Coastal Perspectives Lecture – Mar 21, 2023

Horseshoe Crabs: How 350 Million Year Old Sea Creatures Are Vital to Our Survival

Sarah Porter, Filmmaker


NYC has a surprising amount of nature and wildlife, including thousands of horseshoe crabs that come to the shores in the spring to mate. With the worldwide race to develop and manufacture vaccines came renewed interest in these incredible sea creatures and their blue blood. These animals are over 350 million years old and have been critical to the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Although the bright blue blood plays a vital role in helping end the pandemic, their numbers are in decline. Numerous species, including humans, depend on horseshoe crabs and it’s up to us to help ensure their survival.

For this mini documentary, Sarah went out into the field and spoke with some “local heroes” in NYC who have been protecting them. Her team explored the nighttime waters of Brooklyn with elementary students to help monitor and tag them, data that then helps determine catch limits on how many can be taken by the biomedical and fishing industry.

Web & Social Media

Instagram: @twoclawsup 

YouTube: Two Claws Up


Sarah Porter is a passionate environmentalist and former New Yorker whose work rescuing unwanted hermit crabs has been featured in USA Today, Upworthy, PIX11 News, amNY and The Dodo. Sarah runs the advocacy platform, Two Claws Up, dedicated to providing resources on how to properly care for crabs as pets. Additionally, she focuses on helping nonprofits use virtual reality (VR) for story telling and raising awareness about their work. Sarah is a former Peace Corps volunteer and the founder of the New York City Peace Corps Association. She lives in Stony Creek and is currently the Director of Innovative Philanthropy for an international nonprofit focused on poverty alleviation. She is currently working on a second mini doc focused on the whales returning to the New York Harbor along with the repopulation of oysters in NYC.



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