The COASTodian, “Spring Fever” Newsletter Edition

June 20th, 2018

Students skipping through the hallways, birds chirping amongst the trees, seining nets sprawled out to dry on the front porch… It’s finally springtime at New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium!

This pre-summer edition of the COASTodian includes…

  • Ocean Fun Days 15th anniversary recap
  • Press coverage from the 2018 State of the Shore
  • Rip Current Awareness information and updates
  • NJ’s “Favorite Beaches” radio debut
  • And much, much more!

View NJSGC’s “spring fever” newsletter here.

The beaches at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park are now open for the season. New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s headquarters, located at Fort Hancock, welcomes visitors Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. If you need a break from the sun, please stop in!

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium Debuts 2018 “Favorite Beaches” Poll on 92.3 “The Point” Radio Station

May 29th, 2018

The fun-filled days of summer are fast approaching, which means it’s finally time to cast your vote for New Jersey’s favorite beach!

Starting today, fans get to choose their favorite local “hotspots” from a list of all the amazing beaches throughout NJ’s four coastal counties – Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean. The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium will announce the winners around the July Fourth holiday.

Debuting in 2008 as New Jersey’s “Top Ten Beaches,” the survey was designed to encourage a little “friendly” competition and camaraderie between popular Jersey Shore communities along the sandy coast.

Now in its tenth year, the poll was recently rebranded “Favorite Beaches” to diversify results so that ALL areas of the Garden State’s gorgeous oceanfront were recognized. An “overall” victor is still announced, and Ocean City, NJ has remained undefeated champ over the past decade. But will that impressive winning streak end this year? You decide!

Be sure to share the 2018 “Favorite Beaches” poll with family and friends, and stay tuned for the official results later this summer.

Connect with New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more updates. Thank you for your continued support!

State of the Shore Event Kicks-Off 2018 New Jersey Beach Season with Promising Outlook

May 25th, 2018

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium hosted the 16th annual State of the Shore press event at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park, NJ on Thursday, May 24th. Along with the Consortium’s Executive Director Claire Antonucci, NJSGC’s Coastal Processes Specialist Dr. Jon K. Miller spoke to members of the media about current beach conditions at the Jersey Shore after a rather stormy and severe winter. NJDEP Acting Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe attended as the guest speaker and assured that the Garden State is fully prepared for yet another busy and successful summer season.

For Dr. Miller’s full State of the Shore report, along with an introduction by NJSGC’s Communications Specialist Danica Bellini, please go here.

Media coverage was widespread this year and included additional information on Rip Current Awareness thanks to NJSGC’s Coastal Ecosystems Extension Agent Dr. Amy Williams, who was also available for comment during the event.

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium would like to extend a huge thanks to all those who attended and reported on the 2018 State of the Shore event, and we look forward to seeing everyone out on the beach this summer at the wonderful Jersey Shore!


Beaches are in Great Shape, but Beware of Rip Currents (Two River Times)

N.J. Shore Looking Good, Say Bathers. And Experts Agree (

New Jersey Beaches Weathered ‘Foureaster’ in Good Shape (New Jersey Herald; Associated Press)

Officials Paint a Positive Picture at 16th Annual State of the Shore (NJTV News)

Hurricane Season: Are New Jersey Beaches Ready? (Asbury Park Press)

Bring on the Unofficial Start of Summer: New Jersey Beaches Weathered ‘Foureaster’ in Good Shape (NBC 10, Philadelphia)

State of the Shore Event Kicks Off 2018 Beach Season (Cape May County Herald)

After Deadly Jersey Shore Summer ’17, Know how to Survive Rip Currents (WPG Talk Radio, 104.1 FM)

Heading to the Beach this Weekend? Check the Water Quality (WPG Talk Radio, 104.1 FM)

NJ Beach Sand can have Loads of Bacteria, But Don’t Worry (NJ 101.5)

The Sun Comes Out for Ocean Fun Days at Sandy Hook!

May 21st, 2018

The historic Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook transformed into a “coastal awareness” wonderland on Sunday (May 20th) to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Ocean Fun Days. The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium hosted over 35 exhibitors and displays, as well as several engaging tours and workshops. Take a look!

Did YOU attend Ocean Fun Days this year? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts! If interested, please take part in the 2018 Ocean Fun Days survey.

