Salt Marsh Ecology

This program provides an opportunity for students in grades 5 through 12 to investigate one of the most productive natural systems on earth, the tidal salt marsh. By participating in hands-on activities in NJSGC’s classroom and at the marsh, students will gain an in-depth understanding of estuaries and salt marshes and the processes that influence them. 

At the Marsh

Through discussion and instruction, your NJSGC instructor will cover the following key concepts during the outdoor portion of the program:

  • Geographic orientation
  • Marsh zonation and function
  • Human impact on the salt marsh and estuarine environment
  • The watershed concept
  • Salt marsh plants and animals
  • Marine food webs (producers, consumers, predator, biomagnification)
  • Plankton
  • Water quality
  • Tides and currents

Students will participate in the following activities while at the salt marsh:

  • Seining (boots, nets and buckets supplied by NJSGC)
  • Benthic sampling (conditions permitting)
  • Plankton collection: A plankton net is set out to collect a sample.
  • Water quality testing (dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, and temperature)
  • Marsh hike (conditions permitting)

In The Classroom

Students will participate in the following laboratory activities inside NJSGC’s Building #22 classroom:

  • Marsh metaphors (salt marsh functions)
  • Food webs and feeding relationships
  • Fish identification using taxonomic keys
  • Fish morphology and fish printing
  • Plankton lab
  • Salt marsh in a pan (watershed demonstration)
  • Shell classification and identification

This program supports:
New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards
Science   5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, 5.12
Social Studies  6.9

Next Generation Science Standards
Grades 3-5  PE:3-LS1-1, 3-LS2-1,3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4, 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2, 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1, 5-ESS3-1  DCI: ESS2.C,E; ESS3.C; LS1.A-D LS2-A-D; LS4-B,C,D;
Middle School  PE:MS-LS1-5, MS-LS-2-1, MS-LS2-3, MS-LS2-4. DCI:ESS2.C, ESS3.A, ESS3.C, ESS3.D, LS1.B, LS2.A-C, LS4.C, LS4.D.
High School  PE: HS-LS2-6, HS- LS2-8. DCI: LS2.A, B, C and D.  ESS2.A, ESS2.C, ESS3.A, ESS3.C

Program limited to twenty-five (25) students per group. Limit of two (2) groupss per day.
Fee: $265.00 per group.

Click here to fill out our field trip reservation form, or contact Education Department at (732) 872-1300, ext. 13.