Cape wineries, oystermen ponder a partnership

Two of Cape May County’s gourmet industries are considering a partnership to expand their reach to customers across America. The county’s wineries are so distinctive they’re pursuing their own regional brand called the Cape May Peninsula. Meanwhile, Cape May Salts and other county oyster brands are enjoyed on the half-shell by foodies as far away as California….[Gustavo] Calvo’s wife, Lisa Calvo, works as aquaculture program coordinator for the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Research Lab in Middle Township. She said consumers are taking more interest in how and where their food is grown. As with wine, oysters have a unique regional flavor, she said. Food-lovers call this regional identification by taste "merroir."

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Release project in Cape helps horseshoe crab hatchlings avoid predators

You could call it a Head Start program for horseshoe crabs. Normally the crabs have a tough learning curve. They are born on the sandy Delaware Bay coast, the largest breeding ground in the world for the species, and predators immediately try to eat them…A Rutgers University project at its Aquaculture Innovation Center on the Cape May Canal is giving some of the young crabs a three-month head start in life…"We’ve released 50,000 to 75,000 a year. It can make a difference because they’re so susceptible to predation. Striped bass, bluefish and other finfish feast on young-of-the-year crabs," said Michael De Luca, a director at the university’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

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Barnegat Bay / Follow the science

In a perverse way, it’s a shame all threats to New Jersey’s all-important tourism economy can’t be as big and impossible-to-miss as Hurricane Sandy. State officials had to respond to Sandy’s destruction in a big way, and they did…Unfortunately, that doesn’t make one serious threat – the deterioration of Barnegat Bay – any less real. It just makes officials more reluctant to act. Last week, a Rutgers University professor tried to make that threat a little more visible. Michael Kennish, a professor of estuarine and marine ecology, presented his data – and a call to action – to a joint session of the Senate and Assembly environmental committees.

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Gypsy moths, destroyer of forests, virtually gone in South Jersey

The gypsy moths that destroyed or severely damaged hundreds of thousands of acres of trees throughout the state for about a century have virtually disappeared in South Jersey. An aerial survey performed in June and earlier this month showed evidence of gypsy moths in only 76 acres in Camden, Burlington and Ocean counties, according to the state Department of Agriculture…Still, officials at Rutgers University’s Department of Entomology warn that the decline in gypsy moth numbers could spike in the future based on a number of variables. For instance, there could be significant regional outbreaks as the gypsy moths migrate through the state, said James Lashomb, a entomology department professor.

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Cleanup finished at north end of Forsythe refuge, but work goes on in Stafford

A cleanup of Hurricane Sandy debris in the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge will extend into the fall after more debris was found than anticipated, officials said…Refuge Manager Virginia Rettig told the Press in May that chemicals found on the refuge include window cleaner, bleach, solvents, paints and stains, paint strippers, weed killers and insecticides. Mike Kennish a research professor for the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University cautioned against leaving these items in the refuge. Kennish warned that toxic substances and chemicals could infiltrate the food chain and kill marsh grasses, and organisms could pick up the substances and bring them into the salt marsh habitat.

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