reTURN the Favor is a multi-partner program working to rescue overturned or impinged horseshoe crabs stranded on New Jersey’s Delaware Bay beaches. Though this program works to rescue horseshoe crabs on beaches open to the public, it primarily concentrates on rescuing crabs stranded on beach areas seasonally closed during shorebird migration and horseshoe crab spawning season occurring in May and June. Many horseshoe crabs spawn on these closed beaches and oftentimes become stranded, overturned, or even impinged behind natural or manmade structures. The reTURN the Favor program works with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection so that horseshoe crabs stranded on closed beaches can be rescued by sanctioned volunteer groups. These groups only enter closed beaches between sunset and sunrise, and only when shorebirds are not present. They will NOT remove any crabs, alive or dead, from the beach.
Since 2013, reTURN the Favor volunteers have saved nearly 70,000 horseshoe crabs along the Delaware Bayshore beaches in New Jersey!