Countdown to the Assault on Patcong Creek is nearing the end. Here are "Five Things You Need to Know" for the tournament this year (especially if you're a first timer):
1) There is no registration or checking in before crabbing on Friday. You just can't start catching crabs before 6AM.
But, you absolutely have to check in after you crab, so your crabs can be measured and stored or steamed for the party. Check in takes place:
ON FRIDAY: at 640 2nd St, Somers Point
ON SATURDAY: at Somers Point Vol. Fire Company at 447 Bethel Road, Somers Point.
Be there before 1:00 PM both days.
2) For "free agent" crabbers—meaning you don't belong to a registered boat—you can land crab on the pier that will be at the mouth of the Patcong Creek or go out on the Duke of Fluke (capacity is about 25 people). The Duke of Fluke is only going out on Saturday from 7:00 to 11:00 AM.
If you are going out on the Duke of Fluke, you must arrive before 7:00. Please bring a bucket or bushel to hold your crabs and gloves if you want to handle your crabs without getting pinched. Patcong Creek Foundation is providing traps and bait. Duke of Fluke is providing nets. You can bring your own hand lines if you wish.
Please contact Lisa Bender immediately if you want to go on the Duke of Fluke. There are about 15 spaces left.
3) The party is also held at the firehouse on Bethel Road. Registration for the party officially starts at noon. If you are a registered crabber, you will get your goodie bag and T-shirt at that time.
If you have not selected a food category that you will be bringing to the party, please click here for the sign-up form.
4) If you haven't provided your guest list for the party, yet, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org right away. This includes Blue Claw Club Members if you have not already provided your guest's name.
And if you are reading this and are like, "what party?" then you need to become a Blue Claw Club member so you can attend the party and see what all the fuss is about. It's amazing—so much food including a raw bar, crab cake eating contest, pulled pork, pigs, sausage with rolls, all the crabs from the tournament steamed to perfection, and individual covered dishes from party attendees.
Go here to sign up for the Blue Claw Club membership.
5) The Assault on Patcong Creek logo has been rebranded for the upcoming 10th Anniversary. The logo was just unveiled on Facebook and it is making appearances on new gear—a 10th Anniversary special edition T-shirt, a novelty shirt, and new awesome hats. Stylish new designs for Patcong Creek Foundation were also released today.
Many of the new styles are discounted now until Thursday (hats) or Friday (T-shirts). You can buy them online now and pick up your order at the party (skip the line!). Go to http://assaultonpatcongcreek.com/product-category/tournamentstore/ to shop now. Don't miss out because sizes can be limited.
Steelman Bay marsh in Somers Point gets a makeover thanks to many volunteers who cleaned up for Earth Day
Somers Point, NJ - Patcong Creek Foundation celebrated Earth Day with a splash. First, on Saturday, the nonprofit corporation based in Somers Point, NJ organized a cleanup of Steelman Bay’s marshlands, the eastern border of Somers Point. Then on Sunday, the executive director and founder hosted a table at ACUA Earth Day Festival.
The Steelman Bay cleanup was a huge success with more than 60 volunteers coming together to pick up litter—from tiny cigarette butts to massive styrofoam pieces of floating dock. Members of the community from all walks of life came out to help, including some new members of Patcong Creek Foundation that cleaned two other locations that same morning, and a husband-wife team that are excited for this June’s Assault on Patcong Creek crabbing tournament hosted by the Foundation since it will be their first year participating.
Local elected officials understand the importance of community service and quite a few came out to lend a hand. Atlantic County Freeholder Board Chairperson Frank Formica and Vice-Chairperson Maureen Kern along with Mayor Jack Glasser and Councilmen Ron Meischker and James Toto of Somers Point helped lead volunteers in their efforts.
Two Somers Point Cub Scout packs—Pack 87 and Pack 55—came out in big numbers. Representatives from two Boy Scout Troops—Somers Point Troop 55 and Ocean City Troop 32 also came to clean. Some volunteers cleaned along the roadways while others ventured out into the marsh, ferried by Meischker, who in addition to being a City Councilman is the founder of the Patcong Creek Foundation.
“The volunteerism and support of the community for our cleanup efforts has been incredible,” said Meischker. “The people in our region truly care about our coastal rivers and bays and a turnout like this confirms they want them clean and protected.”
In a mere one and a half hours, the volunteers collected 20 cubic yards of trash and recycling. The debris included many tires, many pieces of styrofoam exceeding 6 feet in length, a large rusty rudder, crab traps, signs, and lumber. One cub scout found an antique bottle and a coconut!
“We selected Steelman Bay because we know it is an area where people like to fish and crab, and often anglers and crabbers leave garbage behind,” said Steve Cedrone, leader of Patcong Creek Foundation’s Environmental Committee and board member who organized the event. “In fact, making recreational anglers and crabbers more aware of the hazards of littering and derelict fishing gear is part of our organization’s mission.”
