VIDEO: NJ Audubon Society Shows Restoration Progress for Nesting Shore BirdsPosted:
STONE HARBOR – The New Jersey Audubon Society shows SNJ Today their progress after restoring important nesting areas for migratory shore birds.
Thousands of visitors come to South Jersey beaches every single summer, but here in Stone Harbor, there’s another group that flocks to the area every single year.
“What would it be like in a world where we didn’t have this? Where we didn’t have natural places that are sort of, a little bit wild, and don’t have our fingerprints all over it, places where wildlife exists and we can coexist and enjoy that wildlife," said Dr. David Mizrahi, V.P. of Research & Monitoring of Audubon Society.
While the beach is packed with sunbathers and surfers, the New Jersey Audubon Society is working on restoring important bird nesting areas right by the ocean. The $1.3 million dollar, two phase project has been underway since 2015, helping both Stone Harbor and their flying residents restore their habitats from damages suffered during hurricane sandy.
“Give them a place to nest that’s less likely to flood during storms and windblown tides, and then also try and control predators," said Mizrahi.
With help from a grant funded by the Hurricane Sandy Restoration Fund, dunes were constructed to protect the habitat, made of sand deposited on Stone Harbor Point from Hurricane Sandy.
“Basically what that amounted to was elevating three different areas in Stone Harbor Point so they would be less susceptible to flooding," said Mizrahi.
Now that the construction is complete, the Society is on site monitoring the birds and observing how they’re being affected by the changes. The hope is this project will serve as an example for future nesting protection projects along the Atlantic Coast.
“And although it doesn’t have a direct impact on our lives every day, I think our lives would all be diminished considerably if we didn’t have these places and didn’t know that there were wild animals that could come and raise their families in the same way that we come to the beach and raise our families," said Mizrahi.