Become a Knauss Fellow in 2024!

November 14th, 2022

The application period for the 2024 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship is now open. The fellowship provides a one-year, paid experience for highly qualified early career professionals to work on issues related to coastal, marine and Great Lakes science and policy in offices within the executive or legislative branch of government in Washington, D.C.

Graduate students interested in marine, coastal, and Great Lakes science and policy should explore the information about the fellowship as soon as possible and talk to New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium at least one month prior to the February 16, 2023 deadline.

To be eligible for the 2024 fellowship (which lasts February 1, 2024 through January 31, 2025),

  • A student must be enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2022 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 16, 2023;
  • The student’s graduate degree program must be through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories;
  • Students are eligible regardless of nationality; domestic and international students at accredited U.S. institutions may apply; and
  • Applicants must have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Please share this opportunity with colleagues, friends and potential applicants!

Learn more about becoming a Knauss Fellow

Get started on your application with:

Support the Consortium in 2022

November 7th, 2022

In 2021-2022, contributions from important donors like you allowed us to:

  • Continue funding ocean, climate, and social science research to further promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, enhance healthy coastal ecosystems, and create a environmental literate workforce throughout the Garden State.
  • Provided nearly 20,000 schoolchildren from over 30 different legislative districts the opportunity to experience unique hands-on experiential learning through our robust education programs.
  • Disperse nearly 65,000 NJ Fish and Wildlife marine recreational fishing regulation cards and posters to over 260 marinas throughout the State, from over 24 different legislative districts.
  • Influenced more than 150 marinas to have operating pumpout stations (including nine pumpout boats) thanks to NJSGC’s involvement with the New Jersey Clean Vessel Act Program.

We’re looking forward to the bright future ahead of the Consortium as we move forward into our 54th year. In 2022 NJSGC not only continued, but also created several new outstanding programs and projects, including:

With your support we can continue to work hard to promote the wise use of New Jersey’s marine and coastal resources through research, education, and outreach. The New Year is just around the corner. Can we count on you to support our mission to steward New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment? To make a year-end, tax-deductible contribution to NJSGC for 2022, please click HERE or kindly address your contribution to:

Deborah Meehan Quinn
New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium
22 Magruder Road
Fort Hancock, NJ 07732

Sea Grant Young Fishermen’s Career Development Projects Funding Opportunity Now Open

October 5th, 2022
Man sits with students and is showing them a fish. There is a pile of fish on the floor.

Bryan Fluech working with students on a shrimp boat during the McIntosh County Academy Commercial Fishing Class from Georgia Sea Grant.

Sea Grant announces a funding opportunity to develop and execute local, regional, and national programs, workshops, and services to enable fishermen to enter career paths, in support of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act and other initiatives.

The National Sea Grant Office anticipates between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 of federal funds will be available to support approximately 2-5 awards, and awards will require 25% non-federal match. To be eligible to receive a grant under this program a recipient shall be a collaborative State, Tribal, local, or regionally based network or partnership of public or private entities, which may include— (A) a Sea Grant Institution; (B) a Federal or State agency or a Tribal organization; (C) a community-based nongovernmental organization; (D) fishermen’s cooperatives or associations; (E) an institution of higher education (including an institution awarding an associate’s degree), or a foundation maintained by an institution of higher education; or (F) any other appropriate entity.

Projects may benefit from engaging with the planning frameworks developed by Sea Grant programs in FY21-23. More information can be found here.

Letters of intent are required in order to be eligible to submit a full proposal and are due December 1, 2022.

NOAA Sea Grant announces $14 million in investments to strengthen U.S. aquaculture

October 4th, 2022

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute Research Scientist, Kevin Stuart, harvests juvenile yellowtail from a production tank (photo credit Mark Drawbridge, HSWRI).

NOAA Sea Grant announced approximately $14 million in federal funding across four strategic areas for improving U.S. aquaculture. The competitively selected projects will advance early stage propagation strategies for various aquaculture species, marine finfish juvenile production technologies, aquaculture collaboratives and establishment of an aquaculture information exchange.

“These investments demonstrate Sea Grant’s commitment to sustainably growing U.S. aquaculture throughout coastal and Great Lakes communities,” said Jonathan Pennock, director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. “The funded projects, which address a variety of challenges, will ensure that growth of the aquaculture sector will be informed by the latest science and community needs.”

Aquaculture production provides great potential for increasing the economic resilience and nutritional security of communities across the country. All of the above investments are consistent with Sea Grant’s focus area of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture (SFA) and the Sea Grant Network’s 10-year Aquaculture Vision, both of which support NOAA and Department of Commerce aquaculture goals. To learn more about Sea Grant’s work in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, click here.

