The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium advances knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment through research, education, and extension.

Providing for research that results in sound scientific data used to promote wise decision-making about New Jersey’s coastal and marine resources is at the heart of NJSGC’s mission.

The Education Program at the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium holds a wide variety of programs directed towards advancing greater understanding and stewardship of our state’s marine and coastal resources.

The primary goal of Extension is to provide useful information to people employed or interested in fields related to marine resources from fishermen, coastal engineers, maritime industry personnel, resource managers, and decision makers to the general public.

The Communications Department provides comprehensive services to the Consortium and its project partners by using all possible means and mediums including, print, computer/web-based technology, video, radio, and broadcast television.

News & Events

Celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month with NJSGC this November!

October 2nd, 2018

Throughout November, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium offers both full and half-day outdoor programs focused on the historic coastal lifestyle of New Jersey’s natives, the Lenape people.  “Lenape and the Jersey Shore” and “Native Ways” are both suitable for students in Grades 2nd -6th.

These “hands-on” programs involve students in problem solving and teamwork through an exploration of Sandy Hook’s marine environment from the perspective of the native people who once lived there. By focusing on coastal community life, students will gain insight into the Lenape lifestyle, organization, and traditions.

Through discussion and instruction your NJSGC Instructor will cover the following key concepts during your Lenape and The Jersey Shore program:

  • History of the Lenape People
  • Geographic orientation
  • Language and lore
  • Food and tools
  • Gender roles

Students will participate in some or all of the following activities:

  • Traditional fishing techniques (boots, nets and buckets supplied by NJSGC)
  • Plant and animal identification
  • Food preparation (mortar and pestle demonstration and activity)
  • Fire by friction activity
  • Cord braiding necklace craft
  • Clam shell drilling activity
  • Hunting techniques
  • Fishing using a weir
  • Hoop and spear game
  • Firewood game

Please contact NJSGC’s Education Associate Melanie Tarling at 732-872-1300 x13 for more information!

Coastal Resilience – Hurricane Florence UPDATES

September 13th, 2018

Although current forecasts predict that Hurricane Florence will not directly or severely impact the Garden State, it’s always safer to remain alert and aware while having an emergency plan in place. New Jersey may still see flooding, rip currents, and beach erosion. Please stay informed and aware. At NJSGC, we’re here to help.


Where to Swim at the Jersey Shore in September (Lifeguard Update)

September 6th, 2018

Summer is almost over, but with less beach traffic and warmer ocean temperatures, most locals consider September an ideal time to still enjoy the Jersey Shore.

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium would like to remind everyone to always remain safe and alert during these last few weeks of summer. Rip currents are still a huge danger, and it is never safe to swim without lifeguard supervision. NJSGC’s Rip Current Awareness Program was established to better inform the general public about water hazards and beach safety. As always – “When in doubt, don’t go out!”

Because the season is officially over, several beaches no longer provide daily lifeguard patrols. But thankfully, many still do! Please be advised that every town and city has a different set of rules and regulations. Dates and locations are extremely limited. Find more helpful tips below:

Island Beach State Park (Seaside Park, Ocean County)

Manasquan (Monmouth County)

Ocean City (Cape May County)

Southern Ocean County (including Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, and Surf City)

Wildwood Beaches (Cape May County)

NJSGC will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. Please contact our Communications Specialist Danica Bellini if you happen to know of any guarded beaches, especially in the Monmouth County area. Thank you, and have a great locals’ summer!

The Role of Sea Grant in the Career of Dr. Kenneth W. Able (American Fisheries Society, 2018 Session)

August 29th, 2018

Dr. Kenneth W. Able – longtime Director of the Rutgers University Marine Field Station and NJSGC-funded researcher – was honored with the Dwight A. Webster Memorial Award from the Northeastern Division of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) during the organization’s annual conference held in Atlantic City earlier this month.

The  one-day specialty session aimed to celebrate Dr. Able’s lifelong achievements in the field of marine science and beyond:

Dr. Kenneth W. Able has been a faculty member at Rutgers University for 40 years and the Director of the Marine Field Station for over 30 (since 1987). His contributions to estuarine and marine ecology are ubiquitous. They include 252 publications, 23 published abstracts, 3 books, and 51 technical reports. He has received 163 grants, exceeding $20 million. Over the course of his career, he has advised 85 undergraduate and 41 graduate students and mentored 23 postdoctoral researchers. Dr. Able has been honored with multiple awards, such as the Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award (2014), the Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Research Excellence Award (2014), and the Oscar E. Sette Outstanding Marine Fishery Biology Award, American Fisheries Society (Marine Fisheries Section, 2004).The purpose of this special symposium is to celebrate Dr. Able’s career. Presentations in this symposium will emphasize his research interests in habitat interactions; the impacts of fisheries, urbanizing estuaries, and climate change on fishes; restoration ecology; and long-term ecological monitoring. Synthesis talks will include results from Dr. Able’s studies, and legacy talks will include studies that have built upon his findings.

Associate Director for the Sea Grant Administration and New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s Director of Research & Extension Dr. Peter Rowe held a session entitled “The Role of Sea Grant in the Career of Kenneth W. Able” to honor his ongoing collaboration and contribution to NJSGC’s overall mission. For more information, please view the abstract in its entirety. 

