The 2020 results are in for NJSGC’s “Favorite Beaches” poll and “Jersey Shore” photo contest! (Edward O’Hara, “Early Morning Welcome,” Beach Haven).

NJSGC’s 18th annual State of the Shore report for 2020 is now available online.

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

NJSGC Announces “Jersey Shore” Photo Contest Top 12 Winners

June 29th, 2020

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is happy to announce the Top 12 “Jersey Shore” photo contest winners for 2020. The competition was fierce, with over 100 submissions and thousands of votes prior to the July Fourth holiday. These images will be featured in NJSGC’s popular desktop calendar for 2021.

Congratulations to all participants!

RELATED: NJSGC Announces “Favorite Beaches” for 2020

NJSGC Announces “Favorite Beaches” for 2020

June 29th, 2020

Things are a bit different at the Jersey Shore this year, and New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium would like to refer everyone to the CDC’s “Guiding Principles to Keep in Mind at the Beach” when visiting the Garden State coastline.

NJSGC’s long-standing “Favorite Beaches” survey also ran a bit differently this year. The current situation surrounding COVID-19 greatly impacted the poll’s outcome, with limited planning, participation, and publicity. As a surprising result, the winners list is more diversified  and widespread as compared to previous years. Even without the possibility of hosting a public ceremony alongside the ocean, NJSGC is thrilled to announce the top “favorite beaches” throughout Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties for 2020!

Please stay tuned for the launch of NJSGC’s “BEach SAFEly” campaign in partnership with New York Sea Grant. COVID-19 brings more considerations beyond our usual Rip Current Awareness messaging, so every week starting in early July, we will be launching a new graphic to remind beachgoers to have fun while remaining safe, healthy, and alert.

Kirsten Hogg, “Brigantine Sunrise”

Atlantic County:

  1. Brigantine
  2. Atlantic City
  3. Margate

Cody Molowski, “Autumn At Sunset Beach” (Cape May)

Cape May County:

  1. Cape May
  2. The Wildwoods
  3. Ocean City

Linda Griffiths, “Late August Evening” (Sandy Hook)

Monmouth County:

  1. Asbury Park
  2. Bradley Beach
  3. Belmar / Manasquan / Sandy Hook – Gateway National Recreation Area (three-way tie)

Patrick Welsh, “Lonely Dunes” (Point Pleasant Beach)

Ocean County:

  1. Point Pleasant Beach
  2. Lavallette
  3. Island Beach State Park

Top overall:

  1. Brigantine
  2. Cape May
  3. Atlantic City

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Thousands of voters also participated in NJSGC’s revamped “Jersey Shore” photo contest (four contestants were featured in the list above). The competition was intense, with over 100 breathtaking snapshots submitted, but we’re happy to announce the Top 12 photographs which will be featured in NJSGC’s popular desktop calendar for 2021. Check out the winners here.

Fish and Wildlife Marine Recreational Fishing Regulation Cards for 2020 Now Available Online

June 25th, 2020

NJSGC’s Fish and Wildlife marine recreational fishing regulation cards are now available for 2020. The free, downloadable cards are provided by New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Please click here to download a copy.

The cards provide information on the correct minimum size, possession limits, and season of catch. The cards are convenient to bring on any fishing outing, complete with built-in ruler to measure your catch and make sure they are above the minimum size. We recommend laminating after printing.

Fish are measured from tip of snout to tip of tail, with the exception of black sea bass and sharks. No species of fish with a minimum size limits listed on the card can be filleted or cleaned at sea.

The cards also serve as a reminder to register to fish. It is free and can be done at SaltwaterRegistry.nj.gov.

For more information on what catch is safe to eat, visit FishSmartEatSmartNJ.org.

Please visit our website or NJFishandWildlife.com for more resources. Also feel free to contact NJSGC’s Assistant Director of Extension and Marine Recreation Agent: Fisheries and Boating Mike Danko for additional information.

State of the Shore Report Now Available Online

June 24th, 2020

From NJSGC’s 18th annual State of the Shore Report:

Current times remain daunting and uncertain for most. But take a moment to close your eyes and just imagine – sandy toes, sun-kissed skin, gentle gusts of the warm, salty air . . . That’s the epitome of summers spent at the Jersey Shore. Despite the future’s unknown, one thing remains for sure. The beaches await our return – under whatever circumstances that might be.

And according to New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium Coastal Processes Specialist Dr. Jon Miller (Stevens Institute of Technology), the Garden State’s coastline is ready for just that.

We’re conducting the 18th annual State of the Shore event a bit differently for 2020. Over the past several years, media representatives throughout the region have gathered with local experts at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club (located on the iconic Asbury Park boardwalk) to receive accurate, science-based information on current beach issues and outlooks, including preparations for the Jersey Shore’s upcoming summer tourism season. But just as with any passing storm, we must change and evolve with the turbulent tides. Although we cannot celebrate the start of summer “together,” NJSGC’s mission will always be to promote the wise use of New Jersey’s marine and coastal resources through research, education, and outreach (whether near, far, or socially distant).

And with that, we present Dr.Miller’s official “State of the Shore” report.

