Nature activities are ramping up for the season, with this weekend giving people lots of choices. Events include a big birding weekend in Cape May, a horseshoe crab festival in Stone Harbor, a plant sale in Mays Landing and waterway cleanups around the region. And the weather should cooperate — mostly. According to Press meteorologist Joe Martucci, rain should hold off Saturday until the evening, with some isolated showers, and Sunday morning should be mostly dry, with isolated thunderstorms possible in the afternoon.
Wetlands Institute Horseshoe Crab Festival: The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor holds its 6th Annual Spring Shorebird and Horseshoe Crab Festival, celebrating the spawning of horseshoe crabs, which intersects with shorebird migration. Red knots making a 10,000-mile migratory journey from South America to the Arctic stop on the beaches of the Delaware Bay in huge numbers to eat horseshoe crab eggs, powering the rest of their journey. Guests of all ages can enjoy a variety of conservation-based activities including guided shorebird viewings; horseshoe crab workshops; horseshoe crab spawning survey demonstrations and reTURN the Favor walks to help stranded crabs get back to the water; aquarium teaching tank and aquaculture tours; naturalist-led Salt Marsh Trail walks; and other hands-on activities. For ticket prices and other information visit wetlandsinstitute.org/.
The event continues Sunday.
2018 Cape May Spring Festival: New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory holds one of its biggest events of the year Saturday and Sunday. Registration includes a wide selection of bird walks with naturalists, and indoor programs. A three-day registration is $185, and daily registration is $69. There are also special “experiences” available exclusively to registrants, for additional fees, such as the coveted walk at the US Coast Guard Training Facility, and small group walks with Pete Dunne, John Kricher, Kevin Karslon and David La Puma. Details are here or visit cmbo.org and click on ‘Get Outside’ and ‘Events.’ Registration required, call 609-884-5611.
Master Gardeners of Atlantic County Plant Sale: Gardening experts will be on hand to answer questions and sell a wide variety of plants selected to do well in Atlantic County from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the David C. Wood 4-H Center, 3210 Route 50, Mays Landing. Soil test kits will be available for $20, and special Rutgers-developed plants will be highlighted, including a new Scarlet Fire dogwood, and tomato and pumpkin varieties. Visit facebook.com/rutgersmastergardenersofac/.
South Jersey Scrub: The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and local organizations are organizing a “South Jersey Scrub, a “strategic, organized cleanup initiative that targets a particular watershed, county or region,” according to the partnership. The South Jersey Scrub will focus on seven Delaware Bayshore communities in Cumberland and Salem counties. NOTE: Late Friday, sponsors announced some of the cleanup sites were canceled or postponed. See details below. The goal is to clean up at least 500 pounds of litter to keep it out of local streams and the Delaware Estuary. The watershed spans four states and provides drinking water to 15 million people. To register for a cleanup visit sjscrub.org. You can also call 302-655-4990, ext. 112, to be assigned to a cleanup captain. Canceled: Millville at Silver Run Road. Postponed: Bridgeton at Burt Street and Mayor Aiken Drive; Hopewell Township at Elk Lake. Going forward rain or shine: Pennsville at Hook Road; Almond and Gershal Roads at West Side Park; Bridgeton at Commerce Street; Bridgeton at University Avenue to Vine Street.
13th annual Patcong Creek Cleanup: On land or in a boat, help remove litter from the Patcong Creek behind Somers Point, Linwood and Egg Harbor Township from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, May 20. Volunteers will meet at the Linwood Public Works Building on Hamilton Avenue near the Hamilton Ave. boat ramp between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., where the ACUA will give out free T-shirts, plastic bags, and gloves to volunteers, who will be dispatched to one of the four cleanup areas.
— Staff Writer Michelle Brunetti Post