It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s Save Sandy Hook!

The grassroots campaign to save Sandy Hook from development took to the skies recently.

An advocate for keeping Sandy Hook unspoiled hired an aerial advertising firm to tow a banner advertising the Web site for Save Sandy Hook, the group that opposes commercial development at the park which draws thousands of sunbathers, swimmers, fishermen, surfers and birders.

The banner strategy took advantage of the perfect summer weather that crowded beaches on the weekend of Aug. 28 and 29.

Since the aerial banner flew the Monmouth County shoreline, the Web site, , has had a five-fold increase in daily traffic, according to a spokesman for Save Sandy Hook.

The site previously averaged 50 hits per day, according to Steven Szulecki, a member of the SSH board. He said the fly-bys have resulted in 240 signatures being added to the online petition and approximately 1,300 additional visits, for a total of nearly 5,100 visits and 3,276 signatures. Donations received through the Web site are also up substantially, he said.

Szulecki, who helped coordinate the fly-by for a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, said the aerial banner also helps keep Save Sandy Hook’s cause in the public mind.

“We don’t want people to think its over because the National Park Service has signed a lease with the developer,” he said. “Now that that has been done, we’re moving ahead.”

Save Sandy Hook has hired an attorney to block the National Park Service from going ahead with a 60-year lease that gives private developer Sandy Hook Partners the right to rehabilitate and reuse 36 historic buildings at Fort Hancock for a mix of uses. The park service says it does not have the funds to save the buildings and is promoting the public/private partnership model for the $75 million proposal as a way to do so.