Due to a relatively mild winter storm season, beaches are found to be in extremely good shape throughout New Jersey. Please read on for more detailed, in-depth analysis of coastal storm impacts (nuisance flooding, beach erosion) and tropical outlooks. With everything else going on right now, please do not forget that rip currents in the ocean pose a dangerous threat to all swimmers, regardless of age or gender. Please visit the NJSGC website to learn more about our revamped “Ocean Hazards & Beach Safety: Sharks vs. Rip Currents” initiative, including materials on our Rip Current Awareness program.

Click here to read the full report.

Sea Creatures in Your Neighborhood – Summer 2020 Edition

June 22nd, 2020

The Long-Clawed Hermit Crab (Pagurus longicarpus) – please use this template for guidance.

Have you ever walked through a shallow, intertidal beach and noticed a small, dark object moving along the sandy bottom? If so, chances are that you’ve seen a long-clawed hermit crab, one of many marine crustaceans found along the Jersey shore. A close relative of lobsters, long-clawed hermit crabs are invertebrates with exoskeletons that shed in order for the animal to grow.  Like lobsters, long-clawed hermit crabs have two chelipeds (claws). but instead are narrow and unequal in size, with the right one growing larger than the left. They have five pairs of legs and use the first three pairs for walking; the fourth and fifth pairs are small and modified to hold into the gastropod (snail) shell that they carry on their backs.  Hermit crabs “wear” unoccupied gastropod shells to protect their soft, elongated abdomens and will change shells when they outgrow the current one.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife (fact sheet)

Did you know…

1. Hermit crab eggs hatch into larvae, called zoea. After molting several times, the zoea become megalops which then develop into juveniles, which will then grow into adults.

2. Long-clawed hermit crabs are the ultimate recyclers because, as scavengers, they recycle energy back into the ecosystem.

3. Long-clawed hermit crabs can regenerate lost limbs when they molt.

Check out this cool video of a long-clawed  hermit crab changing shells with anemones. And here’s another clip of hermit crabs living in aluminum cans.

Learn more about NJSGC’s #SeaCreaturesInYourNeighborhood challenge here.

Knauss Fellow Update: Michael Acquafredda

June 16th, 2020

NJSGC Knauss Fellow Michael Acquafredda (Rutgers University, Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory) enjoyed just six weeks at the Silver Spring office before having to telework. Thankfully, he’s still getting a lot accomplished remotely.

(To learn more about the 2020 Knauss Fellows from NJSGC, please click here)

Dealing with international affairs, Acquafredda has been busy working with the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON). He works in the Secretariat, putting out newsletters, organizing meetings with its executive committee, and serving as a point of contact for its membership. He also supports the needs of some of the regional hubs of GOA-ON, including the Latin American Hub, the Pacific Islands Hub, and the North American Hub. Acquafredda acts as Coordinator for the GOA-ON Pier2Peer Program, a professional mentorship program. He continues reshaping the matching process to give mentees more opportunities to select mentors whose interests and expertise align with their own. Additionally, he publishes the monthly Pier Review, a newsletter that highlights the work of successful P2P pairs and shares information about relevant news and events, upcoming funding opportunities, and the latest ocean acidification-related open access articles.

He’s also been helping to organize the 5th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World, which is now postponed. To maintain momentum, the symposium’s steering committee and the GOA-ON executive committee are discussing the possibility of hosting a virtual “Ocean Acidification Week”, which would be a series of publically-available webinars and panels. Acquafredda’s working hard to transform this idea into a well-organized and impactful event by September.

On the bilateral front, Acquafredda’s managing a joint funding initiative of NOAA OAP and DFO to enhance collaboration between ocean acidification researchers in the USA and Canada. He’s had the opportunity to write the RFP for this initiative, and is now reviewing proposals and organizing a selection panel.

Finally, his work around capacity building efforts in the Pacific Islands has been slow and limited, mostly due to COVID-19 related delays. The funding from the Department of State was secured, so now they’re working towards distributing funds to its partner, The Ocean Foundation.

Along with all of those initiatives, Acquafredda is also busy with the domestic side of his portfolio. He’s working closely with the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Acidification Network (GCAN). The team is restructuring that network to encourage better communication and more robust engagement by its members via the Ocean Acidification Information Exchange (OAIE). Acquafredda also restarted GCAN’s webinar series and so far has hosted two, with more to come.

The activity most exciting for Acquafredda has been working to develop a new NOFO aimed at studying multistressor impacts on shellfish aquaculture. OAP is looking to use a co-production of knowledge framework to fund collaborations between growers and academics to produce both foundational data and industry-relevant deliverables.

He’s also been active with some of the Knauss Committees. Acquafredda’s most involved with the Lunch and Learn Committee that works with the NOAA Central Library System to host monthly webinars that highlight the work of Knauss Fellows. He also gave a talk in March (right when COVID started), which is archived on Youtube.

He’s also involved with the Knauss JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) Committee. In light of the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing protests calling for an end to racial injustice in our country, the committee created a document of resources many may find useful. JEDI Committee members are also reaching out to individual Sea Grant programs and inquiring about the different ways these state programs address JEDI issues in their activities, with a particular focus on recruitment activities regarding the Knauss Fellowship.

Although it’s really unfortunate that the two components of the fellowship Acquafredda was most excited about (the travel and in-person networking) have been thwarted by COVID-19, he’s making the most of this opportunity and still learning a lot about working in the marine policy realm.

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