Coastal Stewardship Course Open to All Ecosystem Lovers

Mar 20, 2019

Registration is now open for the Coastal Stewardship course that is being offered later in the spring as part of the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program with Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Coastal stewardship is about “the wise utilization and responsible management of our coastal marine resources.”

The course will educate students on the impacts that human activities have on the health of the coastal ecosystem. Following that, they’ll learn how they can get involved to help the health of the bay and its watershed.

More specifically, the Coastal Stewardship course (formerly known as the Shellfish Gardener course) aims to “educate stakeholders about the ecology of Barnegat Bay and to promote responsible stewardship of coastal marine resources while using shellfish biology, restoration, and aquaculture as the primary teaching tools.”

Anyone can come to an evening Open House from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, to learn more about the course and BBSRP activities throughout Barnegat Bay. That includes collaboration with ReClam the Bay and other partners.

The open house and all classes will meet at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, 1623 Whitesville Rd., Toms River.

The course meets during the spring and fall. The spring meetings are Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. from May 7 through June 22 and two field trips on June 8 and June 22. The fall includes five evening (7-to-9 p.m.) classes from Sept. 17 through Nov. 4.

“The course is open to anyone who is interested,” said Douglas Zemeckis, Ph.D., marine extension agent for Ocean, Atlantic and Monmouth counties. Zemeckis is with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, which is under the state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

He continued that the course is geared toward anyone who wants to learn more about the coastal marine systems and get involved with local efforts that want to improve the health of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem.

“Some high school students and young professionals looking to learn more about estuarine and marine sciences commonly take the course as well.”

This will be a HyFlex course where people can participate in the class sessions live either in-class or remotely via webinar.

The cost of the course is $75. Checks should be made out to Ocean County Board of Agriculture. Register by Wednesday, May 1, by contacting Kelly Jurgensen at kjurgensen@co.ocean.nj.us or by phone at 732-349-1152.  —M.S.

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