Barnegat Bay 2002 Environmental Grants Awarded (NJ)

Ocean County, NJ, 6/5/02 — The summer season is upon us and thousands of New Jerseyans and tourists have begun their migration to enjoy the natural resources of the shore. Fortunately for them, there are a number of groups looking out for and working to safeguard those resources year-round.

Nine local groups received awards totaling $25,000 from the Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund administered by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nonprofit organization committed to protecting our natural and historic resources for future generations.

This year, grants were awarded for such projects as watershed education, seagrass study, production of a resource guide, and work with rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals. The recipients include: Alliance for a Living Ocean, Barnegat Bay Watershed and Estuary Foundation, Forked River Mountain Coalition, Georgian Court College, Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Natural Resource Education Foundation of New Jersey, New Jersey Audubon Society, Save Barnegat Bay, and Tuckerton Seaport.

During the eight-year history of the Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund, 52 nonprofit organizations have received grants for activities that directly benefit the Barnegat Bay and its watershed through environmental education, planning, monitoring, research, and land stewardship. The annual grants are made possible by a $2.5 million contribution by the Ciba-Geigy Corporation to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). A portion of the funds—$500,000—was designated for the grants program. The remainder has been made available to Trust for Public Land for the acquisition of critical lands. The Trust for Public Land was designated the administrator of the Bay Fund by the DEP because of the organization’s long-term protection effort on behalf of the bay.

“These grants are awarded to support the efforts of groups working to protect the Barnegat Bay ecosystem. Each year, organizations receive funds to do projects that they might otherwise not have the resources to see through,” said Kathy Haake, Barnegat Bay Field Representative for the Trust for Public Land.

Projects that have been supported in the past include environmental education workshops, creation of a native plant garden, mapping, water quality monitoring, habitat restoration and various other projects having positive impacts on the health of the Bay and its ecosystems.

The nine-member board of the Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund includes: Patricia A. Croisier, naturalist for Ocean County Parks and Recreation; Ken Dupuis, Site Manager, Ciba Specialty Chemicals; Kathy Haake, Field Representative, the Trust for Public Land; Janet Larson, Resource Management Program Associate, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County; Roger Locandro, Ph.D., Prof Emeritus of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick; Martha Maxwell-Doyle, trustee for the Barnegat Bay Watershed Foundation; Pete McLain, Outdoor Writer and Environmental Consultant and Robert Scro, PhD, Program Director, Barnegat Bay Estuary Program for Ocean County. Kyra Hoffman, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Watershed Management, Trenton joined the Board this year.

The Trust for Public Land with a state office in Morristown, has protected more than 17,500 acres in New Jersey, including more than 9,400 acres in the Barnegat Bay watershed.

2002 Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund Awards

Alliance for a Living Ocean $1,240 – To create a portable Look and Learn Tank for educational purposes which helps enhance and supplement existing work. It is similar to a Touch Tank, but only educators will handle the creatures so as to ensure their safety and survival.

Barnegat Bay Watershed and Estuary Foundation $1,500 – To implement the first phase, the curriculum, of a Barnegat Bay Watershed Education Campaign for all elementary schools within the region. The campaign will eventually be represented via a mascot, “Barnie the Crab”. The program will also be made available to scouts and other youth groups throughout the watershed.

Forked River Mountain Coalition $4,000 -To finalize work with rare, threatened, and endangered plant and animal species in the headwaters of the Middle Branch of the Forked River.

Georgian Court College $553 – To provide information on Barnegat Bay seagrass ecology by collecting data on the biomass, seasonal decomposition rates, and relative nutritive values of the two dominant seagrass species in the Bay.

Marine Trades Association of New Jersey $5,000 – To produce a resource guide on marine recreational fishing, clamming, crabbing, safe boating and environmental stewardship in the Barnegat Bay Watershed to be used by state, county, and municipal parks and nature centers, fishing clubs, and youth organizations.

Natural Resource Education Foundation of New Jersey $4,605 – To develop and pilot educational programs which will be available at the Lighthouse Center and also at the Sedge Island Natural Resource Center. The five themes to be developed are Bay Exploration, Birding Expeditions, Investigations with the Terrapin, Maritime Forest Trail, and Watershed Features.

New Jersey Audubon Society $3,050 – To heighten environmental awareness and understanding of the Barnegat Bay Watershed through a series of seminars for senior citizens, who play an enormous role in the shaping of Ocean County, yet are under-served when it comes to environmental education

Save Barnegat Bay $4,500 – To complete a study of eelgrass and widgeon grass in Barnegat Bay through completing 40 miles of GPS plots at half-mile intervals and mapping the SAV beds in the area from the Manahawkin Bridge to the Little Egg Harbor Bay.

Tuckerton Seaport $552 – To develop a curriculum and put in the format of a binded booklet to be used as a pre and/or post-visit teaching tool for all the tours of students that visit the Tuckerton Seaport property.