The American Littoral Society and project partners are seeking volunteers for the Shorebird Stewards program, which is an effort to help protect migratory birds.
During the month of May, shorebirds make an incredible trek from South America to the Canadian Arctic with one critical stop – the Delaware Bay. Shorebirds, including the federally-listed endangered Red Knot, will spend just a few short weeks feasting on horseshoe crab eggs that will give them enough energy to continue their migration.
These remote beaches are not only loved by wildlife but humans too. Human presence and activity on these beaches can scare the birds, causing them to flee and spend less time foraging and gaining weight.
From May 7 to June 7, several beaches along the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay will be the focus of efforts to help the birds forage with minimal disturbance. Volunteer stewards will be on hand to explain the importance of giving the resting and feeding birds some space during their stopover, free from dogs, Frisbees and even curious people like us.
Stewards are needed throughout the month of May across several beaches in Cumberland and Cape May counties. If you are interested in becoming a Shorebird Steward, please reach out to Littoral Society Habitat Restoration Coordinator Quinn Whitesall at email@example.com for more information and to register for virtual training on Saturday, April 30. A travel stipend will be offered to each steward for their mileage.
Since 2003, Shorebird Stewards have been volunteering to help protect shorebirds on nine beaches along the Delaware Bay in New Jersey. During the feeding period, beaches are roped off and posted with no entry signs, with viewing areas established at different locations along the Bay so that birds will not be disturbed.
Since ropes and signs do not always keep people from entering those beaches, the Shorebird Stewards program was created to help inform visitors about the importance of protecting the birds.
Leaders in coastal conservation since 1961, the American Littoral Society, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, promotes the study and conservation of marine life and habitat, protects the coast from harm, and empowers others to do the same.