by Allison Anholt, Research Scientist
Extra high tides during the new moon in May, combined with warm water temperatures and high sustained winds caused mass strandings of spawning horseshoe crabs on the Delaware Bay over Memorial Day weekend. The water overflowed the sandy beaches and crabs ended up stranded in large numbers in the grassy marshes. Receding tides meant a sure death for the tens of thousands stranded. Our reTURN the Favor program was well-poised to jump into action. We were able to coordinate a mass volunteer effort, with assistance and special allowances provided by New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. Over 200 volunteers went on over 100 walks to rescue crabs throughout the Delaware Bayshore beaches during the busy holiday weekend, with the amazing achievement of over 22,000 crabs rescued (and counting)! We thank everyone involved for taking time away from their holiday to assist in this amazing, though muddy and tiring, work!