Delaware Buddhists unite to bless Horseshoe Crabs

As a native-born Delawarean (I relocated to NJ from Joy Beach), this article from Delaware Online was moving… 

Ceremonial robes billowed in the breeze as about 40 Buddhists from New York to Washington, D.C., gathered in this tiny waterfront village on Saturday to pray for the humble horseshoe crab.

Their prayers were coupled with compassionate action as they flipped over crabs that had come ashore to spawn but had wound up on their backs, helpless in the baking sun.

“I will now perform the refugee ceremony for all those living beings — horseshoe crabs — who will perish on these shores, and for those who are suffering on the Gulf Coast and elsewhere as a result of the greed and ignorance of mankind,” the Venerable Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinpoche said, gazing out over the Delaware Bay.

But the ecosystem in the Delaware Bays have been diminishing for years.  Even as a child, I recall that the clamming and fishing began to decline drastically in the 80’s although I still do recall with pleasure being pulled along in a raft as my dad raked the bay for clams and set pots for crabs.  It isn’t just the BP spill that is doing it.  Over-development and a drive for the all-mighty tourist dollar has been doing the same damage for years. 

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So additional compassion is needed beyond just our Crustacean pals…

The trash accumulated on estuarine beaches threatens the ecosystem and its wildlife inhabitants. The amount found in just one day can be staggering — on September 17, 1994 volunteers cleared 46,000 pounds of marine debris from 115 miles of Delaware’s beaches. Of the total amount of marine debris collected, 60.4 percent was plastic, 10.7 percent was metal, 14.2 percent was paper, and 14.7 percent was from other materials. [link]

Good Luck Horseshoe Crabs!  You lasted this long!  My next auspicious Schlitz is for you, all the way from landlocked South Dakota.

And if anyone else wants to learn about Horseshow Crab conservation, check here.

Cheers,

John

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2 thoughts on “Delaware Buddhists unite to bless Horseshoe Crabs

  1. Thank you so much for your post. I visit Cape May NJ, a major breeding area for these gentle beings. I am heartbroken over the Gulf disaster, not to mention the continued degradation of the Delaware and Chesapeake bays, and the blessing ceremony did me good. We should send a contingent down to the Gulf, as well. BTW, why did the Rinpoche call it a “refugee ceremony”? Are the crabs now refugees in their own habitat, or is there some Buddhist thing I’m missing?

    My friend, Winnie Radolan, teaches in the schools about Horseshoe crabs, their importance to the eco system, in a unique paper-making workshop. She also works with the Ecological Research & Development Group (ERDG). I was going to mention that site to you, but I see you beat me to it. Good for you!

    Peace,

    Martha

  2. “It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?”
    ~Epictetus

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