Conserve Wildlife Blog

Announcing Species on the Edge: Marine Debris Edition

March 4th, 2016

Conserve Wildlife Foundation introduces new educational contest for 5-8th grade students in New Jersey

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

Image by: Jessie Peter (2009) “The Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris”

Image by: Jessie Peter (2009) “The Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris”

The scientists at Conserve Wildlife Foundation, NOAA, students from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES), and other partners are working with local fishermen to locate and recycle over 1,000 abandoned crab pots that litter the Barnegat Bay watershed.
 
Abandoned crab pots are a form of marine debris, or litter that ends up in oceans, seas, or other large bodies of water. Every year, tons of marine debris is left behind in Barnegat Bay and surrounding waters. When a fisherman’s gear is lost or abandoned it can trap, hurt or even kill marine wildlife like fish, crabs and the diamondback terrapin, a small turtle that lives in the salt marsh.

Nearly 50 diamondback terrapins drowned in one abandoned crab pot. Photo by Shannon Alexander of Bay Country Kayaking

Nearly 50 diamondback terrapins drowned in one abandoned crab pot. Photo by Shannon Alexander of Bay Country Kayaking

To help fix the problem, our team of scientists will locate (with sonar technology) and take the crab pots that have been lost or left behind in the water. The old and rusty crab pots that are recovered will be recycled and converted into energy!
 
Calling all students! Do you want to help too? Enter our Species on the Edge: Marine Debris Edition contest and draw a design that shows how our project will help Barnegat Bay and marine wildlife like the diamondback terrapin.

  • Open to all New Jersey fifth-eighth graders in public, private, or home schools.
  • The contest opens on Friday, March 4 and closes on Friday, May 20, 2016.
  • Decal designs will be judged by marine scientists. Judging takes place in June.
  • The winner will be notified by the end of June.

 

The winning design will be printed on 2,500 stickers to use as the official “logo” of the project. The winning student will receive two free passes to Jenkinson’s Aquarium and spend a day in the field with one of CWF’s wildlife biologists.

 

For more information, contest entry form, and educator resources, visit our website.

 

Our abandoned crab pot project brings together the NOAA Marine Debris program, Fishing for Energy partnership, CWF, MATES, Monmouth University, Stockton University, ReClam the Bay, and local fishermen and baymen. Funders of this project include: NOAA Marine Debris Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Covanta, and the New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.

 

Learn More:

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

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