Salt Marsh Ecology

This program provides an opportunity for students in grades 5-12 to investigate one of the most productive natural systems along the coast – 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, as well as 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 morphology observation lab
  • Plankton lab
  • Salt marsh in a pan (watershed demonstration)
  • Shell classification and identification
  • Testing for salinity
  • Foodweb Jenga

This program supports:

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) groups per day.
Fee: $475.00 per group.

For more information contact the Education Department at [email protected] or by phone at (732) 872-1300, ext. 13. Fill out our program reservation request form HERE!