Saturday, March 01, 2008

NJ Red Knot Bills

The New Jersey Assembly's Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved its horseshoe crab moratorium bill for consideration by the full state Assembly. A similar bill is pending in the Senate's Environment Committee. I am not sure whether it has not been scheduled for a hearing yet.

NJ Audubon is asking birders to encourage the Environment Committee members to approve the bill quickly, so there is time to implement it before Red Knots reach the Delaware Bay this spring. They provide some contact information and talking points:

We urgently need your help moving this legislation through the Senate Environment Committee. Please take the time to call Senate committee members and ask them for them to move the legislation out of committee on March 10. Please send an email to to report any conversations that you had including commitments and results.

Senator Jeff Van Drew (609)-465-0700 or

Senator John Adler (856)-489-3442

Senator Christopher Bateman (908)-526-3600

Senator Bob Gordon (201)-703-9779 (thank him for being leader on this!!)

Senator Bob Smith (732)-752-0770

Senator Andrew Ciesla (732)-840-9028

Talking Points:

1) Legislators must move the the horseshoe crab moratorium legislation (S1331) out of the Senate Environment Committee on March 1. They should also commit to co-sponsoring the legislation and voting for the bill when it comes before the full Senate.

2) The moratorium needs to last until the Delaware Bay shorebird populations and spawning horseshoe crabs have fully recovered.

3) Due to the overharvest of horseshoe crabs, the Red Knot, a robin-sized shorebird, is facing extinction and two other shorebirds, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Ruddy Turnstones, are facing significant declines.

4) This legislation is needed since the NJ Marine Fisheries Council vetoed NJDEP horseshoe crab moratorium regulations. The NJ Marine Fisheries Council decision runs counter to the science and sets the Red Knot on a course towards extinction.

5) The Delaware Bay, our Serengeti, is one of the top four most important shorebird stopover sites in the world. We must be responsible stewards for this gem! Wildlife watchers visiting the Delaware Bay to view shorebirds and horseshoe crabs contribute up to $42 million per year to the local NJ economy.

Thanks for your help to save the shorebirds on the Delaware Bay!

In addition, NJ Sierra Club has an online petition set up.

You can find contact information for all legislators and my own sample letter here.