SANDY HOOK – On January 1, 2012, the American Littoral Society will hold its 36th annual Dery Bennett New Year’s Day Beach Walk on Sandy Hook. Society staff will lead members and the general public on a bracing walk on the beach, departing at 11 a.m. from Society Headquarters, 18 Hartshorne Drive, Highlands, NJ, 07732. After the walk, the group will gather at Society headquarters for free hot dogs, hot cocoa, cider, and desserts.The annual walk was started in the 1970s by Dery Bennett, who led the American Littoral Society for more than 30 years. He wanted the public to start each year with a focus on the coast. After Bennett passed away in 2009, the Society renamed the walk after him to honor his many years of protecting and preserving New Jersey’s coastal wildlife and habitat and for inspiring so many others to follow his path.The walk is free and open to the public but donations are always welcome. Participants should dress for the weather and bring a dessert to share – finger foods only, please. This is a rain or shine event; however, in the case of an extreme weather event, check the Society’s homepage for a cancellation notice by 7 a.m. the day of the event.The American Littoral Society is a membership-based, non-profit, coastal conservation organization headquartered on Sandy Hook in Highlands, NJ. Since 1961 the Society has promoted the study and conservation of coastal marine life and habitat, defended the coast from harm, and empowered others to do the same through advocacy, education, and conservation. To learn more visit www.littoralsociety.org.