Shrimp, not lobsters; albino turkey; Rehoboth generators sold

November 9, 2012
An albino turkey joins one of its more naturally colored relatives on the edge of a marsh in eastern Sussex. BY JULIE SHORT

Here's a wildlife update from the briny deep: apparently the little lobsters found on Lewes Beach by Mike and Ed Shockley after Hurricane Sandy blew past weren't lobsters after all. John Ewart, an aquaculture and fisheries specialist at the University of Delaware, said that on further review of more detailed photos, it was determined that the little creatures were ghost shrimp, also known as blue mud shrimp. Ewart said Doug Miller, resident benthic ecologist at the Lewes campus, confirmed the identity. “According to Doug, they are not commonly found because they dig such deep burrows,” wrote Ewart in an email. “The fact that so much of Lewes Beach was washed out because of the storm exposed them, and Doug was surprised to hear reports of such large numbers of them being found - so that part is still unique. Way more so if they turned out to be lobsters, but unfortunately not so.”
Ewart said the ghost shrimp live most of their lives burrowed deep into the beach, which is why they are rarely seen. When Hurricane Sandy's winds turned to the north northwest, they made a direct frontal assault on Lewes Beach and dug up all kinds of stuff that hadn't been seen for a long time.

Albino turkey in Eastern Sussex

Harry Short brought in the accompanying photograph showing an albino turkey in the midst of a flock of its normally dark and iridescent brethren. Harry said the photograph was taken by his daughter, Julie Short, on the eastern side of Sussex County. He didn't want to say much more since the albino turkey is already at such a disadvantage without its protective coloration.

Rehoboth generators headed for Yoder's

Christian and Jamin Hudson were high bidders last weekend on four diesel generators sold by auctioneer Butch Emmert. The generators were among a group of surplus vehicles, Boardwalk benches, lifeguard chairs, abandoned bicycles and various items confiscated by Rehoboth police, all put up for auction by the City of Rehoboth Beach. The generators provided emergency power for lift stations that pump wastewater through the Rehoboth network of sewer pipes. They have been in service since about 1985 but have only been run about 300 hours in all that time - basically just to test them from time to time, since no real emergencies dictated their use in all those years.
The Hudson brothers paid $4,500 each for two 150-kilowatt generators and $3,900 each for two 50-kilowatt generators.

They bought into the Yoder floor truss and roofing truss business in Greenwood in 2011 and said they will deploy the generators to keep the manufacturing operation up and running should storms or other events knock out traditional power to the plants. “These will help make sure we can keep our 46 employees working in case of a blackout. We need electricity to run the lasers, saws and assembly lines,” said Christian Hudson. He said new generators of this size can cost as much as $80,000 for the larger units and between $25,000 and $30,000 for the smaller units. “We know we have to put some money into them to bring them up to best shape, “ said Jamin, “but we think it will be worth it in the long run.”

They said the Yoder trusses are sold all over Delmarva, with demand growing as the housing market improves. They said they are also looking to expand into the Baltimore and Richmond markets. Because of environmental concerns about underground tanks serving the generators, Rehoboth applied for and received a grant to replace the aging generators along with new tanks that will be installed above ground.

Emmert said the auction grossed somewhere around $30,000 for Rehoboth Beach. “I think that's about $10,000 more than the city expected," he said.

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