‘Horseshoe Crabs: A Fascinating Conservation Study’

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — If you headed ‘down the Shore’ this summer, you may have brushed up against a few horseshoe crabs on the beach, hardly giving a thought to these odd, distant relatives of spiders. Yet horseshoe crabs are 300-million-year-old living fossils that are so valuable that in the late 1990s they became the center of a perfect storm of competing interests. 

On Sunday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m., New Jersey environmentalist Tedor Whitman will be at Durand-Hedden House to explain why commercial fisheries, tourism officials, ornithologists, government agencies and pharmaceutical interests all fought to determine the use and future of these animals. Fortunately, the fate of the horseshoe crab fell into the hands of a resourceful biological technician and a handful of determined citizens. 

Whitman is the executive director of the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary in Short Hills. He has more than 25 years of experience teaching and leading conservation programs across a wide range of U.S. ecosystems. 

The event is free; donations are welcome. The Durand-Hedden House is located at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood. For more information, contact 973-763-7712 or info@durandhedden.org.