Download a full list of all the funded projects and descriptions here. 

The ‘COASTodian’ Newsletter – Summer 2022 Edition

September 27th, 2022

It may be fall, but read all about our work from over the summer in our Summer 2022 ‘COASTodian’ newsletter! Stay up to date on what we’ve been up to during this season! New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s ‘COASTodian’ newsletter (Summer 2022) is now available online here or by scanning the code below.

Highlights include:


And much, much more!

Building Aquaculture Career Interest and Competencies Through Student Engagement in a Pilot Apprenticeship Program

August 5th, 2022

Shellfish farming is an important and ever growing sector in New Jersey’s coastal economy. Given the continuing entry of new shellfish farmers and planned expansion of existing farms in the State, further growth is inevitable and would result in significant ecological and economic benefits while providing high quality sustainable seafood to meet increasing consumer demand. 

The new Apprenticeship in Shellfish Aquaculture Program (ASAP) is an initiative offered through a partnership between New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and Rutgers University that offers high school students an opportunity to learn about aquaculture while getting their “feet wet” in the field through virtual and experiential training. The purpose of this pilot project is to introduce middle and high school students and their communities to aquaculture as a career opportunity and an emerging and important food production system. By providing a pathway to enter careers in this growing sector, ASAP provides students with an understanding of the field of shellfish aquaculture and helps them build necessary skills so that they are employment-ready and primed for a successful career start. 

Diana Burich with ASAP students at Cape May Salt Oyster Farm.

Project development began in summer 2021, when collaborators engaged NJ educators interested in increasing aquaculture literacy in their schools with industry professionals in a 3-day workshop to develop curriculum content, discuss instructional approaches and to identify necessary employment skills. Teachers then recruited students for ASAP in spring 2022, which employs a three-fold approach: virtual workshops, in-person “boot camp” and 20-hour farm work experience.

Beginning in May, seven high school students participated in four hour-long virtual workshops where they learned about local and global applications of aquaculture and had the opportunity to interact with researchers, professionals and shellfish growers. During the week of June 27, ASAP students participated in the second program component: a 1-week summer training “boot camp” that offered in-class lessons and field experiences at Rutgers University’s Cape Shore Laboratory and Aquaculture Innovation Center in Cape May County.

Students learning about oyster ecology & biology from Michael Acquafredda, PhD post-doc from NOAA NEFSC

According to Diana Burich, Director of Education and co-creator of the program, “As the aquaculture industry in New Jersey grows, there is a real need to help shellfish farmers find competent employees. ASAP is an opportunity for students who already have an interest in shellfish aquaculture to be immersed in learning about this food source, how products are grown and marketed, and what it really takes to make that happen. The students were full of enthusiasm and enjoyed the activities, and the entire group, collaborators and students alike, were understanding of the importance of this project. Whether students plan to pursue aquaculture in college or head directly out into the workforce, NJSGC has a responsibility as a resource in helping to bring these two sectors together and provide relevant opportunities for growth.”

Facilitated by Burich and collaborators Jenny Shinn of Rutgers University’s Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory and Lisa Calvo of Sweet Amalia Oyster Farm, students learned about the biology and ecology of oysters and hard clams, two economically-important species grown in NJ. Students toured Cape May Salt oyster farm, built farm gear, and helped maintain “crops” to keep them fouling- and disease-free. Staff and interns at the Aquaculture Innovation Center and Cape Shore Lab led students through hatchery and husbandry operations, where students learned about life stages and the importance of algae in the production of larval spat.. Experts like Michael Acquafredda, PhD, National Research Council’s postdoctoral research associate from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA NEFSC) and Douglas Zemeckis, PhD, Rutgers University’s Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources County Agent, met with students and talked about current research and shellfish farms as agricultural and commercial businesses . Students even learned to shuck oysters, identify flavor profiles and cook Oysters Rockefeller.

NJSGC’s Coastal and Marine Science Education and Community Engagement intern, Catherine Rodriguez with Jihyana Price, NOAA IN-FISH intern.

Students are currently in the final phase of the program: 20-hour farm experience where they will gain experience in aquaculture-related work thanks to collaborating industry partners such as Sweet Amalia Oyster Farm in Cape May Courthouse and Forty North Oyster Farm in Barnegat. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a Shellfish Aquaculture Apprenticeship Certificate of Accomplishment, a stipend for their participation and a greater appreciation for New Jersey’s shellfish farmers and the aquaculture industry overall collaboration with industry and academic project partners 

Sea Grant Announces 2023 Finalists for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program

July 27th, 2022

The 86 finalists in the 2023 class of the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Sea Grant have continued the tradition of the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program and have announced the finalists of the 2023 class. The finalists, who are early career professionals, will be placed in Washington, D.C. federal government offices. The 2023 class represents the largest in recent years with 86 finalists. Since 1979, over 1,550 fellows have completed the one-year Knauss fellowship program, applying their experience to lasting careers in science, policy, and public administration.

