Ocean Fun Days 2017 Draws Thousands to Island Beach State Park and Sandy Hook

May 23rd, 2017

Celebrating its fourteenth year, Ocean Fun Days drew a crowd of thousands this past weekend (May 20-21), as attendees both young and old partook in hours of nonstop fun and interactive education.

Despite a slight chill in the air on Saturday at Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park (NJ), display tables were jam-packed with individuals eager to learn more about coastal stewardship and energy conservation, among several other exciting environmental subjects. The release of diamondback turtle hatchlings into their natural habitat (hosted by Project Terrapin and the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science), was a sight that couldn’t be missed, and will likely become a favorite OFD memory for years to come.

The sun evoked smiles and laughter at Sandy Hook on Sunday, where a few lucky participants were crowned “claw” winners during the popular fiddler crab races. NOAA scientists also offered a rare glimpse into what wonders take place at the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory.

Over 50 exhibitors presented at this year’s event, including the American Littoral Society, Clean Ocean Action, NJDEP Division of Parks and Forestry, Rutgers Cooperative Extension/Water Resources Program, and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Other activities included seining, bird walks, beachcombing, and tours of Sandy Hook’s legendary Lighthouse and Fort Hancock Battery Gunnison.

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.

For more information on upcoming events, please contact NJSGC Communications Specialist Danica Bellini at dbellini@njseagrant.org.