AHG Beach Clean-up (and Nature Walk)

American Heritage Girls are back!  After a summer break, GraceNotes was so excited to see her friends again.  Saturday was the AHG Day of Service all across the country.  GraceNotes’ troop leaders had both a morning and afternoon service project planned, so we opted for the morning which was to clean-up the beach at First Landing State Park (formerly Seashore State Park)!  The skies looked a bit stormy when we first got there, the wind was stiff, and there was significant chop on the normally placid Chesapeake Bay.

The troop patrolled a rather large section of the beach, and found it was pretty clean already except for a great quantity of cigarette butts!  We found remnants of plastic bags mixed in with seaweed in a few places, and bottle lids, and lots of pieces of plastic.  As a group, we were carrying at least six enormous orange trash bags and they all had plenty of trash in them!

While Grace and a friend were ahead of us collecting trash.  Mr. Garner and I  stayed a little bit behind,  and gleaned what trash was missed.  And, I took a few pictures…  All along the break line up and down the beach we found what probably amounted to thousands of horseshoe crabs that appear to have come ashore during the higher spring tides of the new moon.   We could only surmise that they were unable to get back to the bay, either because they flipped over, or because the tide had begun to recede.  They were dead, and many appeared to have been a feast for seabirds.   Horseshoe strandings are highly anticipated by migratory sea birds so we tried not to be sad.  We also saw pelicans, skate egg casings (mermaid purses), and sand crabs, and a couple container ships lined up in the Bay waiting for their turn to come into the port.

Here are a few photos … and there are links to more information about Horseshoe Crabs, AHG and First Landing State Park just below.

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Click here for more information about Horseshoe Crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. 

Click here for more a website dedicated to Horseshoe Crabs (including history, a poem (!), and anatomy)

Click here for more information about American Heritage Girls.

Click here for more information about First Landing State Park.

Thanks for reading!

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