Get Involved

Returning crabs back to their proper side will help reduce mortality from stranding. Help us reTURN the Favor to aid the Horse­shoe Crab population and migratory shorebirds that rely on them for survival.

reTURN the Favor:

To save a stranded Horseshoe Crab, we ask that you follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Plan your outing around a falling or low tide.
  2. Hold crabs by their sides, not the tail – crabs are harmless!
  3. Gently place crabs on their feet pointing towards the water.
  4. Leave crabs where you find them – do not remove live or dead crabs from the beach.
  5. If you encounter shorebirds please do not disturb them – walk well away from flocks to allow them to feed and roost undisturbed.
  6. Do not enter into a closed beach unless you are on a sanctioned reTURN the Favor walk. To sign up visit: returnthefavornj.org.
  7. Ask for permission if you need to enter private property

Be Aware:

  • New Jersey has a moratorium on pos­session of Horseshoe Crabs, so please do not remove live or dead crabs from beaches.
  • To protect shorebirds from human disturbance, several Delaware Bay beaches are closed from May 7 – June 7.
  • Closed Delaware Bay beaches include: Money Island Beach, Fortescue Beach, Raybins Beach, Thompsons Beach, Moores Beach, Reeds Beach, Cooks Beach, Kimbles Beach, Pierces Point, Highs Beach, Rutgers Beach, Norburys Landing, Sunray Beach, and Villas Beach.
  • Seasonally closed areas occur on Stone Harbor Point, 2 Mile Beach, and North Brigantine Natural Area to protect both migratory and breeding shorebirds.

Join a reTURN the Favor Walk:

Only sanctioned groups are allowed to rescue Horseshoe Crabs on closed beaches. To sign-up for a spring reTURN the Favor walk, please click here to register for a date and time.

Lead a reTURN the Favor Walk for us:

  • Contact info@returnthefavornj.org to be matched with a partner organization.
  • Obtain approval to lead walks on an open or closed beach that needs your help.
  • Consult with your partner to develop a schedule for your walks.
  • Provide a schedule of your walks and contact information. A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required.
  • Pick up a permission letter and permit.
  • Conduct your own walks following reTURN the Favor protocol.

For more information, see the tools available on our resource toolkit page.