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.
A Race Against Time
Watch the short videos below to see the miracle accomplished by the dedicated environmentalists who repaired the Delaware Bay beach habitat after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
Without a Day to Spare
It was a race against time – and that is not lightly said.
In early May, horseshoe crabs and migrating shore birds began returning to the beaches along the Delaware Bayshore – beaches that literally had just been restored from the damage done by Superstorm Sandy last November. This is invaluable beach habitat – horseshoe crabs rely on the beaches to spawn and lay their eggs. The eggs provide a critical 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 took some 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.
Several environmental and conservation groups received funding from The New Jersey Recovery Fund, a joint effort among local and national foundations, New Jersey corporations and individuals to provide support to New Jersey’s communities and nonprofit organizations affected by Hurricane Sandy. Through the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Greener New Jersey Productions and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network are co-producing a series of videos including a half-hour program documenting the work.
Heroic Efforts, Extraordinary People and Truckloads of Sand – March 2013
On March 18, 2013, the first truckloads of sand were dumped onto Kimball’s Beach in Cape May County as part of an ambitious project to rebuild some the Delaware Bay beaches in New Jersey damaged by Superstorm Sandyin 2012.
Horseshoe crabs use the beaches to spawn and lay their eggs. The eggs provide a 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.
In this short video, wildlife biologist Larry Niles shows the damage to the beach by Superstorm Sandy and previous beach use, and explains how it will be replenished.
Spring Tides and Smart Networks – April 2013
The people who made this project a success
- Steve Hefner of the Coastal Research Center at Richard Stockton College shows the logic behind where the sand goes.
- Peter Bosak, Superintendent, Cape May County Mosquito Control Commission, talks about removing 40 tons of material before the sand can be dumped.
- And there is more than the miracle of beach restoration happening – nature is on a tight schedule, the horseshoe crabs will be here soon, so the government agencies and the nonprofits working together had to move fast: Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the American Littoral Society, talks about the prep work and the one-and-a-half-month miracle.
- Wildlife biologist Larry Niles closes out the video with an overview of what’s happening next as everyone works to avoid a disaster, racing against nature’s deadline while simultaneously working with nature and relying on tides to level and aerate the new sand.
Sampling Sand and Overcoming Obstacles – April 2013
The daily demands of ensuring a successful project range from sampling sand to be sure it’s the correct consistency to repairing more than forty large potholes blocking the way to Moore’s Beach so work can continue. And there is the major challenge – the effect of climate change on the Delaware Bayshore.
. . . these tiny little birds that fit in your hand . . .
The funders speak out
Listen to the awe in the voices in this video as each individual relates holding a Red Knot or other shorebird in his or her hands. This past spring, funders and volunteers gathered in Middle Township, Cape May County, NJ, on the Delaware Bay to band Red Knots and other migrating shorebirds and to celebrate the successful completion of the restoration of the bay beaches before the horseshoe crabs arrived to lay their eggs.
Margaret Waldock of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation sums up the spirit of the day ” . . . these tiny little birds that you hold in your hands, and you realize that they are flying from the tip of South America up to the Arctic, and this is their one stopover . . . “.
The half-hour and short videos are produced by environmental journalist Ed Rodgers, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, with videographer Frank Foley.
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 Chair, Greener NJ Productions Board of Trustees
Funders, Partners and Organizations – It takes a community