Despite rather unpredictable weather conditions, hundreds of enthusiastic visitors descended upon the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium parade grounds to learn more about marine science, energy conservation, and a diverse array of eco-friendly concerns. Such outgoing optimism even inspired the sun to shine bright throughout the entire event, making for a full afternoon of family fun and unforgettable memories at the Jersey Shore.

To mark such a monumental year, several new activities were offered, including an interactive Rip Currents vs. Sharks trivia game and participatory paddleboarding/kayaking demos. Parts of the NOAA Fisheries Service James J. Howard Lab were open to the public, and tour guides aboard the “History Bus” provided interesting facts and information while transporting attendees to various WWI and WWII sites throughout the Gateway National Park. For the full Ocean Fun Days 2018 brochure, please go here.

Ocean Fun Days also took place at Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park, NJ on Saturday (May 19th).

Ocean Fun Days is presented by founding sponsor New Jersey Natural Gas, in partnership with New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, Asbury Park Press, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, National Park Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is looking forward to hosting another eventful Ocean Fun Days in 2019!

Come Celebrate our 15th Year of Ocean Fun Days this May!

May 2nd, 2018

This year’s highly-anticipated Ocean Fun Days will be held on Saturday, May 19th at Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park and Sunday, May 20th at New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s (NJSGC) headquarters in the historic Fort Hancock section of Sandy Hook. Both events take place rain or shine from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. As always, admission and parking are free to all attendees.

View the official 2018 Ocean Fun Days brochure here!

Ocean Fun Days is a weekend of eco-friendly fun the whole family can enjoy. Many popular exhibitors are scheduled to return in 2018, along with new additions. They’ll offer a diverse array of educational displays, nature tours, and interactive programs focused on coastal stewardship and energy conservation. Activities at both locations include seining, coastal crafts, an energy scavenger hunt, youth fishing clinic, face painting, touch tanks, games and exciting giveaways.

New this year at Island Beach State Park, volunteer to help plant dune grass and keep the park clean by collecting marine debris and learning about our oceans’ plastic pollution problem with park staff. Register on-site for workshops including kayak and surfing demonstrations, seining the bay, and shorebird watching.

On Sandy Hook, be sure to see NJSGC’s famous fiddler crab races and take part in Dr. Amy Williams’ thrilling Rip Currents vs. Sharks trivia game to learn about ocean hazards and beach safety. Meet author Don Walsh as he reads from his book “Teach the Beach” and don’t miss Kevin Murray, from Sandy Hook’s Kayak and Sup Rentals on the parade ground as he shares useful tips about paddleboarding and kayaking on the bay. As always, the NOAA Fisheries Service James J. Howard Lab will be open to the public as will historical WWI and WWII sites throughout the park including Battery Gunnison and History House. New this year at Sandy Hook there will also be boats and historic military vehicles on display.  Complimentary shuttle bus service is provided from 11 a.m. to 3p.m. to take visitors to all tour sites.

Ocean Fun Days is presented by founding sponsor New Jersey Natural Gas, in partnership with New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, Asbury Park Press, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, National Park Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Please visit NJSGC’s official OFD webpage for more information.

From the 2017 Annual Report: Chairman Dennis Kearney’s Message

April 12th, 2018

Read NJ Sea Grant’s 2017 Annual Report


This one word synthesizes our essence. The dictionary states that energy is the strength and vitality required for sustained physical and mental activity. For the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, energy turns the idea of who we are into the reality of who we are. The idea, as expressed in our mission statement, is to promote the wise use of New Jersey’s marine and coastal resources through research, education and outreach. ambitious? Yes. Challenging? Yes. achievable? You bet.

Without energy, our mission is no more than an empty proclamation about humankind’s relationship with the sea. With energy, our dreams become tangible. The astounding energy of our scientists unravels the hidden power of dunes, explores the mystery of climate change on summer flounder, and discovers how to optimize fishing regulations. the boundless energy of our education staff opens the minds of 20,000 school children, nurtures college students to take up a career in marine science, and sponsors Ocean Fun Days that unite a State. The focused energy of our extension staff works with communities on addressing coastal concerns, commercial fisheries, and water quality. All of our energy is for you. As we’ve mentioned so many times in these pages, Superstorm Sandy was a stark call from Mother Nature to pay her some mind. others can debate why our world is changing; our role is figuring out how to cope with the new order. All of us reside in a coastal environment. For this reason, the work we do benefits all.

