The Sun and Crowds Came Out for Ocean Fun Days 2022
The warm weather and sunshine was not the only thing New Jerseyans were excited about last weekend, as the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC), in partnership with New Jersey Natural Gas, hosted Ocean Fun Days. On May 21 and 22, children (and children at heart) flocked to Island Beach State Park and Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook Unit to learn about our ocean, environmental science, and energy conservation.
The 19th annual Ocean Fun Days was back in person after two years of virtual programming. Smiles were contagious during fun events like crab races, seining for marine life, the energy scavenger hunt, guided walking tours, and other enjoyable ways to learn about our coastal environment and ways to protect it. For those unable to attend in person, NJSGC created OceanFunDays.org complete with videos, handouts, activities, and other parent and teacher resources for kids.
NJSGC Executive Director Dr. Pete Rowe reflects on the day, “New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium was as excited as our attendees to have Ocean Fun Days back in person. I am so proud of our incredible staff and partners for pivoting to virtual programming for the past two years. The sunny summer-like weather made this year’s event even more special. We (staff and attendees) all had big smiles and soaring spirits.”
NJSGC Executive Director Dr. Pete Rowe educates excited attendees about fiddler crabs.
Rosemary Higgins, College & Special Programs Coordinator at NJSGC, who has been coordinating Ocean Fun Days since its humble beginnings in 2003 couldn’t help but exclaim her excitement on this year’s success: “This event is the product of hard work and team collaboration. Our sponsors, along with the over 50 exhibitors at both locations, came together to make this event in its 19th year a big success. The willingness to share knowledge of marine and coastal topics and energy conservation with the public creates a unique free event fun for the whole family just in time for summer. I can’t wait for our big 20th annual Ocean Fun Days next year!”
Rosemary Higgins, College & Special Programs Coordinator at NJSGC teaches girl about seashell morphology.
“We had a fantastic turnout, and it was great to see so many friends, colleagues and visitors come out to support this event. The organizations that participated shared so many creative activities for people to learn about ocean sciences, and we hope that visitors left with increased understanding and a sense of caring for marine and coastal environments.” Says Diana Burich, Director of Education at NJSGC.
NJSGC Director of Education Diana Burich (right) poses with participant to show off arms painted with seahorses and starfish.
New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium appreciates all the enthusiasm and bright smiles all our attendees brought with them for Ocean Fun Days. Ocean Fun Days 2022 was one for the books! Did YOU attend Ocean Fun Days this year? If so, they’d love to hear your thoughts! If interested, please take part in the 2022 Ocean Fun Days Survey. NJSGC would like to thank all our sponsors and partners for working together to make this event such a great success. “Sea” you next year!