Looking ahead at the planned redevelopment of Money Island, we know that there will be many changes with an uncertain time frame. About half of the homes are recently removed and more will be removed in the future.
Some of the immediate changes on our campus focus on increased physical and operational security. Anyone associated with the marina in a position of handling transactions or equipment will be required to provide a background investigation report. Information will be provided on a case by case basis. Members will be provided with a bright ID tag.
The marina is currently closed for winter during this permitting phase. We do not have a reopening date
, but a plan is in place to reopen Husted’s Landing Marina first, then Money Island later. Things will definitely be different here in the future and we don’t know those details yet. This list of changes will change as we get feedback from the state, developers, local government and others. But this is what we see so far for 2019:
Facilities expected to be open to members:
boat launch (defined as the concrete or gravel structures on the ground at various locations)
nature walk areas
recreational and commercial docks on sites not designated by the state
No New Jersey fisheries products were used in the production of this social media publication. Money Island Marina is pleased to be a host site for New Jersey crabbers but does not offer the sale of crabs within the state. We do not buy, sell, barter, trade or advertise New Jersey fishery products but rather offer our site and resources to these independent businesses. This information is published as a convenience to shareholders but is not an offer to buy or sell crabs.
This is typical non-holiday cooperative pricing for live local blue claw crabs from local harvesters:
HARD SHELL under 5″: From $.50 to $1.00
HARD SHELL over 5″ but under 5 1/2″: From $1.00 to $2.00
HARD SHELL over 5 1/2″: From $2.00 to $3.00
HARD SHELL over 6″: From $3.00 to $5.00
SHEDDER: $1.00 to $2.00
SOFT SHELL: typically $4.00 to $5.00
Why prices change
Crab pricing varies daily. Supply and demand are the biggest factors affecting the price and these are mostly outside of our control. But there are some pricing factors that you can control. Our commercial crabbers typically harvest blue claw crabs in smaller quantities
, often in response to specific orders or expected demand. We sell live ‘swimming crabs’ at the marina in a tank individually. Crabs are then bagged or boxed for live transport. Marina members may use on-site equipment to cook and clean their crabs but most transport them live.
How to order in advance
Call or text with the quantity and date needed. We will forward the message to a crabber who will respond with an electric invoice of crabs are available. Price quote is good for 30 minutes. The crabber will confirm receipt of payment and confirm the order. Once paid, the order is confirmed and you are protected from any price change. Occasionally, rarely, a paid order is not filled due to circumstances outside of our control. In that case you receive a full refund and an apology, but no seafood fulfillment system is 100% perfect.
We offer delivery when a driver is available at approximately the same rate as Uber. We will cost-match the lowest cost current option and confirm the price with you in advance. An online calculator of delivery cost is available here.
Get the best deal
These factors affect your price that you can control:
1) advance payment (reduces price more than any other factor)
2) pickup or delivery details (time and location).
3) number of crabs (discounts possible over 50 crabs)
4) day of the week (crabs are more expensive on Friday and Saturday)
Most people plan to serve 3 to 6 crabs per person. Your guests may be different but this is our experience in hosting dozens of crab dinners for a variety of groups of dinner guests.
Crabs are traditionally graded numerically (#1s, 2s, 3s). We do not use that system because that grading varies between sellers and locations and even recently changed here in the local commercial crab market. In other words, the term “#1s” doesn’t have any precise or widely agreed upon meaning so it has limited value to crab buyers.
Crabs are traditionally packed and sold in bushel baskets. We do not use this method but will accommodate a customer request for a bushel basket. (We do sell crab baskets, new or used, with or without crabs). If you buy a bushel of crabs from anyone, be aware that it includes some dead crabs. The industry standard is up to 20% dead crabs.
We only sell live crabs as required by food safety laws but is is common for crab customers to hire an independent local dock worker to clean crabs in exchange for a tip. We can usually help make this connection on request but the details of the arrangement are up to you. Cleaned crabs should be kept on ice or refrigerated.
Last minute deals
We often offer special daily deals on mixed sized crabs or unsold quantities at he marina. In most cases the price remains the same but the offer includes an extra number of crabs. Those deals are posted on social media and are valid only until those specific daily crabs are sold on that day. These deals are short-lived, sometimes as short as 30 minutes before unsold crabs must be shipped to a wholesale dealer.