Let our energy inspire you toward action. Read about the changed landscape. Learn. Talk to your family, your neighbors. Celebrate our maritime heritage. Make a field trip to our headquarters on Sandy Hook. our staff will truly move you. Once you are moved to action, join our crusade. We are here fighting for your present, and assuring a safe, healthy and energized future.

On behalf of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, its members, its stakeholders, its trustees, and our valued staff, I am honored to present this annual report.

New Jersey Shellfish Aquaculture Situation & Outlook Report (New!)

April 5th, 2018

New Jersey has a well-established hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) aquaculture industry originating in the 1970s. Extensive aquaculture of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica involving bottom planting of shell and wild stocks dates back to the 1800s, but this practice was largely abandoned due to the onset of oyster disease in the late 1950s and presently accounts for only a small percentage of New Jersey’s oyster harvests. Since 1997, oyster culture based on the planting of disease resistant hatchery-reared seed has steadily increased with farms developing in the Delaware Bay and Atlantic coastal bays. In 2012, the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University and New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium began an annual survey program aimed at capturing the status and trends associated with shellfish aquaculture in New Jersey. The survey is modeled after a successful program conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. This report represents the fifth survey year.

To view the full report, please click here.

COASTodian Newsletter Now Available Online! (Winter 2018 Edition)

March 23rd, 2018

Nor’easters and snowfalls and windy ice storms– oh my! But over the past few blustry months, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) kept things moving and grooving.

In this edition of the COASTodian, delve into NJSGC’s latest batch of research projects, discover underwater exploration with student-made ROV’s, tour Monmouth County’s “Tracking Sandy” exhibit, and learn more about upcoming events and various summer programs. We’ve also dedicated a section on how you can voice your support of the Sea Grant program by contacting your elected representatives.

NJSGC strives to inform the public about coastal and environmental concerns in new and exciting ways – please take a look!

NJSGC Needs Your Help & Support for FY 2019!

March 19th, 2018

Dear Friends,

Please accept our sincerest appreciation for your past support of Sea Grant and New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. Last year, you reached out and told your elected officials how important Sea Grant is to you, our state, and the nation.  You were most definitely heard.  Congress soundly rejected the Administration’s proposal to eliminate all Sea Grant programs.  This allowed us to continue to work with you on so many crucial issues including stormwater management, coastal resilience, supporting the shore tourism and boating industries, and providing environmental and STEM educational experiences for children, college students, and the public.

The Administration recently released its FY 2019 budget blueprint.  Once again, it proposes the termination of the entire Sea Grant program and so, once again, we must ask for your help. 

Please reach out to your elected officials as soon as possible to ask for their renewed support of the Sea Grant program. When you write or call your elected representatives, it is important to thank them for their past support and remind them why the Sea Grant program is crucial to New Jersey’s well-being and how our work has benefited you personally.

To help you develop your message, we have included a template for possible use in composing your message. To further assist you, this directory includes each of New Jersey’s elected officials, including email addresses for their aides. If you decide to write, please direct your letters to local offices (not DC).  If you decide to call or fax, it is best to call both the local and Washington D.C. offices.  If you decide to email, please write your message to your elected official, but use the email address provided in the directory for his or her aide. You can also locate your Senators and Representatives at or text your home address to 520-200-2223 and you will receive a message containing the names and phone numbers of your representatives.

As an additional guide, please take a look at NJSGC’s year-in-review fact sheet developed by NOAA, and feel free to share!

We are forever grateful for your support and it is our pleasure to serve you.

Ocean Acidification Research Fellowship Available to Students in Mid-Atlantic

March 6th, 2018

In partnership with the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program and the Mid-Atlantic Sea Grant Programs, New Jersey Sea Grant is pleased to announce the availability of a new graduate research fellowship program in ocean, coastal, and estuarine acidification. Contingent upon available federal funding, we anticipate supporting approximately five (5) fellowships, one in each Mid-Atlantic state (NJ, DE, NY, VA, MD). Potential OA Fellows must already be enrolled in an accredited university and have an academic advisor who will act as the primary mentor for their education and research. Deadline to apply is 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2018.

For more information, please visit NJSGC’s updated list of current fellowships.