Last year we placed sand on Cooks Beach and constructed several reef structures but we are returning this year because Cooks serves as a feeder beach that provides much needed sand to adjacent beaches from Reeds to Pierces Point. Also, we have shown that the growing shoals located at the mouths of creeks within this multi-beach complex have substantially increased the available horseshoe crab breeding habitat from sand placed at Cooks Beach. This availability has led to proportionally more horseshoe crab eggs made available to foraging shorebirds within the complex.
Since the life of our restoration projects on Delaware Bay, we have restored beaches throughout the length of the Bayshore in NJ. With limited funds for restoration, we have focused our attention on the beaches most important to shorebirds and horseshoe crabs. Five beaches within a multi-beach complex which includes Reeds, Cooks, Kimbles, Baycove, and Pierces Point have proven to be the most productive of all bay beaches for shorebirds, especially the red knot. The value of the work on any one beach within this multi-beach complex greatly benefits the sustainability and future growth of shorebird and horseshoe crab populations. For the last five years, most red knots on Delaware Bay used the multi-beach complex that we have tirelessly worked to restore. Last year our efforts were rewarded when it was shown that 29,000 of the 31,000 red knots that visited Delaware Bay to feed before continuing to the Artic, fed within the multi-beach complex.