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

COASTodian Newsletter, Winter 2019 Edition

March 20th, 2019

It’s time to “chill out” and catch up with New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium! We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday season, but now let’s get ready to “spring forward.” Check out some highlights from this edition of the COASTodian:

  • NJSGC revamped its rip current awareness program, and we’re currently looking for more student participation. Learn how to get your local school or library involved.
  • The 16th annual Ocean Fun Days takes place May 18-19th, so be sure to join our official Facebook event page for special highlights and updates.
  • Former NJSGC fellow Dr. Christopher Free was recently featured in a New York Times article… continue reading to find out why!
  • Interested in a job where you get to explore Sandy Hook while teaching children about marine science?  NJSGC’s hiring part-time field instructors, with no experience necessary!
Barracks building 22 restored // Executive Director Claire Antonucci cuts the ribbon for NJSGC’s grand opening at Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, NJ on July 12th, 2010.
From left: Dr. Howard Parish (NJSGC Board of Trustees), Pete McCarthy (Unit Coordinator; NPS), Sean T. Kean (former State Senator; 2008-2012), Claire Antonucci (NJSGC Executive Director), Guy Hembling (Charles B. Hembling and Son, construction firm), Deborah Quinn (NJSGC Office Manager) Credit: Marsha Samuel (former NJSGC Communications Specialist)

Plus so much more! And as always, be sure to check out what’s new and get involved by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

NJSGC Research Competition Update

March 15th, 2019

NJSGC is currently seeking research projects to be funded for the program’s 2021-2023 Omnibus. According to Sea Grant Program Associate Diana Burich, 40 pre-proposals were recently received, each including one principal investigator (PI) and potentially one or more co-principal investigators (Co-PIs). Of those 40 submitted, 17 are new PIs applying through NJSGC. Several institutions are represented, including Drexel University, Monmouth University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stockton University, and The College of New Jersey.

This year, NJSGC’s Technical Review Panel (TRP) includes 11 experts specialized in various fields. They are:

Bill Walton of Mississippi-Alabama SG Consortium; Sandra Shumway of University of Connecticut; Tim Frazier of Georgetown University; Dianna Padilla of Stony Brook University; Louis Plough of University of Maryland; Gary Wikfors of NOAA Fisheries, Milford Lab; M. Reza Hashemi of University of Rhode Island; Jay Tanski of Cornell University, formerly of New York Sea Grant; Meta Van Sickle of College of Charleston, Paula Keener of NOAA Office of Education, and Edward Hale of Delaware Sea Grant.

The TRP will review all pre-proposals and invite PIs to submit full proposals on April 2nd. The panel will then evaluate proposals during the summertime alongside a team of Stakeholder Advisory Board members, extension staff, and external peers.

Full proposals are due by June 17th, 2019. Awards are determined in September, with NSGO finalization and a public announcement made in October.

Join the 2019 Ocean Fun Days Facebook Event!

March 11th, 2019

Join NJSGC and New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) for our 16th annual Ocean Fun Days! This popular two-day event takes place on Saturday, May 18th at Island Beach State Park and Sunday, May 19th at Sandy Hook from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. both days, rain or shine. FREE ADMISSION FOR ALL!

Join the official FACEBOOK EVENT page for more exciting updates and behind-the-scenes info!

Also please visit the OFD website for more information and directions.

Enjoy hands-on marine and environmental programs and exhibits. There will be giveaways and plenty of excitement, plus fun ways to learn about our coastal environment and energy conservation for the whole family to enjoy.

Learn how to use a seine net to catch native fish, crabs, and other marine creatures. Grab a fishing rod and join the youth fishing clinic. Test your boating safety knowledge or become a beachcomber and search for natural treasures on a guided tour. Hear firsthand from New Jersey scientists and researchers all about the inner-workings of the ocean and the coastline and how to protect them for generations to come.

On Sunday at Sandy Hook, the NOAA Marine Fisheries Lab building will be open to the public, with many interactive exhibits as well as scientists and researchers on hand to share with you their exciting work. This only happens just once a year!

Don’t miss out on these two days of Free Family Fun!

Sea Grant Funding Goes a Long Way for Former NMFS Fellow

March 6th, 2019

Another shining moment at NJSGC!

NJSGC would like to congratulate former National Marine Fisheries Service/Sea Grant “Population and Ecosystem Dynamics” fellow Christopher Free on recently having part of his PhD dissertation published in the acclaimed peer-reviewed academic journal, Science magazine. A brief abstract from Free’s “Impacts of Historical Warming on Marine Fisheries Production” states:

Climate change is altering habitats for marine fishes and invertebrates, but the net effect of these changes on potential food production is unknown. We used temperature-dependent population models to measure the influence of warming on the productivity of 235 populations of 124 species in 38 eco-regions. Some populations responded significantly positively and others responded significantly negatively to warming, with the direction and magnitude of the response explained by eco-region, taxonomy, life history, and exploitation history. Hindcasts indicate that the maximum sustainable yield of the evaluated populations decreased by 4.1% from 1930 to 2010, with five ego-regions experiencing losses of 15 to 35%. Outcomes of fisheries management – including long-term food provisioning – will be improved by accounting for changing productivity in a warmer ocean.

Free’s work was also featured in a New York Times article entitled “The World is Losing Fish to Eat as Oceans Warm, Study Finds.”

According to Trevor Branch, an associate professor at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (who was not involved in the study), “This is going to be one of those groundbreaking studies that gets cited over and over again… Most of what I’ve seen before in terms of climate-change impacts have been speculative, in terms of, ‘We think this is what’s going to happen in the future.’ This one’s different.”

View the full PDF here.

Rutgers Marine Sciences

Sending our congratulations from New Jersey – we’re so proud of you Chris! Formerly of Rutgers University, Free’s now a postdoctoral researcher with the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UC Santa Barbara.

Part-Time Field Instructors Needed for Summer 2019!

March 5th, 2019

The Education Department of NJSGC hires part-time seasonal field instructors for their K-12 marine science education program. Following a paid training period, you will lead school groups on hands-on, interactive explorations of Sandy Hook’s salt marsh and barrier beach environments. Experience is not necessary however a background in marine science or education is helpful.

Interested candidates should email resumes to: Rosemary Higgins at or mail resume to:

Rosemary Higgins
New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium
22 Magruder Road
Fort Hancock, NJ 07732

Regional Oyster Aquaculture Consortia Funding Opportunity

March 1st, 2019

Each Interstate Marine Fisheries Commission is making approximately $850,000 available annually for the funding period of August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2024 (dependent on appropriations). The funding goal is to form Research Consortiums that will focus on oyster genetics, disease, environmental interactions, regulatory challenges and, economic modeling. Additionally, regional partnerships are encouraged to classify and preserve natural genetic variation in oysters.

Deadline: Pre-proposals must be submitted as a single file by e-mail no later than 5:00 p.m. CST on Friday, March 15, 2019.

Please see the request for proposals below for complete proposal details, qualifying requirements, and submission instructions.

Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission: Request Regional Oyster Aquaculture Research Consortia

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission: Request Regional Oyster Aquaculture Research Consortia

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission: Request Regional Oyster Aquaculture Research Consortia

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