Grants Awarded for Barnegat Bay (NJ) Protection
Ocean County, NJ–The Trust for Public Land announced today the recipients of the seventh annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund. Eight groups were awarded $25,000 to support projects that protect and improve the Barnegat Bay and its watershed. To date, 43 organizations have received grants through the Bay Fund.
Grants are awarded to non-profit organizations for activities that directly benefit the Barnegat Bay and its watershed through environmental education, planning, monitoring, research or 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.
“There are so many groups working extremely hard with tight budgets to do work that benefits the Barnegat Bay. This program was established to support their efforts to protect this critical ecosystem,” said Kathy Haake, Barnegat Bay Project Associate 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. Applications were submitted by both past grant recipients building on projects and groups that are new to the program that wished to expand or launch new initiatives.
For example, this year, the Youth Environmental Society received $4,550 to initiate and coordinate a volunteer program at the former Lighthouse camp in Waretown. Last year, the group received a grant to develop a management plan for the site. In 1999, a $3,000 grant was awarded to the Ocean Nature and Conservation Society for a study to look at the feasibility of using the camp and adjacent property as a conference center, teacher training facility, outdoor classroom and residential environmental education center.
“It was through this initiative to identify the possible uses of the Lighthouse camp that TPL was able to negotiate an agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish & Wildlife to permanently protect the land and allow it to be used for natural resource education,” said Haake. “None of that would have been possible without the grants program and the work by local groups to identify possible uses and make things happen.”
Organizations receiving grants for the first include: First Night Ocean County and the Tuckerton Seaport Environmental Education Program.
The nine-member Board includes: Alan Avery, Jr., Director, Ocean County Department of Planning; Ken Dupuis, Site Manager, Ciba Specialty Chemicals; Kathy Haake, Project Associate, the Trust for Public Land; Janet Larson, Resource Management Program Associate, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County; Pete McLain, Outdoor Writer and Environmental Consultant and Robert Scro, PhD, Program Director, Barnegat Bay Estuary Program for Ocean County. Martha Maxwell-Doyle, trustee for the Barnegat Bay Watershed Foundation and Patricia A. Croisier, naturalist for Ocean County Parks and Recreation joined the board this year.
Additional information on TPL’s Barnegat Bay Initiative and descriptions of the projects are available at www.tpl.org under the New Jersey program.
2001 Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund Recipients:
Save Barnegat Bay $5,000 – To update the present eelgrass locations map of Barnegat Bay and census eelgrass, and to plot the location of eelgrass beds at half-mile intervals from Barnegat light to the Manahawkin Bridge.
Youth Environmental Society $4,550 – To initiate and coordinate a volunteer program, to include volunteer training sessions and a public awareness campaign and to implement a series of educational programs at the facility.
New Jersey Audubon Society $4,500 – To assess the abundance and distribution of northern harriers in the Barnegat Bay watershed by way of: (1) Conducting a comprehensive survey of Northern Harrier occurrences in the watershed, (2) Identify breeding sites, (3) Establish a baseline of information for use in developing a comprehensive study of northern harriers in southern New Jersey.
Tuckerton Seaport Environmental Education Program $3,546 – To conduct a hands-on program in the Tuckerton Creek and Barnegat Bay followed by discussion/application at the Tuckerton Seaport about the relationship between the Barnegat Bay watershed, the bay, its wetlands, freshwater creeks and its people.
First Night Ocean County $3,000 – To sponsor singer/songwriter/educator Valerie Vaughn at events such as the Barnegat Bay Festival, Elementary School Assemblies, the Ocean County Library and First Night 2002. Ms.Vaughn uses her talents to relate to communicate the importance of the Barnegat Bay to our ecology, economy and culture.
Friends of Island Beach State Park $2,500 – To purchase and install galvanized wire-mesh fencing to create a habitat for nesting birds—such as terns, black skimmers, American oystercatchers and piping plover—in an area subject to heavy recreational use. Fencing will be installed on April 28. Volunteers are needed; call 732-793-0506 during the week to sign up. For more information, go to www.savebarnegatbay.org.
Alliance for a Living Ocean $1,600 – To purchase equipment to expand the “From the Raindrop to the Ocean” presentations given at schools, civic organizations and the general public year-round. This program helps promote and maintain clean water and a healthy coastal environment through education, research and active participation
Marine Trades Association of New Jersey Foundation $304 – To help fund the reprint of Boaters Guide to Barnegat Bay and Little Egg Harbor, a guide map promoting actions and behaviors that safeguard the living resources of Barnegat Bay and Little Egg Harbor.
With its state office in Morristown, the Trust for Public Land has protected more than 13,500 acres of land in New Jersey, including more than 7,000 acres in the Barnegat Bay.