Clean Ocean Action

Coastal Creature Feature

     February’s Creature Feature was the common sand dollar.  Common from New Jersey northward along the New England coast, this relative of the sea star lives in the intertidal zone, where they often bury themselves for protection and feeding.  Using only its tiny spines and tube feet, the sand dollar takes about 10 minutes to become completely buried.  Luckily, not many creatures bother trying to eat this small, hard animal.  Sand dollar eggs are an important tool in cancer research and other molecular studies on cells.  Congratulations to Jan Heller for being chosen among the several correct entries.

     April Creature: Don’t be fooled by this benthic creature, because it isn’t what it appears to be from its common name.  By day, they hole-up in sand or mud burrows, but at night, this aggressive predator hunts live prey with its spearing claws.  They are thought to have the fastest strike in the Animal Kingdom.  In fact, the swift, “snapping” action of their jackknife-like claws has been known to break aquarium walls!  To enter for a chance to win a COA T-shirt, send your guess for the April Creature by mail, fax, or e-mail (PO Box 505, Sandy Hook, NJ 07732; FAX 732-872-8041;, or submit the online form below (your name, telephone number, email address, and name of creature is required to inform you if you are chosen to win).  The winner will be announced in the June newsletter.


(Coastal Creature Feature appears every other month in the Clean Ocean Advocate.)


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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