Oyster farms, shorebird vie for space on NJ bay beaches

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A decision by wildlife authorities to allow expansion of the commercial oyster farming industry on New Jersey's Delaware Bay has some environmental groups worried.

The groups say the increased activity will harm a threatened shorebird that relies on the same area to build up strength for the second half of its 10,000-mile journey from South America to Canada.

A decision this month by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows oyster growers to expand their operations on about 6 ½ miles of the beaches.

Tim Dillingham of the American Littoral Society says it's the wrong move, particularly after groups have restored Delaware Bay beaches that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

But oyster farmers say there's room for both.

The threatened red knot lands on Delaware Bay beaches each year to feed on horseshoe crab eggs.