Alliance for a Living Ocean Hosts Fun and Educational Summertime Activities

Jun 05, 2019

Alliance for a Living Ocean offers interactive activities and fundraising events throughout the summer months, all tailored to learning about, and caring about, the local ecosystem and its inhabitants. “Our summer events are all meant to engage and educate about the various aspects of our natural marine environment here on Long Beach Island,” said ALO Executive Director Kyle Gronostajski.

“ALO’s summer programs are hands-on and free for kids and adults alike,” he added.

Every Tuesday from June 25 through Aug. 27, ALO will hold a “critter roundup” from 11 a.m. to noon at the bay beach at 14th Street and Bay Terrace in Ship Bottom. “This program allows an up-close look at the creatures who call Barnegat Bay home,” the nonprofit states. “We pull our seine net through the bay to bring in crabs, fish and all kinds of exciting plants and animals you may have never known were in our waters! Everything we catch is handled with care and safely released after we take some time to view and talk about each species.”

On Thursdays, from June 27 through Aug. 29, ALO will lead a critter roundup from 11 a.m. to noon in Bayview Park, at West 68th Street and Long Beach Boulevard in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township.

And on Fridays, check out different eco-science activities at the New Jersey Maritime Museum, at 528 Dock Rd. in Beach Haven, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. “Enjoy a fun hands-on activity while you learn about the plants and animals that make up the ocean’s ecosystems while learning what you can do to help Alliance for a Living Ocean improve and protect the environment,” ALO explains.

These programs, which are also free, may include Gyotaku fish printing, smartphone/tablet microscopes, eutrophication/cyanotypes, ocean depths creature identification, and make-and-take seaside goldenrod planting, depending on the week. The eco-science installments run from June 28 through Aug. 30.

In addition to all the weekly events, ALO is helping to organize the seventh annual LBI Paddle Classic – featuring standup paddleboard and prone paddleboard races – on July 13. All-level paddlers, even beginners, are welcome to compete in the event, to be held in the water off Bayview Park.

Cost to enter is $40, and includes a T-shirt. Proceeds benefit ALO.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. the day of the event, and the races start at 6 p.m. Pre-registration is also available, at paddleguru.com/races/LBIPaddleClassic2019, and is highly encouraged.

Aug. 10, meanwhile, is the annual ALO LBI Longboard Classic surf contest. (No-wave date is Aug. 11.)

“The ALO LBI Longboard Classic is one of our largest fundraisers and one of the most fun events we’ve organized,” the nonprofit explains. “Started by our longtime board member Tom Beaty, the Longboard Classic brings together generations and celebrates our oceans the best way we know possible: surfing!

“This contest requires a vintage surfboard that is at least three feet longer than you are tall, and is judged on style, nose rides, and ultimately looking like you’re having a good time.”

The event will include live music, food, raffles and camaraderie. Sign up to compete, or just come out to spectate and socialize.

Companies and organizations interested in sponsoring the event can visit livingocean.org to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

ALO will also be on site at the Surf City Farmers Market, to be held every Monday from 9 a.m. to noon beginning June 24, at the Surf City Firehouse. “We will also have our water bottle refilling station so you can stay hydrated while you shop,” says the nonprofit, as well as “merchandise and items to help create a #plasticfreeLBI.”

Learn more about the Farmers Market at facebook.com/SCFDfarmersmarket.

Volunteers for any of ALO’s summer events are encouraged to sign up online, at livingocean.org. Gronostajski also encourages people to regularly check the website calendar, as the organization hopes to add more events throughout the summer.

Donations are always appreciated, and are accepted on the website.

For more information, call 609-494-7800 or email livingoceanalo@gmail.com. —J.K.H.

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