Jersey Shoreline: Nov. 20

November 20th, 2015


The Jersey Shoreline  is a weekly round-up from New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium that scours the Garden State’s press and broadcasters for reports on several key topics related to the consortium’s research and outreach.

The Barnegat Bay Study

One of the biggest coastal stories this week was the release of 10 three-year research projects on the health of Barnegat Bay. The projects were commissioned by the state Department of Environmental Protection managed in part by NJSGC. Read More …

The Jersey Shoreline: Nov. 13

November 13th, 2015


The Jersey Shoreline  is a weekly round-up from New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium that scours the Garden State’s press and broadcasters for reports on several key topics related to the consortium’s research and outreach.

The Institute on Science for Global Policy, in partnership with the Barnegat Bay Partnership and the Barnegat Bay Foundation will convene a forum titled “The Shore’s Future: Living with Storms & Sea Level Rise” on Nov. 20 and 21 in Toms River, the Sandpaper reported.

Dr. Michael Schwebel, the community resilience and climate adaptation specialist for NJSGC and Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Insititute will be one of the panelists during that that forum.  Read more about how Dr. Scwebel will participate by clicking here.

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NJSGC/UCI Coastal Resilience Expert to Participate in Climate Change Conference

November 13th, 2015

Dr. Michael Schwebel will serve among a select group of expert panelists in “The Shore’s Future: Living with Storms and Sea Level Rise,” a two-day conference sponsored by the Institute on Science for Global Policy from Nov. 20-21 in Toms River.

Dr. Schwebel is the community resilience and climate adaptation specialist for New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute.

“The Shore’s Future” will utilize a debate-and-caucus format pioneered by the ISGP.
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Jersey Shoreline: Oct. 30

October 30th, 2015


The Jersey Shoreline  is a weekly round-up from New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium that scours the Garden State’s press and broadcasters for reports on several key topics related to the consortium’s research and outreach.

It was three years ago this week that Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Jersey Shore, the banks of the Hudson River and the Meadowlands, with a massive storm surge on top of a very high tide. Largely, the state media took the chance to take stock of what has happened since.

Hurricane Sandy Anniversary

Should N.J. have left Hurricane Sandy inlet open? (VIDEO) — Today’s video focuses on Mantoloking, a town on the northern barrier island in Ocean County where Sandy cut a pair of new inlets (or re-opened an old one). There, officials made a decision to quickly close the gap, driven by a desire to restore traffic and make whole the owners of a half dozen expensive homes in one of the wealthiest towns on the state. Read more at

Union Beach 3 Years After Sandy: Then and Now — It has been three years now since Hurricane Sandy decimated the Jersey Shore. Union Beach was one of the towns that was hit hardest by the 2012 fall storm. Read more at

North Jersey’s on guard against the next superstorm — From adding a pump station in Little Ferry to elevating Borough Hall in Moonachie, officials in the low-lying areas of the Meadowlands – which suffered devastating flooding from Superstorm Sandy – say they have spent the last three years fortifying their towns to better survive another major storm. Read more at the Record.

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Jersey Shoreline: Oct. 22

October 23rd, 2015



The Jersey Shoreline  is a weekly round-up from New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium that scours the Garden State’s press and broadcasters for reports on several key topics related to the consortium’s research and outreach.

This week, a drone pilot captured footage of a young humpback whale feeding near shore in Ocean City and other locations, according to an report. But, capturing footage like that may be soon be illegal in the barrier island town. An OCNJ Daily report says that the City Council has approved a ban on drones in the city, voted the Garden State’s Favorite Beach town, in the first of two votes required to pass the ban.

And, she’s back. Mary Lee, the now infamous great white shark, returned to New Jersey waters this week. No one is sure where she might head next. Read all about it at

Here’s the rest of New Jersey’s coastal news:

Coastal Processes & Concerns

Ecosystem Recovery After Dragging Debris, Homes From Waterways — Virginia Rettig, manager of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge noted that her agency removed nearly 2,000 tons of debris left behind from Sandy. The $13 million project overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, involved cleaning up over 30,000 acres of saltmarsh and coastal habitat in areas of Brick, Stafford, Eagleswood, Tuckerton and Lacey. Around 1,900 tons of debris from 22 miles of coastline was removed. Read more at Micromedia Publications.

