The Challenge

The island has experienced accelerated erosion and has lost approximately 26 acres (37%) since 1930, which is due to a realignment of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway by the Army Corps of Engineers, storms, boat wake, and sea level rise. During this same time period, Barnegat Bay has also seen many miles of shoreline bulkheaded and tremendous residential development. Replacing natural land-water interface with bulkheads and riprap has contributed to the elimination of crucial parts of the coastal ecosystem that thrives at the edge of the marsh. Since Mordecai Island provides vital habitat for many species of fish, plants, migratory and breeding birds (including threatened species) as well as mollusks and crabs, the loss of three to four feet per year has caused great concern.

What we do

The Mordecai Land Trust’s mission to preserve and protect Mordecai Island includes protecting the sizable amount of property on LBI that it shields from storm surge and damaging winds. As an all-volunteer non-profit tax exempt organization, we work with NJFW, USFW, NJDEP, NOAA, ReClam the Bay, and the US Army Corps of Engineers in our anti-erosion and living shoreline work to help protect the diverse groups of species that reside, feed, migrate or nest on the island.

“Calving” erosion along western shoreline of Mordecai Island

WADs installation, September, 2019

Our projects focus on shoreline stabilization and habitat restoration and protection, as well as pilot projects concentrating on living shoreline solutions. They include:

  • The Mordecai Island Project, (an outgrowth of MLT’s SWMER II Project) in partnership with ReClam the Bay
  • Mordecai Island Monitoring: In season monitoring of the island’s critical habitats and wildlife species.
  • WAD®s Offshore Pilot Installation: Wave Attenuation Devices installed September, 2019.
  • Oyster Castle Living Breakwater Project (2018)
  • Mordecai Pilot Oyster Castle Project (2017)
  • Mordecai USACE Coastal Wetland Restoration Project: in feasibility as of 2020

How you can help

On or off the island, we can use your help! As an all-volunteer organization, we welcome help in all areas. Whether you are good at navigating around the island on a small boat or are more of a fundraiser and event team type, enjoy counting birds and turtles or think hefting oyster castles is more your style, we are happy to have you join the Mordecai family. To learn more, contact us at mordecailandtrust@gmail.com.

Mordecai Land Trust Board members assisting NJ Fish & Wildlife in banding Mordecai Island’s American Oystercatcher chicks.

The IRS  has determined that the Mordecai Land Trust is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (“Code”) and not a private foundation pursuant to sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Code. Mordecai Land Trust was established in 2001.

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Breaking News: Mordecai Island Ecosystem Restoration Project Advances into Design and Implementation with US Army Corps