Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, December 2005

Coastal Creature Feature

October’s Creature Feature was the Piping Plover, an endangered shorebird.  This sandy-brown colored bird grows to 7 or 8 inches in height and has a black breast band with bright orange legs and a yellow bill.  Males and females are very similar in appearance, however, males usually have larger, darker bands.  Piping Plovers eat both freshwater and marine worms, crustaceans, and mollusks, but their favorite food is insects.  The decline in Piping Plovers has been attributed to human disturbance, habitat loss, and predation.  Depending on the season, piping plovers can be seen from Florida or New Foundland.  Congratulations to Peggy Nitka of Rumson who correctly guessed the Piping Plover and won a COA T-shirt!


December's Creature Feature (picture to the left) is a bottom-dwelling fish that can change its coloring to blend in with the substrate.  These flatfish have very small mouths and two eyes that are located on the right side of their heads.  These fish are popular along the NY and NJ coasts and are the focus of a COA event.  They come into the estuaries to spawn during the winter months, giving this fish its seasonal name.  To enter for a chance to win a COA T-shirt, send your guess by mail, fax, or e-mail (PO Box 505, Sandy Hook, NJ 07732; fax 732-872-8041;


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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