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Atlantic Highlands Weather

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Clear

49 °F
NNW 0 mph

Friday
Chance of Rain (48 ↔ 61 °F)

Saturday
Rain Showers (43 ↔ 68 °F)

Sunday
Partly Cloudy (41 ↔ 63 °F)

Monday
Clear (46 ↔ 66 °F)

AHH 24-Hr. News

Half-Mile Road/West Front Intersection Closed, Water Service Interruption 4/25
Thursday, 24 April 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The intersection of Half Mile Road and West Front Street will be closed from approximately 8 a.m. on Friday, April 25, until... Read More...
IMAGE Red Bank Police Report - April 24, 2014
Thursday, 24 April 2014
RED BANK, NJ - The following police report is provided by the Highlands Police Department.  All subjects are presumed innocent until proven... Read More...
IMAGE Free Hands-On Introduction to Rowing – Saturday, May 10 in Red Bank
Thursday, 24 April 2014
Picture yourself rowing. Then give it a try at the Navesink River Rowing Open House on Saturday, May 10. The event, which is free and open to... Read More...
Growing Child Poverty Persists Across the State
Thursday, 24 April 2014
NEWARK, NJ - Hunterdon County ranked number one out of all New Jersey counties in the overall well-being of its children, while Cumberland County... Read More...
IMAGE Twin Lights Museum Establishes Millicent Mercer Johnsen Internship Program
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Photo: Niels and Millicent Johnsen visit the Twin Lights in 2012 for the Historical Society’s Pledge of Allegiance rededication ceremony. The... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE InnerMotivation: Great Teachers Enhancing Student Trust in Their Own Ideas
by wjoreilly
Thursday, 24 April 2014
From the first day I stepped into a classroom to teach, 21 years ago, I knew I had found the exactly right profession for... Read More...
IMAGE Hidden Christians
by George Hancock-Stefan
Thursday, 24 April 2014
Within our churches, there are those people on whom you can count on to be present every Sunday. Rain or shine, wind or sleet, they are in God’s... Read More...
IMAGE Earth Day: Big Deal!
by Anne Mikolay
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Happy Earth Day, 2014! Earth Day, also known as International Mother Earth Day, is an annual event commemorated across the globe. First observed in... Read More...
IMAGE Racial Amnesia
by Woody Zimmerman
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
It’s becoming apparent that Democrats have run out of material to help them win policy-arguments with Republicans. Desperation has driven them to... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - April 20, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Sunday, 20 April 2014
If this won't get you a date to the prom I don't know what will, "KFC debuts chicken drumstick corsage"  :http://cnb.cx/Q6OvGh Your best friend,... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Sat Apr 26 @10:00AM - 03:00PM
Vendor Fair
Sat Apr 26 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Voices of Spring - A Cappella Concert
Sun Apr 27 @ 8:00AM - 01:00PM
Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for Assistant Scout Leader Joseph Steiger
Wed Apr 30 @ 9:30AM - 10:50AM
Story Time
Thu May 01 @ 3:15PM - 04:30PM
Children's Programs

joe_reynoldsSpring is coming on strong now. Everything seems to be growing and bursting forth in triumph. Along the water's edge in Lower New York Bay including Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay, and the Navesink River, Horseshoe crabs are arising out of the water in great numbers to spawn.

The end of May and early June is the height of Horseshoe Crab spawning. Soon after the herring have migrated upstream to release their eggs, adult Horseshoe Crabs begin to magically appear out of the water at their favorite beaches or mud flats to produce another generation. The spawning season tends to peak at night around the new and full moons; and when water temperatures first rise above 55 degrees. These conditions let know the Horseshoe Crab that it's time to lay eggs.

For at least 350 million years, instinct takes over in the spring for the Horseshoe Crab. They travel on the bottom of the water, sometimes over hundreds of miles from the Continental Shelf, to arrive to coastal beaches to satisfy their need to breed.

Single females swim inshore around the tip of Sandy Hook or Breezy Point. They are followed by males. Wandering females stay unattached for only a short time. Males, which outnumber females by at least 5 to 1, will compete for a female's attention. The winner will latch onto the back-end of the female with their hook-like arms. As the female moves around the shallow waters of the bay making circular tracks in the sand, she will drag the male along. Once a nesting site has been settled on by the female Horseshoe crab, she will burrow into the wet sand and lay up to 1,000 eggs, which the male will fertilize. A single female Horseshoe Crab will lay eggs in three to ten nests sites within the inter-tidal zone.

horseshoe_crab_1

So if you plan on walking around the bay beaches and mud flats around Lower New York Bay over the next few weeks, watch out! As the Horseshoe Crabs spawn, they are sometimes hardly visible. All you might see is a large lump of sand or some strange marks on the beach. Look closely, though, as part of the male will show. You will see the crab's unmistakable body - a spiny long tail and even perhaps a horseshoe helmet-like shell. Brush away some sand and you might even feel the shell of the female too.

horseshoe_crab_2

Empty sand holes or depressions in the sand could indicate places where these bay creatures have laid their pale-green clusters of eggs. Leave them alone as well! If exposed to the air or the sun, the eggs will dry up and wither away. If all goes well, in about two weeks, the eggs will hatch will tiny newly born Horseshoe Crabs that will bring fresh life to Lower New York Bay.

horseshoe_crab_3

Watch where you step and if you see a mating pair of Horseshoe Crabs, please do not pick them up. If you handle a single Horseshoe crab, please do not pick up the crab by its fragile tail. The delicate hinge connecting the tail to the body will not support the crab's weight and the tail will break off. A Horseshoe Crab will then lose an important tool to navigate in the water and on the beach.

horseshoe_crab_4

It is best to just let the crabs be for the next few weeks. Let them get on with their job of laying eggs and propagating new life, as they have been doing for over 350 million years. This is an important occasion for Horseshoe Crabs. Spring spawning time is the very backbone of their survival.