Building a Stronger Coast
Recovery, restoration & building coastal resilience
Rubber-tracked dump truck hauls sand at Kimbles Beach - Eric Schrading/USFWS
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Increase Resilience of Delaware Bay Beach Habitat

Location: New Jersey

Project type: Resilience

Project status: Complete

Funding awarded: $1,650,000


Delaware Bay beach restoration project completed May 2014

This project restored five beaches on Cape May’s inner shoreline. More than 800 tons of debris were cleared from 1.5 miles of affected beach area, supported by federal funding from the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Act.

Project Summary

Restoration of approximately 1.5 miles of affected beach shoreline from Moore's Beach to Pierce's Point reinforces some of the most critically important stopover habitat for migrating shorebirds in Delaware Bay. An 80-foot-wide berm, or raised edge of sand, is designed to prevent erosion of the habitat to future storms and provide long-term support of horseshoe crab spawning. The most environmentally appropriate methods are used to mine sand, transport and restore these habitats.

Conservation Goals

  • Remove rubble and other debris from the beaches prior to restoration to ensure access for crab spawning
  • Create an 80-foot-wide berm and replenish sand to create optimal spawning area for horseshoe crabs

Project Benefits

  • Ensures habitat resilience to future storms and provides long-term support for horseshoe crab spawning and shorebird migration
  • Positively impacts the Delaware Bay tourism economy and recreational activities such as bird watching
  • Serves as an example for future beach restoration projects or initiatives

Project Partners

  • American Littoral Society
  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • Conserve Wildlife Foundation
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences

Additional Details

Reed's and Moore's Beach provide more than 50 percent of the habitat for red knots, a species that has undergone a serious decline to the point that it is being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The site also supports many other shorebirds species, including ruddy turnstones, sanderlings, and dowitchers that are undergoing alarming declines. Based on the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Conservation Business Strategy, and a subsequent Rapid Assessment from the group after Hurricane Sandy, this project has been highlighted as among the top priorities for this trust resource.

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Last updated: October 23, 2018