Did you know that LBIF owns 21 acres of preserved salt marsh habitat? This is the largest tract of privately owned and preserved (through an easement) coastal saltmarsh on Long Beach Island, all thanks to local resident Joe Torg who helped LBIF preserve it in 1997. Saltmarshes are coastal wetland areas that are found on shorelines with low wave energy. They are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. Flooded by the tides twice daily, the inundation of brackish (a mix of salt and fresh) water brings in sediments which is trapped by plants, like spartina grass which have very long and complex root systems. These plants help stabilize soil and calm wave energy, thus helping to reduce or absorb water during flood events in coastal areas.
The soil of our saltmarshes is dark and consists of mud and peat, which is decomposing plant material. Salt marsh soils are void of most oxygen, a condition called hypoxia. It causes bacteria to grow which produce the sulfurous smell of rotten eggs, which is most evident at low tide. Sadly, most of LBI’s saltmarsh habitat, our living shorelines, have been replaced with hardened shorelines.
When you watch the camera here you will see the daily and seasonal changes in the salt marsh. This camera system was funded in part by a grant from the Long Beach Island Garden Club and installed by Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. It will stream online, 24/7, year round. The camera was replaced in May, 2021 and began streaming live on YouTube on June 16, 2021.