On Sunday August 12 at 7:00 PM we will host a meteor show watching event for our members and quests at the marina. Because the event has the potential to attract more attention than we expected, we are implementing these ticketing policies:
The event will be limited to 40 adult ticket holders. Children don’t need tickets.
Marina members can obtain tickets for themselves and guests.
If you are not a member and don’t know any marina members, call and ask to speak with our membership manager.
Ticket are offered for a $15 donation per adult donation to Baysave
, planning and implementation program under the guidelines of the NJ Clean Marina program. It took us many hours and cost thousands of dollars but the resulting change in operational procedures was well worth the effort. This program led us to cleaner and more sustainable business practices. It also provided benefits to other stakeholders.
In the spring of 2015 we completed our final on-site inspection for certification with program Director Mike Danko. After some months when we did not receive the promised plague indicating completion of the program, I called the program administrator. He said that the program had run out of funding and he hoped that funding would be restored.
Now, three years later the program is still apparently still unfunded and idle. The web site is still up but hasn’t been updated in these past few years. Our application is still pending.
At the July 2018 NJ Sustainability Summit I had time to consider our position on this and made a decision to promote the NJ Clean Marina program in hope of drawing public attention to the fact that this program despite our marina’s status.
In August 2018 the program administrator for the state of New Jersey said that NJDEP has blocked our acceptance into the program but refused to name the official who took this action. We believe that this is part of a larger series of moves taken by the NJDEP to specifically target this Money Island marina community. We are now working with our elected officials on a legislative solution. Unfortunately the NJDEP has a long history of murky internal governance and avoidance of influence by elected government.
In June the fishing and crabbing gradually picks up. We will be eating eat lots of crabs, oysters and local fish. We will see some larger flounders, hopefully a few bluefish runs and plenty of stripers. Most of the stripers are small but there are larger ones in the creek. Perch are always here but it takes some time in the creek or timing of the tide if dock fishing. We will have minnows, grass shrimp, squid, fiddler crabs and shedder crabs and bunker for bait.
We can take purchase orders for live crabs at any time. Market price varies but we will confirm on the day of the order. Delivery is also available. Stay tuned for availability of fresh soft shell crabs. This year we will take advance online payment before taking delivery from the crab boats.
Our two fishing kayaks are available to members and, in limited circumstances, the marina jon boat is available.
The marina is open 7 days a week. Officially we open at 6 AM but sometimes coffee isn’t on until 7. Similarly, we close early if nobody is around. If you are coming early or late in the afternoon, please call ahead.
The two sandy beaches (on the cove and at the Gandy’s Beach end of the island) reopen on June 7 after being closed for seasonal migrating bird feeding. We saw more of the South American red knots here this year than last and that was encouraging.
Captain Bruce is organizing charter trips throughout the month and a Ladies Fishing Day on Sunday June 10. Somehow I don’t think many will mind if we see more glasses of chardonnay than fish.
By the middle of the month we will reopen the front transition dock for dock fishing after finishing substantial repairs from winter damage.
We still have plenty of new boat slips and dry dock space still available and we will continue to recruit new marina members. Prices are a little bit higher than the pre-season amounts but we have plenty of room to make a great deal for the right boaters. Download this document for complete information.
Tony has investors visiting Money Island on several days early in the month and has a meeting with State Senator Van Drew scheduled on June 11. This is important to the future of our community.
It is traditional to open our facility to the public on Father’s Day
, Sunday June 17, for a free community event. It hasn’t been a big event lately because we don’t market it much. We will offer boat rides, food and loaner equipment.
Members of a fantastic group of Philadelphia-based business owners called Powermatch are visiting on Saturday June 23 for a day of fun and seafood barbecue. All marina members are invited to join us.
We will celebrate Tony’s birthday on Saturday July 7 with a seafood barbecue party. In recent years that has been the biggest event of the year here because the whole family shows up. Again, all members are invited.
MOST IMPORTANT: All events are weather dependent. Some say “June is for the bugs” and we take this seriously. We rely on sunny days with a steady breeze to keep us bug-free. Without these two, it simply isn’t worth being outside in June. When the wind is blowing at more than 4 mph we don’t have a problem. Notice that the locals wear loose fitting long sleeved clothing and long pants. We have bug spray and sun block at the bait shop.
