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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Atlantic Highlands Man is Fatal Accident Victim in Middletown
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Today, September 16, 2014 at approximately 3:20am the Middletown Police Department responded to a fatal motor vehicle collision... Read More...
IMAGE Public Comment on Relocation of Sandy Hook Maintenance Facilities
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
PHOTO: In the days after the storm, Sandy Hook's maintenance buildings were only accessible by boat.  NPS PHOTO by Suzanne McCarthy SANDY HOOK,... Read More...
Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week - Sept 22-26
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Schools Throughout the State Planning Festivities Surrounding Jersey Fresh Produce TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H.... Read More...
Seaside Heights Fire Department Receives $35,000 Grant
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. – Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation in conjunction with the Leary Firefighters Foundation is supporting the ongoing... Read More...
IMAGE Flea Market at Ideal Beach on Sept 20
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Preparation is under way as the Ideal Beach Community Association gets ready to host its 5th annual flea event, ‘IBCA Fall Flea,... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Uncertain Trumpet-Call
by Woody Zimmerman
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
On the idle hill of summer,Sleepy with the flow of streams,Far I hear the steady drummerDrumming like a noise in dreams.Far and near and low and... Read More...
IMAGE Hoy for the Hall of Fame
by Daniel J. Vance
Saturday, 13 September 2014
I guess every year you'll just have to get used to reading about William Elsworth “Dummy” Hoy, a deaf professional baseball player from... Read More...
IMAGE 9/11 - An Historic Shift
by Jack Archibald
Friday, 12 September 2014
Wherever you walk in lower Manhattan on September 11, there is always some quiet reflection going on.  Most of the workers are quietly going... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - September 12, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Friday, 12 September 2014
Here's a handy info graph that shows what diseases kills most of us and how much we give to those diseases: http://bit.ly/1lLNoKL "12 Year-old... Read More...
IMAGE Could Someone Else Pray?
by George Hancock-Stefan
Thursday, 11 September 2014
E. M. Bounds starts his book on prayer by telling us that the world will never know the things that were altered through prayer - Elijah praying and... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Wed Sep 17 @ 9:30AM - 11:00AM
Gymboree Play and Music! - AH Library
Wed Sep 17 @ 9:30AM - 10:00AM
Baby Story Time Ages 10 – 24 months
Wed Sep 17 @10:30AM - 10:50AM
Toddler Story Time Ages 2 & 3
Wed Sep 17 @11:00AM -
Making "Segmented" Wooden Bowls
Thu Sep 18 @ 3:15PM - 03:45PM
School Age Programs Grades K and up

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.