New Jersey Sea Grant’s very own nominee, Alexandra Swanson of Princeton University, has been chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Fellowship and we wish her luck on her journey!

Alexandra Swanson, Princeton University; New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium

NJSGC Executive Director, Dr. Peter Rowe notes “NJSGC is extremely thrilled that Alexandra Swanson has been selected as a 2023 Knauss Fellowship finalist. Ms. Swanson’s experiences at Brown and Princeton, from her being a policy analyst for the Providence City Council, to her Peace Corps work in Panama, and her current conservation internship at the Council on Environmental Quality make her a truly outstanding candidate. Given Alexandra’s background and characteristics, especially her maturity and vision, her drive, and her scientific talents, Ms. Swanson will make an excellent Knauss Fellow. NJSGC wishes her the best success.”

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes comprehensive review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. Students that are enrolled in or have recently completed master’s, Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a focus and/or interest in marine and coastal science, policy or management apply to one of the 34 Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national panel of experts. This year’s class of 86 finalists comprises students and recent graduates from 62 distinct universities, including 16 finalists from nine minority-serving institutions. The finalists represent 29 of the 34 Sea Grant programs, and they completed coursework and research in a range of fields, such as biology, chemistry, ecology, engineering, environmental science and management, law, marine and coastal sciences and policy, and several disciplines of oceanography.

“The Knauss Fellowship offers graduate students the invaluable opportunity to put their academic knowledge to practice in tackling marine, coastal, and Great Lakes management and policy challenges at the federal level,” said Jonathan Pennock, Ph.D., National Sea Grant College Program director. “We look forward to welcoming the 2023 class of Knauss fellows and seeing how they will apply their unique insights to developing solutions to some of the most important challenges facing the country.”

In an effort to be more equitable and inclusive, the application process for the 2023 Knauss Fellowship was restructured from past years. This included shifting from a generic personal statement to a series of short-answer questions that tapped into applicants’ creativity, practical skills and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, along with updated application evaluation criteria that more fully acknowledged the diversity of experiences that a student may bring to the fellowship. 

Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA Research and former Knauss Fellow Emily Menashes offered her reflections on the fellowship. “No two Knauss Fellowship placements are the same, as this program is uniquely able to cater to the individual strengths and interests of each fellow. I look forward to learning more about each of the 2023 Knauss finalists.” 

Read more about the Knauss Fellowship and other Finalists.

Jersey Shore Photo Contest 2022 Winners Announced!

July 14th, 2022

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium held the annual Jersey Shore Photo Contest once again! This year we received many beautiful submissions showcasing the grandeur of the nature and sunsets we witness on the Jersey Shore. 

Twelve submissions won the contest and will be on display in our desktop calendar. The winning photos shown below were shot in familiar locations like Sandy Hook, Bradley Beach, Seaside Heights, and many more. The 2023 desktop calendar with these dazzling nature photos will be available on in a few months. But in the meantime, view the winners below!


Thank you to everyone who submitted and voted! We hope to see you next year!

Ocean City wins New Jersey’s Favorite Beaches Contest

July 8th, 2022

The Favorite Beaches awards ceremony was held at the beautiful Ocean City Music Pier on July 8th. After thousands of votes, the results are in….

Overall First Place: Ocean City
Runner up: The Wildwoods
Monmouth County First Place: Asbury Park
Runner up: Spring Lake
Ocean County First Place: Seaside Heights
Runner up: Point Pleasant Beach
Atlantic County First Place: Brigantine
Runner up: Margate
Cape May County First Place: Ocean City
Runner up: The Wildwoods


The annual public poll began in 2008 to encourage stewardship and pride for the Garden State’s beautiful beaches.  Thank you to all who voted and hope you vote again next year! Be sure to visit all of the beautiful beaches our state has to offer.



CBS Philly: Ocean City Named New Jersey’s Favorite Beach Town For 9th Straight Year In 2022 Poll

OCNJ Daily: Ocean City Tops Statewide Poll for Favorite Beach 

WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM 1450 AM: Locals Say This City Has NJ’s Favorite Beach for the 9th Straight Consecutive Year 


Reminiscing about Ocean Fun Days

June 28th, 2022
It’s officially been over a month since our 19th annual Ocean Fun Days! Check out this video showcasing snapshots of all the activities and excitement that took place at Island Beach State Park and Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit on May 21 and 22!

If you couldn’t make the Ocean Fun Days Event, head to to watch informational videos and access handouts of various fun activities.