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May 27, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Duxbury Beach Reservation, MassBays, and the NSRWA are co-sponsoring two horseshoe crab walks in late May and June (Once the first event fills up the second one will be announced).

Horseshoe crabs have been around for more than 300 million years, making them even older than dinosaurs. They do many important things in our beaches and bays, including mixing up sediment and adding oxygen back into the mudflats. Their eggs are a crucial food source for migrating shorebirds like red knots and ruddy turnstones.

Horseshoe crabs are also very important to humans. A compound in their blood is used to test for bacterial contamination, they are used for bait in the eel, conch, and whelk fisheries, and they are used in vision research.

Every May and June, horseshoe crabs reproduce on local beaches. In the latter part of the 20th century, horseshoe crab populations were declining due to overharvesting and a loss of habitat. To monitor their populations, spawning surveys have been used to determine if current regulations are helping to at least maintain the number of crabs in local estuaries.

The Massachusetts Bays Partnership South Shore has been working with the Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries and Duxbury Beach Reservation to conduct horseshoe crab spawning surveys for 13 years on the shore of Duxbury Bay, one of the few sites being monitored consistently. Over the past 13 years, the horseshoe crabs in Duxbury Bay seem to be doing well. In addition to surveying, horseshoe crabs have been tagged in Duxbury Bay starting in 2012 in cooperation with US Fish and Wildlife Service. By tagging them, beachcombers and others who find the crabs can report them to the USFWS. Registration for the walks will be limited.

Click here to register.

Pre-registration is required and program space is limited. Be prepared to walk in sand and probably get your feet wet.

Where: East end of Powder Point Bridge (please meet next to the guardhouse near the picnic tables)

Parking: Parking will be permitted for registered participants for the duration of the program. Please park in the small lot behind the guardhouse. Participants with Town of Duxbury resident parking stickers are encouraged to park in the main Resident Lot.


May 27, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Duxbury Beach Reservation
Massachusetts Bays Partnership
North and South Rivers Watershed Association