Great Places

Primehook Beach, an official horseshoe crab sanctuary

38°51'20.40"N  75°14'33.68"W

Prime Hook Road & Shore Drive
Primehook Beach, DE 19968

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In 2009, Primehook Beach became an official sanctuary for horseshoe crabs. This is the state marine animal of Delaware and a "signature species" of the Delaware Bay estuary.

Visitors are welcome to watch as these harmless animals swarm the beach while spawning in May and June. All we ask is that you maintain a safe distance from all wildlife to ensure they are not disturbed; that is, unless you see a horseshoe crab stranded on its back. If that's the case, we ask that you please "just flip 'em." Check out this music video to see how: http://bit.ly/1oxbPIL.

Don't forget to bring your binoculars, camera, or spotting scope if you visit. Anytime horseshoe crabs spawn they attract a variety of shorebirds seeking to eat their eggs.

Each year the nearby town of Milton, together with Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, hosts a Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival during Memorial Day weekend. Visit our "Great Events" Web page each spring to learn more.

Photo by Gregory Breese of the USFWS

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