Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Species on the Edge’

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.

Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest Gets Interactive

Friday, June 19th, 2015
2015 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest Winners Represented on New Story Map

By: Kathleen Wadiak, Wildlife Conservation Intern


Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s 2015 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!


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:


Kathleen Wadiak is a Wildlife Conservation Intern with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.


Infuse Wildness in the Classroom

Sunday, October 10th, 2010
Enter the 2011 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest!

by Maria Grace, Education & Outreach Manager

Open to all 5th graders throughout New Jersey, the very popular Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest encourages students to think about rare wildlife in New Jersey, not just on television.

To enter the contest, students research a species of wildlife that is rare or endangered in New Jersey.  They write an essay detailing the needs of the species and the challenges to its future existence. They then create artwork – a painting or collage – depicting their chosen animal in its natural habitat.

Over the past 8 years, almost 20,000 students have entered the contest and have expanded their knowledge about New Jersey’s imperiled wildlife.  Hundreds of teachers throughout the state have participated in the contest and have praised its interdisciplinary approach and its ability to create a deep appreciation for nature:

“My students love the Species on the Edge Contest because they enjoy learning about the many endangered animals in New Jersey, which fits into our curriculum.  The contest helps raise their awareness about how humans interact with the natural world. My students take ownership of one species, and through artwork and research, they express their concerns about the environment and how to protect it.”

–Mary Keyser, Maple Road School, West Milford, NJ

A winner is chosen from each county in NJ, 21 winners in all. The winning artwork and essays become part of a statewide traveling exhibit, helping to raise awareness for New Jersey’s endangered wildlife. Finally, the winning entries are published in a beautiful, colorful calendar to help inspire people to conserve wildlife throughout the year!

2011 Species on the Edge Calendar

The contest is free and it’s easy to participate! Download your contest kit today from our website.  The kit contains everything you need to participate – lesson plans, entry forms, and a list of approved resources for research.

The 2011 Species on the Edge Calendar is now available in our store for only $8.  It makes a great gift for friends, family, and co-workers.  Get your copy today!