TPL Awards 2006 Barnegat Bay Environmental Grants (NJ)
Morristown, NJ, 4/6/2006: The Trust for Public Land announced today the recipients of awards from the twelfth annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund. Seven local groups were awarded $20,400 from a New Jersey state 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.
“This year’s grants are providing education and stewardship programs for everyone from kids to seniors to help them understand the importance of the Barnegat Bay watershed. People will learn about the delicate ecosystem in the Barnegat Bay, why it is important and how to protect it,” said Kathy Haake, project manager for The Trust for Public Land.
The grants will support a wide variety of education and conservation efforts throughout the watershed, which includes most of Ocean County since the Metedeconk River, Toms River, Forked River, Cedar Creek and the land surrounding them drain into the bay. Alliance for a Living Ocean received funds for an exhibit on the bay at the group’s new home at the Maritime Museum in Beach Haven. New Jersey Audubon Society will educate seniors on the unique qualities of the habitats within the watershed. Kids and teachers attending the Natural Resource Education Foundation of NJ’s Lighthouse Camp will find out why the Bay is important to protect. In addition, public officials will have the opportunity to learn how to improve and update natural or environmental resource inventories, storm water management plans, and municipal infrastructure planning through programs provided by the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions.
Funds for the Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant program are part of a $2.5 million contribution by the Ciba-Geigy Corporation (now Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation) to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Since 1994, 81 grants have been awarded.
This year’s grant recipients are: Alliance for a Living Ocean ($4,300), Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions ($4,000), Filipino American Medical Society of Toms River ($200), Mordecai Land Trust ($1,000), Natural Resource Education Foundation of NJ, Inc. ($4,000), NJ Audubon Society ($3,500), and Ocean Nature and Conservation Society ($3,400).
“The Trust for Public Land and our grants fund board are pleased to be able to support programs that engage people in activities to broaden their awareness of this precious natural resource and encourage them to protect it,” said Haake.
The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has protected more than 2.1 million acres of land nationwide. With a state office in Morristown, TPL has protected more than 23,000 acres in New Jersey, including over 11,000 acres in the Barnegat Bay watershed. The Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant 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 2006 Recipients Summary
Alliance for a Living Ocean: $4,300 Provide educational displays at ALO’s new home at the Maritime Museum in Beach Haven scheduled to open May 2006. Displays will include indigenous shells and seaweeds found in NJ, a model of a barrier island, a horseshoe crab display and marine debris with a timeline of degradation and water quality section.
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions: $4,000 Through workshops and publications, ANJEC will promote and demonstrate new NJDEP and CRSSA natural resource data to help towns improve and update natural or environmental resource inventories, storm water management plans and municipal infrastructure planning. ANJEC will work to reduce sprawl development and its impact on water resources in the Barnegat Bay watershed by providing municipal officials with the incentives and tools to better manage or reduce growth.
Filipino American Medical Society of Toms River: $200 Members and families will remove man-made debris from Barnegat Bay beaches between April and November 2006.
Mordecai Land Trust: $1,000 The Mordecai Island Ecological Survey Field Trip, under direction of staff from the Richard Stockton College Marine Science and Environmental Field Station, will provide a hands-on, on-site opportunity for area middle school age children with a demonstrated interest in ecology and science to learn more about the extremely valuable (and threatened) fish, bird, and plant habitat afforded by Mordecai Island.
Natural Resource Education Foundation of NJ, Inc.: $4,000 Utilizing the outdoor classrooms located on the property of the Lighthouse Center and the activity guide “Discovering Barnegat Bay, ” five schools will be selected to participate in a teacher training program and a class trip to Experience Barnegat Bay with a hands-on and experiential visit to this locally significant environmental and natural resource facility.
NJ Audubon Society: $3,500 Develop an education and outreach program to introduce seniors to the basics of the Barnegat Bay watershed. This education program will lay the groundwork for involving the senior residents in a variety of stewardship and/or community projects that will benefit their communities and the watershed.
Ocean Nature and Conservation Society: $3,400 Guided eco-tours by kayak will explore the edge of Barnegat Bay and Silver Bay. Interpretation will include emphasis on the importance of watershed stewardship and healthy estuarine ecosystems. Naturalist staff will be provided by Cattus Island County Park.