Decade of Grants Benefit Barnegat Bay (NJ)
Ocean County, NJ, 4/14/2004: For the tenth year, local groups working to protect or improve the Barnegat Bay watershed received grants to support those efforts. Nine nonprofit organizations received awards totaling $25,000 from the Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund administered by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas.
During the decade-long history of the Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund, 66 nonprofit organizations have received grants for activities that directly benefit the Barnegat Bay and its watershed through environmental education, planning, monitoring, research, and land stewardship. Grants are awarded for such projects as watershed education, wetland protection, nonpoint source pollution prevention, educational events, and sand dune grass restoration.
This year’s recipients are: Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions ($ 3,350), Filipino-American Medical Society of Toms River, Inc. ($300), Friends of Island Beach State Park, Inc. ($1,000), Jersey Shore Council, Boy Scouts of America ($3,350), Natural Resource Education Foundation of NJ ($2,900), New Jersey Audubon Society ($3,100), Pinelands Preservation Alliance ($2,500), and Save Barnegat Bay ($5,000 and $3,500).
“For a decade now, the Barnegat Bay has benefited from the efforts of nonprofits like these,” said Kathy Haake, Field Representative for the Trust for Public Land. “Thanks to these grants, funds are available to support, education, restoration, and watershed protection; and the bay is better for it.”
Funds for the grants program were provided as part of a $2.5 million contribution by the Ciba-Geigy Corporation to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
“Tremendous good work has been done in the Barnegat Bay as a result of this grants program. Things that wouldn’t have happened through any other means,” said Haake.
The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generatons to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.6 million acres of land. With a state office in Morristown, TPL has protected more than 18,000 acres in New Jersey, including 9,600 acres in the Barnegat Bay watershed. The Bay Fund is one component of TPL’s Barnegat Bay Initiative-a long-term protection strategy for the bay, including public education, scientific research, land planning and acquisition of critical properties. TPL’s scientific framework for prioritizing sites for protection grew from The Century Plan, published in 1995 and its sequel, Beyond the Century Plan (1997). For more information, visit www.tpl.org/newjersey.
Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund 2004 Recipients
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions: $3,350 to improve water quality in the Barnegat Bay Watershed by helping municipalities implement stormwater management practices. This organization will provide technical assistance to municipal officials to help draft stormwater ordinances and produce plans as well as to provide training to environmental commissions on the stormwater regulation requirements, methods for public education, and using GPS to locate outfall pipes.
Filipino-American Medical Society of Toms River, Inc.: $300 to continue and expand the stewardship program that removes trash from the shoreline and local estuaries as well to provide education at the high school level about the Barnegat Bay shore line.
Friends of Island Beach State Park, Inc.: $1,000 to purchase marine supplies for the interpretive programs at Island Beach State Park. Many of the interpretive programs at Island Beach State Park focus on the aquatic life of the Barnegat Bay and the coastal waters of New Jersey. The key components of these programs are the aquatic tanks that are stocked with species netted in Barnegat Bay. These tanks are located at the Nature Center and the North Pavilion. Maintaining saltwater tanks involves a great deal of effort and numerous marine supplies for proper functioning. The aquatic tanks at Island Beach State Park promote stewardship of our waters by educating and fascinating visitors of all ages.
Jersey Shore Council, Boy Scouts of America: $3,350 to educate, inform, and create awareness in a broad base of young people, adult leaders, and family members at the shore, throughout New Jersey, and from out of state. This will be accomplished using select programs such as the Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge and Environmental Science Merit Badge specific to the Barnegat Bay ecosystem.
Natural Resource Education Foundation of NJ: $2,900 to better define the role of the Northern Diamondback Terrapins in the Barnegat Bay system. Terrapins are “unrecognized macroconsumers” in salt marsh systems. This research may provide information on current faunal trophic structures within the system. This information may provide necessary information for the development of future indicators of the health of the watershed.
New Jersey Audubon Society: $3,100 to launch the Important Bird and Birding Areas (IBBA) program with the designation of two sites within the Barnegat Bay watershed. This initiative will bring local stakeholders together and promote local stewardship and advocacy, educate the public about critical sites within the watershed, and show how the watershed habitat contributes to larger goals of statewide and regional bird conservation.
Pinelands Preservation Alliance: $2,500 to educate high school students about the relationship between land use and the ecology of the interrelated ecosystems that make up the Pine Barrens and the Barnegat Bay/Little Egg Harbor estuary. Another objective of the program is to train teachers on various aspects of Pine Barrens field work through involvement in the field surveys and discussion elements of the program.
Save Barnegat Bay: $5,000 to print the Map entitled “A Guide to the Sedge Islands: A Canoe and Kayak Guide to a Unique Tidal Marsh Ecosystem” for distribution to visitors to Island Beach State Park. This map was created by Jennifer O’Reilly of Save Barnegat Bay for the benefit of Island Beach State Park. The water-resistant map relates the natural and human history of the Island Beach Sedge Islands, as well as New Jersey’s first Marine Conservation Zone, which SBB helped bring into being.
Save Barnegat Bay: $ 3,500 to utilize six volunteer college natural resource education students under the supervision of the volunteer project director to complete four projects. The activities include the annual 30,000 culms Dune Grass Planting Program, the erecting of four replacement osprey nesting platforms on the marsh with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 26 of Seaside Park, conducting the annual endangered species nesting and production survey, and a monthly survey on the eelgrass and widgeon grass beds along with the collection of macro algae samples in cooperation with the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program.