Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Species on the Edge’

Fifth Graders from Across the State Honored for Art & Essays on New Jersey’s Rare Wildlife

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
2016 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest Winners honored at Awards Ceremony

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

2015 Species on the Edge Winners with representatives from CWF and PSEG.

2016 Species on the Edge Winners with representatives from CWF, Wakefern, PSEG and GAF.

On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey celebrated and recognized the winners of the 2016 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest, a statewide educational contest open to all fifth-graders. The 14th annual contest encourages students to become wildlife biologists through their research and artwork on the endangered and threatened wildlife species in New Jersey.

 

“These talented children poured their hearts into the Species on the Edge contest, creating vibrant artwork and passionate essays about these rare wildlife species,” said David Wheeler, Conserve Wildlife Foundation Executive Director. “We are inspired to help connect the next generation of New Jersey conservation leaders with the natural world around them. Their art and essays illustrate the wonders of nature – and reveal many of the challenges we must overcome to help vulnerable wildlife survive in our densely populated state.”

 

Students were asked to draw a picture of one of New Jersey’s over 80 endangered and threatened wildlife species and compose an essay about how the animal became endangered and what can be done to help protect it. The Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest encourages students to learn about local environmental issues, express their concerns for the world around them, think creatively about ways to improve it, and to consider how their actions impact the natural world.

 

This year’s ingenious group of winners was honored at an awards ceremony which was hosted at the New Jersey Education Association, in Trenton, New Jersey. The contest was sponsored by PSEG, NJEA, GAF, Atlantic City Electric, Church & Dwight and ShopRite.

 

The statewide contest drew over 2,000 entries from across the state. Since 2003, over 10,000 children from across New Jersey have entered the Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest.

 

Learn More:

 

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

Winners of the 2016 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
2016 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest Winners Represented on New Story Map

Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s 2016 Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest gave fifth grade students from across the state the opportunity to research an endangered species and submit a drawing and essay written from the animal’s perspective. Meant to support awareness of endangered species in students, the Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest encourages fifth graders to think like wildlife biologists as they gather research and learn about pressing environmental issues. The results of this contest are the subject of our newest story map!

sote2016

This interactive map allows the user to click on icons to see participating schools, first and second winners from each county, and honorable mention entries. Scrolling through the text on the left side changes the content of the points on the map. A click on each map point brings up more information, like the number of classes from each school that submitted an entry. While scrolling through the list of winners, users can even click on the schools’ icons to bring up the students’ names, essays, and artwork.

The format of this story map is simple and easy to use, allowing for an interesting, interactive way to display the hard work of students across New Jersey.

Learn more:

395 Abandoned Crab Pots Removed from Barnegat Bay Estuary

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
CWF Spearheading Project to Recycle Dangerous Fishing Gear and Create Healthier Bay Ecosystem and Local Economy

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

A pile of abandoned crab pots before being processed at the WeCrab community day.

A pile of abandoned crab pots before being processed at the WeCrab community day.

Through a series of public and private partnerships, and with the help of the local fishing community, CWF is leading a project to inventory and remove more than 1,000 abandoned crab pots in Barnegat Bay. These derelict pots, lost from storms or cut lines, can have devastating impacts on the bay ecosystem and local economy.

 

A phenomenon referred to as “ghost fishing,” these traps will often continue to catch and kill marine life when abandoned, like the Northern diamondback terrapin and otherwise harvestable crabs. These lost harvests translate to economic losses for fishermen and the local community. The pots also disrupt navigation and damage sensitive ecosystems.

 

In the first year of our two year project, our partners removed 395 of these abandoned crab pots from the Barnegat Bay watershed, championed by local fisherman RJ Cericola and his crew. Almost 260 other pots were assessed but not recovered.

  • RJ Cericola: 204 abandoned crab pots removed
  • MATES: 103 abandoned crab pots removed
  • Stockton University: 64 abandoned crab pots removed (40 near Waretown and 24 near Mud Cove, Little Egg Harbor Bay, reflected in the map below)
  • Monmouth University: 24 abandoned crab pots removed
Abandoned crab pots recovered by Stockton University.