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Jersey Shoreline: Oct 16

October 16th, 2015


The Jersey Shoreline  is a weekly round-up from New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium that scours the Garden State’s press and broadcasters for reports on several key topics related to the consortium’s research and outreach.

Coastal Concerns

Stinging jellyfish target of Toms River cleanup — Stinging sea nettle jellyfish, the bane of swimmers and others who enjoy Barnegat Bay, will be targeted in a bulkhead and dock cleanup Monday. State officials and volunteers will scrub bulkheads and floating docks in a bid to curb the sea nettle population. Read more at the Asbury Park Press.

Is Barnegat Bay dying? — Is Ocean County doing enough to protect Barnegat Bay? That issue dominated an amicable discussion Tuesday between the Republican incumbents on the Board of Freeholders and their Democratic challengers, during an editorial board meeting at the Neptune offices of the Asbury Park Press.

Barnegat Bay Partnership Seeks Data For State Of The Bay Report — The Barnegat Bay Partnership  is seeking data for its upcoming State of the Bay Report, an assessment of the Barnegat Bay prepared every five years. Read more at Micromedia Publications. Read More …

Black Sea Bass Season is starting up; Do you know about the bends?

October 9th, 2015

ABOARD THE OCEAN EXPLORER, in the Atlantic Ocean east of Shark River — As a complement of anglers reeled in black sea bass from the ocean floor this summer, a New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium-assembled cadre worked to tag and release undersized fish with the bends.

Mike Danko, the NJSGC marine recreation extension agent for fisheries and boating, assembled a team consisting of two scientists from NOAA James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory at Fort Hancock and from the American Littoral Society.

They were out on the 100-foot charter to identify fish with barotrauma, — commonly known as the bends — tag them and return them to the ocean floor via a descending device. More importantly, they were there to educate fisherman about barotrauma.

“We had informal discussions with approximately half of the customers on the way out to the fishing spot,” Danko said. “Slightly more than half of the people we talked with aboard the Ocean Explorer did not know what barotrauma is, but they all indicated they would be willing to use or try a descending device to increase survival rate of fish suffering from the condition.” Read More …

Stakeholders want more examinations of Mid-Atlantic OA

October 9th, 2015

GALLOWAY — The levels of ocean acid are higher along the coastal waters of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast than they are in along southern Atlantic coasts, which puts one of New Jersey’s growing industries at risk.

That’s a concern of regional marine scientists and other stakeholders across the Mid-Atlantic, who want to pull together to create a team to study and address the problem.

“We need to pull together in order to find solutions that reduce the impacts of ocean acidification on our ecosystems and shellfish industry,” said Dr. Peter Rowe, NJSGC’s director of research and extension.

They gathered at Stockton University in August for a discussion — organized in part by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium —with experts and stakeholders about the current state of New Jersey’s coastal waters and what threats OA, as it is called, poses to the Mid-Atlantic.

 As oceans become more acidic, the nutrients available to shellfish become sparse. They can’t grow shells, or their shells become too weak.

The destructive potential for OA, as it is called, is a huge problem for the shellfish industry in the Northwest.

Between 2005 and 2009 shellfish production collapsed by 80 percent, according to a PBS report. In Washington State the industry is worth $270 million and employs thousands of people.

Daniel Cohen theowner of Atlantic Capes Fisheries, said that the Pacific Ocean acidification brought the indutry to its knees. Oysterman were hauling in 600 to 700 bushels of oysters with a value of $60 million, but that dropped to zero, he said.

“Research on ocean acidification and shellfish is just beginning here in New Jersey, and there are no indications of a serious problem at this time,” said Lisa Calvo, the New Jersey Sea Grant aquaculture specialist.

In New Jersey, shellfish harvesting has grown from $98.65 million in 2003 to $159 million in 2012, according to NOAA figures. And commercial fishing in general employed more than 50,000 people in 2012, and was worth $2.87 billion across all sectors.

Beyond the economic benefits of shellfish, they are critical to the environment.

To that end, several environmental groups have been working to rebuild shellfish reefs in Barnegat Bay, and the state Senate has approved a law that would open closed waters in Raritan and Sandy Hook bays to rebuilding oyster reefs for research purposes. The law has not passed the Legislature because a similar law has not yet recieved approval in the General Assembly.

And, Calvo, at the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Laboratory, coordinates Project PORTS, or Promoting Oyster Restorarion Through Schools, which is an effort to build an artificial oyster reef in protected Delaware Bay waters.

