Monday, August 3, 2015

A Manatee Visits the Delaware River

Many New Jerseyeans journey to Florida in the colder months, but it is unusual for endangered manatees to visit us in NJ during the summer. But last week, one did decide to visit the Garden State area.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife officials confirmed that they spotted the large marine mammal last Tuesday near the I-295 bridge and Crosswicks Creek in Bordentown City.

Manatees are also known as sea cows and generally stay in Florida’s coastal waters. They are herbivores and eat a primary diet of sea grass and aquatic vegetation. They can grow up to 13-feet long and weigh in at 1300 pounds. The one spotted was about 7 feet long.

The manatee did not seem to be in distress. The last and possibly only other spotting in NJ waters was in 2009 in Linden and that manatee needed to be rescued. Our current tourist manatee will most likely feed and then leave on its own. The greatest danger to manatees comes from boat traffic.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cecil The Lion and New Jersey

All the media coverage of the death in Africa of Cecil the Lion, seems to have also brought attention to a New Jersey bill to protect endangered species.

New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D) announced last week that he will file a bill during the state's next legislative session that would ban transporting animal carcasses of endangered or threatened species through airports overseen by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports).

A second bill would add "threatened" species to an existing New Jersey law that prohibits the possession or transport of endangered species.

Earlier in the week, media reports that an American, Walter Palmer, paid $55,000 for a "hunt" in which the well-known lion was lured from Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe to a nearby hunting zone made news worldwide. After a two-day stalking, the lion was shot by Palmer with bow and arrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

'The Creature Show" Will Explore NJ's Threatened and Endangered

The New Jersey Conservation Foundation is partnering with documentary filmmaker Jared Flesher to help secure financial support for The Creature Show, a new internet video series about New Jersey's threatened and endangered animals.

"The Creature Show is a documentary web series dedicated to conservation storytelling. Our stage: the wilds of New Jersey, within the nation’s most crowded state. Here we find represented all the villains of global extinction, including habitat destruction, climate change, invasive species and wildlife disease. We also find wildlife biologists and regular citizens who have devoted themselves to protecting the region’s biodiversity, no matter what the challenges may be."

The first episode of The Creature Show, focusing on New Jersey's salamanders, was funded through a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign and had its web debut on July 15.

Salamander Rain from The Creature Show on Vimeo

The Creature Show is a documentary webseries dedicated to the wilds of New Jersey, within the nation’s most crowded state. Examining habitat destruction, climate change, invasive species and wildlife disease, it will also talk with wildlife biologists and citizen scientists who have devoted themselves to protecting the region’s biodiversity.

Flesher approached the New Jersey Conservation Foundation to become a fiscal sponsor knowing that grants and individual donations will be needed to fund future episodes. NJCF will accept and process funds to support The Creature Show and help promote the show.

"New Jersey Conservation is one of the state's most prominent environmental organizations, and it's exciting to partner with them," said Flesher, a resident of East Amwell Township. "I think the missions of The Creature Show and New Jersey Conservation Foundation are closely aligned - preserving biodiversity in New Jersey."

Monday, July 27, 2015

New Jersey Maps and Tourism Guides

You can find New Jersey maps and tourism guides at Turnpike rest stops, but if you don't go to those places it is easy and free to request them online.

The NJ Travel Guide is a full-color guide to everything NJ - accommodations, attractions, beaches, history, outdoors, shopping, sports and more.

On that same page, you can find links to download specialized gudies for festivals, events, golf and other topics. I like the New Jersey Lighthouse Guide which can get you to our majestic beacons to experience these silent sentinels that have guided sailors for hundreds of years.

There is a history guide to New Jersey sites of significant political, social, industrial and cultural history. New Jersey abounds with historical sites and legacies - from George Washington's quest for independence during the American Revolution to Thomas Edison.

There are also maps of legislative districts, airports and even a 1925 version of the NJ transportation map.

You can also download the guides or view them online as electronic documents. (But, as much as I use my GPS and electronic maps, I still like the feel of a paper map sometimes.)

Download the PDF Guide
Download electronic version
- See more at:
Download the PDF Guide
Download electronic version
- See more at:
Download the PDF Guide
Download electronic version
- See more at:
Download the PDF Guide
Download electronic version
- See more at:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Down the Shore: Fishing and Boating

Summers on the water is a big part of some New Jerseyeans life. Boating and fishing is a natural thing in a state with 127 miles of coastline, hundreds of miles of bay-shore, many inland lakes and tributaries and 17 of 21 counties bordering on saltwater.

Whether you fish or just want to enjoy the sunset on the water with children, friends and family, New Jersey offers opportunities for boat owners and people who just want to spend a day on the water in a rental boat or on a charter.