On March 18, 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 Super Storm Sandy. In this short video, wildlife biologist Larry Niles shows the damage to the beach and explains how it will be replenished.
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.
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.
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.
The organizations behind the work: American Littoral Society; the Conserve Wildlife Foundation; the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust; the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife; the NJ Endangered and Non-Game Species Program; the US Fish & Wildlife Service; Middle Township; Richard Stockton College; the NJ Audubon Society; Greener New Jersey Productions; Delaware Riverkeeper Network; and the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.