“Oysters are filter feeders, they consume phytoplankton from the water and as they filter their food from the water they improve water quality. This is one of the most important ecological services that oysters provide,” Calvo explained. “ Additionally oysters form reefs as generations of oysters settle on one another. The oyster reefs serve as important habitat for many fish species and crabs.”


New guide is the manual to ‘Dune it Right’

October 9th, 2015

FORT HANCOCK — Backed up by the latest research, best practices for dune restoration have changed dramatically in 30 years, which is why the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and its partners wants the Jersey Shore to Dune it Right.

The last manual providing instructions about how to restore dune ecology was published by the USDA Plant Materials Center in the 1980s, and much of that advice is obsolete.

At the time, the key to dune restoration was American beachgrass.

“We see people planting Ammophila breviligulata — beachgrass — everywhere,” said Dr. Louise Wooton, of Georgian Court University at a recent outreach workshop on dune restoration and storm surge.

Beachgrass is still vital to dunes, but more emphasis is being placed on the diversity of plant species, but also of the grass itself. Nearly all the grass in dune restorations is from one Cape Cod-based variety, according to research by Dr. Michael Peek . Researchers say that needs to change if the dunes are to become more resilient.

With support from the NOAA National Sea Grant Office,  New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and its partners are correcting and updating those instructions through the Dune it Right Manual, published on

Dr. Amy Williams of Stevens Institute of Technology will present Dune it Right at the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association later this month. Click here to learn more.

The manual is a living document written by researchers and extension agents at William Paterson University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Georgian Court University — all NJSCG members — and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Materials Center at Cape May who have had dune and beach research funded by the consortium.

Coastal experts wrapped-up a round of workshops aimed at developing an understanding of storm surges and dune restorations last month. The latest round was the second time this year that workshops were held to publicize the dune manual and update stakeholders about the latest best practices and research in dune management and restoration.

Here’s a breakdown of some recommendations:

  • Don’t plant beachgrass in rows, attempt to plant in circles instead.
  • Try to plant beachgrass
  • Know the habitats: Dune ecology changes rapidly going inland. What one species likes on the primary dune, isn’t necessarily going to work for them on a secondary dune.
  • In built out communities, treat yards and garden spaces as secondary dunes or maritime forests, and select native plant species that thrive in back dune environments.
  • Make dunes diverse environments. Don’t just plant one species of plant.

The first round in the spring were aimed specifically at government officials who might be managing public dune restorations. seminars were held in each of the state’s four coastal counties.

The second round, one held in Cape May and the second held in Surf City on Long Beach Island were open to the general public.

Dunes, and their protective power, were proven to be a vital assest to beach communities during the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy. Communities without dune protection, by and large, fared much worse if they had no protection. The protective power of dunes is, in part, why dunes and beaches are considered to be the Garden State’s most valuable ecosystem.

Intense development along the Jersey Shore and the heavy use of the beaches by humans has reduced most of the dunes and the ecological services they provide, especially wrack lines, secondary dunes and maritime forests.

This has been done to make the beach “clean” and easy to access, experts said.

State and federal parks and reserves, and a few communities like Avalon in Cape May County Bradley Beach in Monmouth County are exceptions.

“Bradley Beach made a committment in the 1980s to build dunes,” Wooton told the crowd at Long Beach Island. “For 30 years, without any major storms they may have looked pretty silly, but than Sandy hit and they don’t look silly anymore.”

The Dune It Right manual can be downloaded at by clicking here.


The Jersey Shoreline: Oct. 2

October 2nd, 2015

The Jersey Shoreline  is a weekly round-up from New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium that scours the Garden State’s press and broadcasters for reports on several key topics related to the consortium’s research and outreach.

The news of the week is undoubtedly Hurricane Joaquin and an accompanying storm. For most of the week there was uncertainty about whether the hurricane would make landfall or remain offshore. Regardless, New Jersey will likely be impacted by the Joaquin in some manner.

In preparation for the storm, Gov. Chris Christie declared on Thursday a state of emergency, according to a report in the Record. By Friday morning, forecasters predicted that the storm would veer away from the Garden State, according another Record report. However, a Nor’easter has the potential to dump 1/2-inch to 1-inch of rain accompanied by 35-mile-per-hour wind gusts.

To help you prepare for coastal storms, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium has curated these tools. Read More …