Unfortunately, the Bay swept crabs onto the rubble as they tried to come ashore in May to breed. Many were helplessly stranded as the tide receded, most dying from desiccation or gull predation. The ReTURN the Favor project, which aims to rescue trapped crabs, saved many last year, but cleaning up the rubble would be better. Moreover, the beach sand was so shallow crabs could not dig nests and lay eggs.
Our restoration project at Thompson's Beach aims to fix these problems and support the interests of the community. We will not only fix the road out to the beach and ensure its protection, but we will also remove the killing rubble and place 40,000 cubic yards of sand weighing over 9 million pounds.
That much sand demands a reliable road. After years of neglect it needs to be raised eight inches to resist tidal flooding. Our method was to first lay a fabric called marsh mat on the existing unstable road. Then, we dumped crushed concrete on top and started moving dump trucks laden with sand to the beach.
Dr. Larry Niles has led efforts to protect red knots and horseshoe crabs for over 30 years.