot populations have suffered a significant decline in recent years.
The project to rebuild Delaware Bay beaches in New Jersey damaged by Superstorm Sandy was a massive undertaking with no promise of success. But the well-implemented gamble paid off. And the project relied on a team of seriously dedicated, knowledgeable and determined individuals to make it happen. Long days trying to beat the clock, cooperating weather and the support of visionary funders caused a miracle to happen.
In addition to removing rubble and restoring the beaches, the project includes hiring of seasonal docents to help manage traffic and provide educational outreach to visitors to these beaches; the creation of an artificial oyster reef to help protect the restored beaches and create jobs for local bay men; a documentary of the project; and an innovative outreach program to encourage understanding of the economic value of preserving these species.
These short videos are produced by environmental journalist Ed Rodgers, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, who is producing a half-hour documentary on the restoration work. Videographer Frank Foley is behind the camera.
To truly understand the sensitivity and timeliness of this project, read the blog posted on the Geraldine R Dodge Foundation website on April 15, 2013
Unique partnership battles against time to restore critical beach habitats
By Michael Catania, Executive Director, Duke Farms Foundation, and Former Chair, Greener NJ Productions Board of Trustees