About the Mordecai Land Trust

Mordecai Land Trust was founded in 2001 as a community-based organization whose mission is to preserve Mordecai Island as a habitat for breeding and migratory species of indigenous birds and fish and to protect large portions of Beach Haven proper from flooding. Mordecai Island is a 45 acre, uninhabited coastal marsh island in Barnegat Bay, NJ. Mordecai is located near Beach Haven Borough and is adjacent to the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, the main navigation channel of Barnegat Bay. The island’s native salt marsh and surrounding waters provide a variety of habitat supporting aquatic and avian species. Habitat includes eel grass beds in shallow, protected areas, intertidal zones, coastal wetlands, salt ponds and uplands. The island is experiencing accelerated erosion and has lost 26 acres (37%) since 1930. Causes for this erosion are thought to include a realignment of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, storms, boat wake, and sea level rise. During this same time period, Barnegat Bay has seen many miles of shoreline bulkheaded and tremendous development. The replacement of natural land-water interface with bulkheads and riprap revetments eliminates the crucial part 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 3 to 6 feet per year has caused great concern. In addtion to its educational and other activies, the Trust has two on-going restoration projects.