Abandoned crab pots recovered by Stockton University.

Starting in December 2016, we look forward to working with RJ Cericola, our new partner Jeff Silady — ReClam the Bay boat captain and local fisherman — and bringing on a commercial fisherman to reach our goal of 1,000 abandoned crab pots recovered.

 

Some of the recovered pots were stored at Stockton University Marine Field Station in Port Republic and were inventoried for data; broken down and recycled by volunteers this past Earth Day.

MATES students collecting data at community data.

MATES students collecting data at community day.

Scientists, students, commercial crabbers and other volunteers gathered on April 23rd for the WeCrab Community Day to record data, clean and prep the recovered derelict crab pots for recycling. The WeCrab Marine Debris Project is a partnership between the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve and Stockton University.

IMG_7465

 

Volunteers collected data on condition, cause of loss, weight, among other points. We are working to understand the impacts of abandoned pots and their distribution, gather information on the percentage of pots lost annually and also develop a long-term reporting system for lost pots and other fishing gear. Information collected from recovered pots help aid these efforts.

 

CWF’s abandoned crab pot removal project is funded by NOAA’s Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant. We are proud to work with our partners at the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental ScienceMonmouth UniversityStockton UniversityReClam the Bay, and volunteers. Conserve Wildlife Foundation is also working on an outreach campaign to raise awareness on the impacts of derelict crab pots and marine debris with additional funding from the New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.

 

Learn More:

 

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

 

Announcing Species on the Edge: Marine Debris Edition

Friday, 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.

CWF and PSEG Honor New Jersey High School Students in S.T.E.M. Education Multimedia Contest

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Students created videos, websites and social media channels to promote New Jersey’s wildlife

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

First Place Winner David Tattoni’s video “Plover Biologist”

 

On Thursday, October 1, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and sponsor PSEG celebrated and recognized the winners of the 2015 Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest, a statewide educational contest with a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) focus for New Jersey high school students.

 

“Too often, we worry that technology has made the youngest generation lose touch with the world around them. Yet these four promising individuals are instead connecting all of us with nature through their expertise with modern technology,” said David Wheeler, Executive Director, Conserve Wildlife Foundation. “Their innate skills, boundless creativity, and inspiring enthusiasm help make the wonders of New Jersey’s wildlife come to life online – and help so many others understand why it’s so vital to protect that wildlife.”

 

The Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest invited students to submit an original video, digital graphic design, webpage, or other multimedia project showing why wildlife protection is important in New Jersey. The contest showcased high school students’ interest in new media technologies, as well as their talent, creativity, and love of nature.

 

  • David Tattoni, a senior at Peddie School from Princeton won first place in the contest and was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for his YouTube channel featuring rare wildlife, like piping plovers, a state endangered beach nesting bird, and wild places in New Jersey.
  • Victoria Momyer and Priyanshi Jain, both seniors at Biotechnology High School in Freehold shared second place and the $500 scholarship prize for the development of the website “New Jersey Wilds” and their accompanying Facebook page.
  • Kayleigh Young, a junior at Cresskill High School in Cresskill was awarded a $250 scholarship for her Vimeo video “Endangered in New Jersey.”

 

The Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest scholarships were made possible by sponsor PSEG.

 

“PSEG is proud to support our next generation of leaders in using modern technology to better connect with the environment around us,” said Lisa Gleason, program officer, PSEG Foundation. “Through projects like Species on the Edge 2.0, PSEG’s corporate sustainability leadership continues to benefit innovative educational and environmental programs across New Jersey.”

 

“My career goal is to be a wildlife biologist. I love birding, herping [studying reptiles and amphibians], and looking for rare plants. I like to photograph and film wildlife. I also really enjoy doing conservation work,” explained first place winner David Tattoni. “As you could tell from my video I spent a lot of time this summer working with piping plovers and I would love to do similar work protecting endangered birds for the rest of my life.”

 

Since 2003, over 10,000 children from across New Jersey have entered Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Species on the Edge educational contests. The contests are a great way to engage and excite students into learning about New Jersey’s over 80 endangered and threatened wildlife species.

 

Learn more:

 

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

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