Leroy Pierce sent these photos that he took in the middle 1990s when he was working for Towboat US. Leroy wrote “we dove to get crane attached to get the marina crane out. Then the tow truck which had the boat trailer attached. Tried to bring boat up on slack low tide. Marina crane was trying to lift trailer over concrete ledge while tow truck pulled up. Crane slipped on wet ramp pushed tow truck into creek and went over ledge as well”.
We recently negotiated the availability of dock space for larger vessels at Money Island. Our largest commercial dock tenant has extra space so we agreed to make it available to others. This dock space is ideal for recreational or commercial boats not in active use
Price: We estimate that our dock space is half the rate of Cape May New Jersey, 40 miles to our south. Our target rate is $65 per linear foot annual rate and lower short term rates as low as $35 per day are available.
Vessel Size: We can theoretically accomodate any size vessel up to 150+ feet although some modifications would be likely necessary for larger size vessels.
Depth: Greater than 12 feet at low tide.
Accommodations: Our marina is rustic and rural. Water and electric are available at some locations.
White perch are the most popular fishing target and the only species of local fish that can be caught year round – even through the ice. White perch are native to the Atlantic Coast and can adapt to fresh or salt water. espite the name, white perch aren’t actually perch. They are members of the temperate bass family, just like the striped bass. They prefer low-salinity estuaries but frequently inhabit coastal rivers and lakes.
In summer months shrimp or blood worms are the best bait. In winter small minnows work best. The best fishing spots are along the grassy banks of the creek. The meat is incredibly tasty. They can be grilled whole or cut into fillets.
Yesterday as I drove around delivering oysters to friends as a holiday gift, I found myself repeating the same information about the oysters that we love. Besides basic questions about how to handle the oysters, I am often asked fundamental questions like “Why are you so interested in oysters?” My several decade involvement goes back to environmental issues of the middle 1990s and today focuses on support of the expanding oyster industry.
We take pride in sharing our local Nantuxent oysters and this page provides some background information in bullet point format about Delaware Bay oysters.
First a disclaimer: these are my personal comments and do not reflect the opinions of any business, government or industry. Some people within the Delaware Bay oyster community disagree with my views and specifically state their wish that I not express comments like these. But I think that open discussion of competing ideas is almost always a good thing.
Our local NJ bayshore economy was largely build on the oyster industry that was thriving by 1905. At that time Money Island was apparently not occupied but Newport Landing, one mile up the creek, was a large important shipping port.
At one time the oyster economy created a greater concentration of millionaires at the NJ Delaware Bayshore than anywhere else in the nation. The towns of Port Norris, Shellpile, and Dividing Creek still have some of those old mansions.
Peak oyster harvest hit over 1 million bushels with over 500 harvesting boats in the 1930s. (Some sources report even higher harvests).
The oyster population collapsed from overharvesting a disease in a series of disasters from the 1950s to the 1990s. The local economy collapsed with it.
Oysters are now recovering under a model that emphasizes quality and market control.
Our current oysters appear to be more resistant to diseases like dermo and MSX than those of the past.
Our water quality has also improved.
2017 harvest was about 120,000 bushels with less than 20 boats making any significant harvest.
Rutgers estimated that in 2016 we had 1.8 billion oysters living in the bay and that the population is increasing.
The population is controlled by ‘set rate’, a random factor, combined with water flows, nutrient level and availability of ‘clutch’ material.
Recovery of oyster populations is demonstrated in other estuaries to parallel the recovery of other fish populations. In fact, oyster farming can have a significant positive impact on local recreational fishing.
The local oyster industry takes consumer protection and stock safety precautions very seriously. Our local Money Island shores were closed to oyster harvesting due to proximity to houses an possible water contamination. But an ongoing water quality test program shows no water quality problems.
Delaware Bay oysters are among the best quality in the world. But don’t take my word for it, check them out and compare yourself. Our local oysters are branded and resold under various names throughout the country.
The local oyster industry is largely controlled by the NJ Delaware Bay section of the Shellfisheries Council that meets occasionally in Bivalve.
The most productive oyster growing and harvesting region of the Delaware Bay is known as the Nantuxent beds, located just offshore from our Nantuxent Creek at Money Island. That’s why Money Island is the landing port for most of the Delaware Bay oysters.
The economic value of the oysters landed here at Money Island is estimated at more than $20 million annually. Economic value differs from dock value in that it includes the multiplied effect of oysters throughout the economy and jobs including industries like seafood restaurants.