The next cleanup event that Patcong Creek Foundation will participate in is the 13th Annual Patcong Creek Cleanup along the creek in Somers Point and Linwood.
“We are hoping to have another great turnout for our next cleanup event on May 20th,” remarked Lisa Bender, Executive Director of Patcong Creek Foundation. “We were really overwhelmed with the sheer number of volunteers who came out to the Steelman Bay Cleanup. Seeing how clean the area was at the end after only an hour and a half was astounding when compared to our arrival on site.”
Sunday’s Earth Day Festival allowed the Foundation to reach out to community members from the larger region. Many interested people came to the table to learn about what we do and how they can get involved, and to buy T-shirts and hats in support of the Foundation. The Foundation’s membership grew by 50% over the weekend as a result of these community activities.
Patcong Creek Foundation has as its mission promoting stewardship through outreach, education, and volunteerism. On this basis, Earth Day Weekend was a success for this local organization.
To learn more about the Patcong Creek Foundation or become a member of the organization, visit www.PatcongCreekFoundation.org.
The Patcong Creek is about to get an upgrade! A stretch of the creek, just south of Hamilton Ave boat ramp in Linwood, has been suffering from erosion. Linwood Environmental Commission got together with the Nature Conservancy to make a plan to restore the creek in the best possible way—a Living Shoreline.
Patcong Creek Foundation has been recruited to assist with the project by providing volunteers. And, we will educate the public about the project, as there are so many benefits to a living shoreline that the general public and local students should know about.
The living shoreline is now funded thanks to two grants totaling $25,000. The City of Linwood received a check in the amount of $10,000 from Sustainable Jersey. Atlantic City Electric granted $15,000 to the Nature Conservancy. Atlantic City Electric is a company that values community service, so they will also be providing volunteers to help with the construction of the living shoreline.
So, what is a living shoreline? It is a natural alternative to using a manmade, hard structure to minimize erosion caused from wave action (sometimes natural, sometimes from boat and jet-ski wakes). Basically, it is a salt marsh—initially guided by human intervention.
The first step to creating a Living Shoreline is to use coir biologs made of coconut fiber to trap sediment. According to John Truscinski of the Nature Conservancy, the biologs are placed down first, and secured with netted bags of shells. The logs are left for about a month to allow the sediment to build up. Then the salt marsh grasses are planted to create a new salt marsh habitat.
The biologs themselves are biodegradable, so will decompose after a year or so. The shells don't quickly decompose, but since they are native to salt marshes, that's no big deal. Also, they actually provide a substrate for mussels to attach—thus creating yet another habitat.
Living Shorelines work because they absorb wave energy, rather than reflect it like hard structures (ex. bulkheads) do. Bulkheads and similar structures reflect wave energy which causes scouring of sediment offshore, and can cause unnatural deepening.
Living Shorelines are also sustainable. The plants that absorb the wave energy also trap sediments. And as sediments are trapped, they collect in the salt marsh, thus raising its elevation, creating greater protection against erosion.
Living Shoreline salt marsh benefits are numerous. They include:
* Living Shorelines Academy
> Gandy's Beach/Money Island, Downe, NJ
Money Island and Gandy's Beach Model for the State
Statewide Living Shoreline Projects
AC Press Article about Living Shorelines protecting people and critters
New Jersey's Division of Fish and Wildlife recently released the New Jersey Bald Eagle Report, 2017.
And the report has some great news about Patcong Creek. Our two pairs nesting in the Patcong Creek produced three fledglings this summer. They hatched in March and fledged in June.
The Division's Endangered and Nongame Species Program biologists have done amazing work reviving the Eagle Population in our state. Check out the chart below for a snapshot of recovery.
Check out the full Bald Eagle Report here.
And if you want to support Patcong Creek Foundation's work to protect the Patcong Creek—home to two Bald Eagle nests—you can symbolically adopt an eagle through the foundation's Adopt a Creek Critter program.
Though the Patcong Creek Foundation has been around for a few years, it has recently grown up. With the hiring of an Executive Director, the foundation has been able to tackle projects that have been on the "to-do list".
The Patcong Creek Foundation is known locally due to the good causes it contributes to in the Somers Point, NJ area. But, the work of protecting a body of water that is:
should be made more public.
The more people know, the more they will want to help us in our mission.
So, the first phase of growing up is the launch of the new Patcong Creek Foundation website. Please read through the different pages to learn about what it is we do, why we care, and why you should care.
Consider becoming a member or Adopting a Creek Critter—both would make great Christmas Gifts!
Thank you for taking the time to check out our new site.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or e-mail the Executive Director—Lisa Bender.
Patcong Creek Foundation
Patcong Creek Foundation is a 501c3 Nonprofit corporation committed to protecting the Patcong Creek. Caring for the creek is important because it is a precious natural resource. Keep up to date with our stewardship through our blog.