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NJ rebuilding bayside beaches crucial to birds

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Scientists and heavy equipment operators are racing against time to restore beaches along New Jersey’s Delaware Bay coast that were washed away by Superstorm Sandy.

But unlike the ocean coast, where recreation and tourism are driving the restorations, the bay beaches need to be fixed in order to prevent an ecological calamity for tens of thousands of endangered shore birds.

The birds, including the red knot, stop at the Delaware Bay each year to rest and feed for the second half of their 10,000-mile migration from South America to the Arctic.

They gorge themselves on horseshoe crab eggs. But because 70 percent of those beaches are gone, it is crucial to replenish the sand before the birds arrive in May.