Crab-Taggers Wanted in CT

Horeshoe Crab, courtesy Wikimedia.

The Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk, Connecticut, is seeking volunteers to help attach census tags to horseshoe crabs as the crabs leave the water to spawn at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. It’s all part of a census of horseshoe crabs in Long Island Sound, being led by Dr. Jennifer Mattei of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. The Maritime Aquarium is assisting with the census and tagging.

SAT map, Calf Pasture Beach.

The horseshoe crab population on the East Coast may be declining as the animals are harvested for use as bait in eel pots. Fewer horseshoe crabs would mean fewer horseshoe crab eggs, which are an important food source for migrating shorebirds. Dr. Mattei’s census is establishing a baseline crab population and will reveal horseshoe crab migrations and any change in numbers.

To participate, volunteers should attend 1 of 2 training sessions at the Aquarium (see below). Participants will learn about the natural history of horseshoe crabs, what has been learned so far from the census work, and how to safely tag horseshoe crabs. Volunteers should be in grade 10 or older. Younger children can assist if working with a parent, teacher or guardian.

Tagging sessions:

Where:

  • Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk

When:

  • Monday, May 16 at 11:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 1 at 5:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 15 at 5:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Participants should bring clothing and shoes that can get wet, drinking water and a snack, a headlamp and/or flashlight, pencils and insect repellent. Recommended but not critical are waders, hip boots, gardening or flooring knee pads and a sturdy bucket to sit on.

To sign up or for more details:

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