2013-05_dead-horseshoe-crabsMission Statement: reTURN the Favor is a collaborative effort that enables organized volunteer groups to save Horseshoe Crabs stranded on New Jersey’s seasonally closed and open beaches.

The Wetlands Institute is a leading partner in the multi-partner reTURN the Favor program. This program works to rescue overturned or impinged Horseshoe Crabs stranded on New Jersey’s Delaware Bay beaches. Though this program works to rescue Horseshoe Crabs on beaches open to the public, it primarily concentrates on rescuing crabs stranded on beach areas seasonally closed during shorebird migration and the Horseshoe Crab spawning season occurring in May and June.

In New Jersey Horseshoe Crabs are protected by a moratorium. The reTURN the Favor program works closely with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife so that stranded Horseshoe Crabs can be rescued by sanctioned volunteer groups in a legal way. These groups only enter closed beaches between sunset and sunrise, and only when shorebirds are not present. They do not remove any crabs, alive or dead, from the beach.

The Wetlands Institute hosts a number of scheduled public reTURN the Favor volunteer walks on local beaches during May, June, and July. If you are interested in signing up for a walk with The Wetlands Institute or another partnering organization, or if you’d like to learn more about the program please Click Here.