Governor Christie, if you took offense, we will come to NJ and shuck 100 oysters for you to make up for our gaffe.
Volunteers wade through chill waters to retrieve bags of shells
WRITTEN BY DAVID BENSONWednesday, October 01, 2014 01:20 pm
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – More than 30 area residents volunteered to wade through chilly waters recently to pull 15-pound bags of clam shells from the shallows in the Delaware Bay to help restore an oyster reef near Gandy’s Beach in Cumberland County.
[photos courtesy Jenny Paterno]
The shells were covered with oyster larvae that swarm the bay during the summer, near the Rutgers Cape Shore Laboratory in Cape May Court House.
“Our volunteers were a diverse group including families, oyster growers, educators, Anheuser Busch employees and students and faculty from Westtown School in West Chester, Pa.,” said Lisa Calvo, a marine scientist with Rutgers.
The event, held Sunday, Sept. 14, was part of Project Ports, or Promoting Oyster Restoration through Schools.
In June, kindergarten through eighth grade students filled bags with shells, which were then dropped onto submerged sandbars in the bay off the shore of Middle Township.
Oyster larvae settled on the shells throughout the summer, and the bags were harvested in September by a group of hardy volunteers.
The initial plan had been to put the bags onto a barge for the trip to up the coast, but Calvo said high winds made the journey unsafe.
Instead, the larvae-laden shells were loaded onto trucks and driven to Cumberland County.
“Project Ports is a community-based oyster restoration program developed and coordinated by Rutgers University's Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory,” Calvo said. “We partner with the American Littoral Society to engage summer volunteers and transplant the shell bags.”
Calvo said the project is an outreach projects that supports the community, as well creating awareness of the Delaware Bay.
The oyster restoration site near Gandy’s Beach is part of a 10-acre plot owned by the state.
High winds prevented a barge from making the trip up the coast, so volunteers load bags of shell onto a truck for the trip to the oyster reef near Gandy’s Beach in Cumberland County.
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