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Horseshoe Crab Survey and Tagging

Join Delaware Riverkeeper Network at Moores Beach, NJ to survey and tag spawning horseshoe crabs by moonlight.  This project is a partnership with other allies and a citizen science program that is making a difference to better protect the horseshoe crabs and shorebirds that rely on them.  If you’d like to sign up to help monitor this season,  go to:  DRN is the beach captain for Moores Beach.  There are other NJ beaches where the tagging and spawning are also happening and you can sign up for Moores or another beach of your choice at this link.

Moores Beach, NJ Horseshoe Crab Survey and Tagging Meet Up Location - Directions

Delaware Riverkeeper Network Beach Captains:  Faith Zerbe, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Contact number day/night of:  Faith, 610-291-1403

For GPS or smart phone directions – plug in “Moores Beach Rd, Delmont NJ” which is accessible from Rte 47 near Delmont, NJ.  If heading south on Rte 47, turn right onto Moores Beach Road (you will see small sign for the road).  Follow Moores Beach Road to the beach.  At the gate past the last house (at about 0.6 miles from the Rte 47 turn off), the road gets bumpy, dark & narrow.  This is a beautiful remote beach with surrounding wetlands and no houses but the road is about 1.2 miles long past this point to the beach.  Drive slowly on this road and watch for large potholes and low spots.  Parking is limited at the beach so park close together at the end of the road.  

Be sure to arrive on time and promptly at the designated time provided to you for the night you are volunteering.   The count must begin at high tide so surveyors cannot wait for stragglers and arriving early is important for the pre sampling training and because the Moores Beach road can flood in low spots.  NJ protects the hungry and feeding shorebirds during May and June by closing these NJ Delaware Bay beaches so shorebirds can feed on horseshoe crab eggs but we have permission and a permit to access the beach at night to conduct the crab surveys.  If you arrive before dark, enjoy the beach and the sunset (its quite breathtaking) - but please do not walk around and disturb hungry feeding shorebirds that need crab eggs to survive their migration.  Every time they fly away from passerby’s, they are expending energy they need to migrate long distances.

Things to bring along if you have them:  Bring along a headlamp (with red light if you have it-hands free headlamps are preferred to free up your hands for sampling) or flashlight, bug spray, a clipboard, and dress to get wet (wear closed toe water shoes or boots if you have them or old sneakers – you will get wet up to your knees depending on the job you are assigned).  If you have an opportunity to read through the protocol before the survey, this will help you get familiar with the monitoring and tagging to be conducted.  You can access the protocols here: .  No experience necessary to come out and training will be provided each night before the survey.  Kids over 8 are welcome to join with a supervising adult.  
Questions?  Contact Faith Zerbe, Delaware Riverkeeper Network at or 215-369-1188 ext 110 or on the cell at 610-291-1403.
Want to sign up for another night of counting and tagging?  We can use your help!  Sign up here or let your beach captain know you can help another night:  




Volunteers should arrive 45 mins to an hour before high tide.  For Moore’s Beach, use “East Point, Maurice River Cove” high tide readings which puts High Tide, for example on May 4th @ 9:40pm – So arrive at 8:45pm on May 4th  to be there plenty of time in advance – the road has some low spots so can flood on high tide at Moores beach so arriving early keeps your car dry.   Estimated arrival times and survey start times below.   You can also access info here:
2016 arrival times and crab survey dates at Moores Beach, NJ led by Delaware Riverkeeper Network – the dirt road can flood in spots so getting to beach 45min to hour before high tide important – this also important for training if you are new and to get set up and ready for the surveys.

  • Wednesday, May 4 – arrive 7:15pm, survey begins 8:14pm (Matt McCann beach captain, 856-313-7940)
  • Friday, May 6 – arrive 9:00pm, survey begins at 9:58pm (Matt McCann beach captain, 856-313-7940)
  • Sunday, May 8 – arrive 10:45pm, survey begins 11:39pm
  • Thursday, May 19 – arrive 8:15pm, survey begins 8:55pm
  • Saturday, May 21 (full moon) – arrive 9:15pm, survey begins 10:09pm
  • Monday, May 23 – arrive10:45pm, survey begins 11:25pm
  • Thursday, June 2 – arrive 7:15pm, survey begins 7:53pm
  • Saturday, June 4 – arrive 9:00pm, survey begins 9:40pm (Matt McCann beach captain – 856-313-7940)
  • Monday, June 6 – arrive 10:30pm, survey begins 11:22pm
  • Saturday, June 18 – arrive 8:15pm, survey begins 9:03pm
  • Monday, June 20 (full moon) – arrive 9:45pm, survey begins 10:23pm
  • Wednesday, June 22 – arrive 11:00pm, survey begins 11:45pm

Thanks so much for coming out to volunteer and help the horseshoe crabs and shorebirds!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 11:00 PM