Baysave is sad to announce a halt of oyster shell recycling programs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The program began in 2003 and helped recycle hundreds of tons if shells back to oyster aquaculture and oyster reef restoration efforts. But the program has not been funded since before the pandemic. Baysave was approved for pandemic relief funding, but the funds never arrived from the Small Business Administration that was charged with administering the program. Already in 2023 several usually reliable funding sources have declined applications for support. We are unable to continue operating without community support.
Yesterday, 2/15/2023, New Jersey became the 12th state to adapt a zero emissions energy plan by 2035. (Two states use a target date of 2033).
The action yesterday came by executive announcement. Pending legislation like S2978 and A4658 will eventually codify the plan. The governor emphasized that individual rights must be upheld saying “No one is going to be forced to do anything in any way.” He added “No one is coming for anyone’s gas stove,” referring to recent misinformation campaigns. Environmental groups criticize the governor for failing to act on campaign pledges.
In recent years the state did implement a series of policies through the Department of Environmental Resources that control land use and other climate-related development issues. These changes, along with future legislation, will be the mechanisms of change from fossil fuel to clean energy and the continued adaptations for sustainability.
The changing behavioral and feeding patterns of whales of the New Jersey shore have been known to scientists for decades but recently the issue is brought to public attention in an unexpected political association. This is what we know:
– The traditional main food of whales is krill, a small crustacen similar to what many of us know locally as “grass shrimp”, although the species are scientifically different.
– Krill are among the most abundant species on earth. But human harvesting of krill has increased sharply in the past decade as food for the growing aquaculture industry.
– Water warming changes might also be contributing to a decline in krill population.
– Along the New Jersey shore, whales feed on menhaden, that we know as “bunker”.
– Menhaden schools have rebounded close to the New Jersey shorelines.
– New Jersey boat captains report more whales feeding close to shore now.
– NOAA believes increased that strikes between ships and whales is responsible for increased deaths along shore.
– Political groups tried to exploit public ignorance of the issue to associate local whale deaths at the shore to the wind energy industry when no factual relationship exists.