Also during the session, University of Rhode Island undergrad Dawn Parry won AFS’  “best student poster” presentation for her ongoing work with NJSGC’s Juvenile Striped Bass research project. Dr. Able is also a distinguished professor on this project, along with Principal Investigator  Dr. Olaf P. Jensen and Assistant Research Professor Dr. Paola Lopez-Duarte (Rutgers University). An overview of Parry’s “Distinguishing Juvenile Striped Bass Habitats and Spawning Sites Using Otolith Microchemistry” proposal is as follows:

Recruitment of striped bass from the mid-Atlantic Bight northward is thought to result from spawning in the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware River, and Hudson River. However, juvenile striped bass occur in smaller estuaries throughout their range that could also be spawning sites. One way to determine the origin of striped bass is to study the elemental signatures in their otoliths. As fish grow, trace elements that reflect local environments are incorporated in the otoliths. We used otolith microchemistry to determine whether juvenile striped bass (<300mm TL) collected in New Jersey (Hudson, Raritan, Mullica, and Delaware rivers) from 2014 to 2017 had distinct signatures. Using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometry, we measured elemental signatures along the otolith edge, which correspond to the most recent environmental conditions experienced by the fish, and elemental signatures closest to the otolith core, which reflect conditions at the spawning site. Principal component analysis revealed that strontium was the most important driver of chemical variation among otoliths from different sites. Otoliths from fish in the Hudson, Mullica, and Delaware rivers had distinct signatures that did not vary greatly over multiple years. Raritan River otoliths separated into two groups, indicating that fish collected there may have originated elsewhere.

NJSGC congratulates Dr. Able and Ms. Parry on these monumental achievements, and would also like to thank organizers Dr. Paola Lopez-Duarte and Dr. Thomas M. Grothues for putting together such an outstanding symposium.

The ‘COASTodian’ Newsletter – Summer 2018 Edition

August 24th, 2018

Another summer season is coming to a close at New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, but the memories will surly last a lifetime!

In this latest edition of the COASTodian:

– Find out which popular Jersey Shore destination was named NJSGC’s “Favorite Beach” in 2018

– Learn about what it’s like working as a field instructor with NJSGC’s Scouts Program

– View NJSGC-inspired instructional videos made in collaboration with three former MAST students

– Get exciting updates on recent fellowships and research achievements.

– And much more!

Read more here.

We’re always working hard to provide fresh and entertaining content on NJSGC’s official Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Be sure to check out what’s new and get involved by tagging us on social media! Please visit for further information and updates.

Scouts Program, Fall 2018 Dates Announced: Individual Enrollment for Environmental Science & Oceanography

August 16th, 2018

We are delighted to announce that the next Individual Enrollment Environmental Science merit badge program will be held at NJSGC on Sunday,  September 23, 2018  from 10:00 – 3:00 (CLOSED), and the Individual Oceanography merit badge program on Saturday,  September 29, 2018  from 10:00 – 2:00. The fee is $45.00/scout for each class; adults are free. Continue reading for more information!


In this interactive program at Sandy Hook, scouts will learn the basics of environmental science as we explore various aspects of the maritime environment. Through seining (net and boots provided), we will learn what lives in Sandy Hook Bay and about aquatic-based food webs. Hiking through the salt marsh, we will learn about its ecology through birding, plant identification, tidal impacts, water chemistry tests, and conduct a vegetation survey. We will study the effects of pollution on various environments both at the beach and in the laboratory, including simulated oil spills and acid rain, and discover how waves and tides affect pollution. Scouts will learn about biodegradable materials. We will study ocean acidification and soil erosion effects and analyze an Environmental Impact Statement. All badge requirements will be covered in one day except #4A. If scouts choose to, they may finish the badge by writing a lab report for Requirement 4A using vegetation data collected at the marsh. A pre-program activity packet is sent to each troop leader before the program, including an Environmental Science Worksheet which scouts MUST complete and bring with them to the scheduled program. This program is conducted by NJSGC educators who are certified merit badge counselors. The program runs approximately five hours and scouts will need transportation to the marsh site.


In a fun “hands on” ocean experience at Sandy Hook, Boy Scouts can complete all badge Requirements (except #8) of the Oceanography Merit badge in one day, with the help of a NJSGC Instructor. Scouts will explore the salt marsh and discover why the ocean is important to people. Activities include measuring beach water quality, studying waves and currents, viewing worldwide sand samples under the microscope, plankton collection and identification, laboratory experiments, and seining in Sandy Hook Bay. If scouts choose to, they can complete Requirement #8 (and the badge) by writing a 500-word report about their visit to NJSGC or give a 5-minute speech about Oceanography to their troop. A pre-program activity packet is sent to each troop leader before the program. It includes a mandatory Oceanography Worksheet and directions on how to make a plankton net. The packet and plankton net MUST be completed and brought to the scheduled program. This program is conducted by NJSGC educators who are also certified merit badge counselors. The program runs approximately four hours and scouts will need transportation to the marsh site.

Registration is mandatory and can be found online at: The completed registration form goes directly to NJSGC’s Scout Program Coordinator Jody Sackett. Following registration, you will receive a confirmation along with payment instructions. Please feel free to contact Ms. Sackett at 732-872-1300 x20 with any further questions, and we look forward to seeing your scout here at NJSGC on Sandy Hook!

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