A lot of warblers are heading south again, and Schmidt’s Woods in Secaucus is a good place to see them. Last week, just beyond the park’s parking lot, we saw a black-and-white warbler (below) and a redstart high in a tree (right). The park is on the small side, but the woods provide a great rest stop for the warblers. The trails are nice and wide, with an exercise circuit along the way. In years past, yellow-crowned night herons, a threatened species, have nested there. All in all, a nice oasis for birds and humans alike.
The Meadowlands Commission is adding another weapon in its battle to increase biodiversity in the 30.4-square-mile district. This week, Commission naturalists reintroduced saltmarsh bulrush, a valuable wetlands plant, at several sites in the Meadowlands. The sites included the the Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus and Harrier Meadow in North Arlington, with more sites planned down the road.
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The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is participating in a federal program to measure sea levels as part of the commission’s efforts to assess the vitality of its marshes and to prepare for flooding that could result from global warming. Measurements using a nifty gizmo called a sediment elevation table (pictured to right) are being taken by NJMC’s scientific arm, the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute(MERI). The Meadowlands Commission’s sea-level monitoring is one of the first of its kind in New Jersey.
Click "Continue reading" to learn more about sea-level rise and why it is significant to the region’s marshes.
A quick visit to the Kearny Marsh last week in hopes of seeing a harbor heron (great egret with a gray band on its right leg and small transmitter on its left) brought none of those special birds. But we did see several other great egrets, a bazillion dragonflies, some jewelweed, pennywort and foxtails. We also saw a least bittern (below) zip past — always a nice bird to spot. Read more about the least bittern here.
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This week the Meadowlands Environment Center is holding a space camp for students entering the seventh grade. Tuesday’s session was about the sun, stars and planets, and students went outside to learn about the sun in whole new ways (see 1:45-minute video). MEC’s Laura Venner talked to the 15 students abot the sun and SOHO, an international project involving NASA and other space agencies to study the sun. The space camp, one of a half-dozen offered by MEC, a partnership between NJMC and Ramapo College, is designed to meet the New Jersey State Core Curriculum Content Standards. All MEC camps are held at the new Center for Environmental and Scientific Education (below), a “green” building that incorporates sustainable materials and alternative energy, in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst.
This two-minute video is about the Harbor Herons Project, a collaboration of NYC Audubon, NJ Audubon, the Meadowlands Commission and many volunteers. It should be played with the "sound" on. Several great egrets and double-crested cormorant fledglings that were banded earlier this summer are now being spotted in the Meadowlands, confirmation that our marshes are pivotal to the success of herons in the entire metropolitan region. Here is a link to our previous post on the Harbor Herons Project, including a link to the project’s Web pages.
Click "Continue reading…" for more information and photos from this project.