2010-02-05 / Community

Littoral Society Walks Fort Tilden’s Beach

On one of the coldest days and lowest tides of the year, about 60 members and friends of the American Littoral Society, suffering from cabin fever, came out and walked the beach at Fort Tilden. Led by marine biologist Mickey Cohen and naturalist Don Riepe, they examined the jetties and beach for marine life, scanned the ocean for loons, gannets and other birds, and discussed the astronomical reasons for the extremely low tide. Known as the Proxigean tide, it occurs during a new or full moon when the moon is at its closest distance to the earth, thus adding to its gravitational pull.

Fortunately, there was no northeast wind to increase the tidal height in Jamaica Bay.

The next “Proxigean tide” is expected on March 19, 2011.

The group also climbed to the top of Battery Harris East in the fort and had a great view of the bay and ocean. Here they saw some wintering yellowrumped warblers and a sharpshinned hawk.

As there was little wind, it was a fairly comfortable walk on a bright, clear, sunny day. The next Littoral Society walk is at 10 a.m. on Valentine’s Day at the Jamaica Bay Refuge. This is a partnership program with Gateway National Recreation Area. For information and reservations for this and other free nature hikes in the Rockaway area, contact 718-318- 9344; driepe@nyc.rr.com or check the website: www.alsnyc.org

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