bayshore recovery

An urgent summer request from Baysave

We are very close to reopening a number of community support programs after several years of shutdown:
– Redesigned boat launch
– Boat and kayak rental
– Emergency boat services
– Educational programs
– Oyster shell recycling
But we’ve simply run out of recovery funds and need to ask for your support to raise $12,000 to get us past this last financial barrier to reopen services this month.

Baysave took over the public programs after the business at Money Island Marina closed in 2019. The current regulatory and legal environment makes many of these important services unsustainable by a private business and so long term public involvement is required. Permanent solutions probably will not happen until later this decade. We estimate 2030. Meanwhile, Baysave is trying to keep alive the basic services like docks, boat launch, boat and kayak rentals, bait and ice, and educational tours. We’ve taken our recovery efforts as far as we could without external support. We are now very close to being able to reopen programs to the public, but now out of funds to get us past that last barrier.

You probably know that the past few years have been difficult for us. Most of the key people in our community from before the Covid era are no longer with us. Our small community suffered an unusually high rate of death and disability. Those who survived still lost months of work time in recovery. Meanwhile, local people out of work spurred an unprecedented rash of crime, stealing and looting items from the closed buildings and work yards here. The financial aid that helped other business communities recover never arrived here.

Storm Isaias during the Covid shutdown caused more physical damage to the marina facilities than any other storm, including Sandy. Since this was likely a localized disaster, no source of recovery funds was available. We’ve made progress each month and the important major infrastructure is now rebuilt or planned for reconstruction. We lifted the boathouse, raised the road, upgraded the water well system and electrical services, and completed many smaller projects.

We were forced to invest in increased security protections before attempting to replace the stolen equipment. Next week Baysave will implement new AI-assisted technology to help deter illegal harvesting at restorative aquaculture sites here. This technology is expensive to install and requires a monthly monitoring contract, so we need to expand ongoing revenues from rentals and boat launch use to sustain this protection. Finally, we need to cover the cost of liability insurance that is increasingly difficult to find at an affordable price for a small operation like ours. But we have some new options as soon as funds are available.

Your generous donation can help us get past this final obstacle to reopening services immediately this month.

Baysave is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation registered with the State of New Jersey. Our web site is Donations can be mare online though, or in person. Contact Tony Novak, controller, at 856-237-9199 with any questions.

New Jersey oysters regenerative aquaculture

North Jersey and South Jersey face much different challenges with artificial oyster beds

Researchers in North Jersey working with artificial oyster reef projects in Raritan Bay and the Hudson Estuary in New Jersey report that after 2-3 years the living oysters die off and recruitment of new oysters is very low. New Jersey SeaGrant is supporting further study.

Meanwhile here in South Jersey, anecdotal observation of our artificial oyster reefs here at Money Island Marina indicate the opposite. The reefs are thriving. Unfortunately, this is attracting unwanted attention from illegal harvesters. Growth on the reefs was slow and almost unnoticeable in the first few years after implementation and Baysave previously reported almost 100% winter die-off of intertidal reefs exposed to freezing temperatures. But now the reefs are thriving.

Our largest concern is preventing non-English speaking visitors from illegally harvesting the artificial beds in environmentally sensitive or dangerous areas. In recent years a wave of Asian visitors from Philadelphia have shown unwillingness to abide by warning signs and physical barriers protecting the reef areas. Visitors trample the mash grass and climb over slippery moss-covered rock jetties to get to the oysters. Some shuck the oysters there as soon as they are pulled from the reef, collecting the oyster meats in a bucket. Law enforcement resources are understaffed and mostly ineffective in dealing with this new challenge. A video traffic study by Baysave in 2021 documented the phenomenon that over 90% of the daily visitors to Money Island are Asians with Pennsylvania license plates. The same pattern is noticed in criminal trespass complaints by local businesses. Most visitors have limited English language skills. We presume that at least some of the behavior is willfully negligent. New AI-assisted traffic surveillance and reporting technologies are being implemented this month. This may connect law enforcement databases across state lines to be able to more easily identify Pennsylvania vehicles connected with crimes in New Jersey. It is not yet known what effect this will have.