Oysters are either farmed or wild. Wild oysters can have varied interesting shaped shells, are sometimes stuck together called ‘cluster oysters’ and some can be very large up to 7 inches.
Wild oysters may have barnacles growing on the outside of the shell.
Farmed oysters tend to be smaller and more uniform in appearance.
Wild oysters are hand tonged on small boats. These boats work mostly in the winter months.
Oyster recovery programs take two routes: 1) Building populations of oysters that can be used as a food source (aka commercial production), and 2) rebuilding oyster growth near shores to stem erosion and storm damage (aka environmental restoration). Even though both are valuable
, the two operations often run into conflicting interests.
In this era of deep political divisions, there is still almost universal political agreement that restoration of oyster populations and oyster reefs is one of the smartest things we can be doing for ourselves, our estuaries, for recreational fishing, and for long-term sustainability of the bayshore.
The number of harvesters at Money Island varies. We have one full time resident oyster business here, many regional companies who harvest here but are based elsewhere and currently two seasonal oyster tongers.
We plan to recruit more oyster tongers by offering a higher priced dockside market for their oysters.
We recently launched a test program to teach oyster tonging. The details are still being worked out but the idea is to introduce people to this sustainable old traditional method of harvesting and then help them grow it into a part-time business if they want.
Larger commercial harvesters take oysters from leased and seeded beds. These are the large boats docked at Money Island. Their season runs most of the year in warm weather months but shuts down in the winter months.
Small oyster growers use cages along parts off the shore further south in the Delaware Bay. This is not done yet in our region of the bay.
In most other bays, oysters are incubated in one place, moved to a nursery in another place and then moved again into saltier water for grow out and finishing. The Delaware Bay is just catching up with this system that is used in most other parts of the modern aquaculture field.
We don’t sell oysters because we do not have a required shellfish dealer’s license but we are allowed to occasionally give oysters to friends as a gift.
We are working on getting the shellfish dealer’s license. This is not because we have a burning desire to be an oyster dealer but rather because it helps the local economy.
Oysters are delivered refrigerated or on ice.
It helps to have a good oyster knife in your kitchen. A good one costs about $9 from a kitchen specialty shop.
We’d be happy to demonstrate oyster shucking but, of course, there is always YouTube.
When opening oysters keep the cup side down to hold th juices.
A shortcut to avoid the work of shucking is to barbecue the oysters, This is a favorite method of local watermen, They pile the oysters on the barbecue grill for a few minutes until steam comes from the seam. The pop open easily and are typically served with hot sauce.
Our oysters sometimes have small live crabs inside called a ‘pea crab’. These do not harm the oyster and are delicious. Local watermen consider them to be an added treat. If you have the courage, just pop them in whole and wiggling. (It is possible to win some free drinks by encouraging dares from newbies). Otherwise just push them aside.
To prepare oysters, scrub them with a brush under running water. Then put them in salted cold tap water with a tablespoon of cornstarch for a few hours. Don’t keep them in stale water for too long.
Oysters can be kept on ice or in the refrigerator for days or even a week. (I’m not speaking of industry standards, tolerances or guidance). Our local oyster industry maintains more strict standards. If kept in a refrigerator, cover them with a wet towel.
The price of Delaware Bay oysters ranges from a low wholesale price of $.40 each paid by some dealers growers and harvesters to a high of $2.50 ($30 per dozen) offered online by Fulton Fish Market. The average retail price seems to be about $1 to $1.25 each in local fish markets.
My personal favorite recipe is Oyster Rockefeller, local style. Thoroughly cook finely chopped high quality bacon in a large pan then add chopped frozen spinach and chopped onion. Add parmesan cheese, Old Bay seasoning, and a little hot sauce. Spoon the mixture over opened oysters on the half shell and broil them for a few minutes. Garnish with lemon.
Save the shells for recycling. Cleaned oyster shells are used to grow future generations of oysters. We are happy to take them back.
Until a few years ago I operated a shell recycling program through Baysave that gathered shells from Pennsylvania restaurants for reuse in local oyster reef rebuilding projects. Baysave lacked the funding required for a separate inland cleaning facility (essentially a small rural landfill site) required by the state to continue the program. The program may be revived again in the future after we find a farm or other location to clean the shells.