Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Teachers’

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.

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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.

Springtime Resources for New Jersey Educators

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Environmental Education Workshops, Field Experiences and STEM Contests

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

 

Green Eggs and Sand Curriculum Workshop

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A Green Eggs and Sand Curriculum Workshop will be held May 29-31 at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, Cape May County, New Jersey.

The workshop will delve into the ecological connections between horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, human connections to horseshoe crabs, and the challenges encountered in managing this resource via presentations, field trips and hands-on activities.


 

Sedge Island Summer Experiences

Kayaking at Sedge Island (c) Stephanie Feigin

Kayaking at Sedge Island (c) Stephanie Feigin

The Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center offers week long experiences in the heart of Barnegat Bay.

Three programs will be offered in 2015:

  • Sedge Island Fishing Experience: June 25 to 28, 2015 open to students entering grades 8 and 9 in the fall of 2015. Application deadline is March 31.
  • Sedge Island Field Experience: July 28 to 31, 2015 open to students entering grades 7, 8, and 9 in the fall of 2015. Application deadline is March 20.
  • Sedge Island Field and Research Experience: July 8 to 14, 2015 for students entering grades 10 and 11 in the fall of 2015. Application deadline is April 17.

For more information, visit Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s website.


 

Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest

An American kestrel. Photo courtesy of Jim Gilbert.

An American kestrel. Photo courtesy of Jim Gilbert.

The Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest combines high school students’ expertise with technology and their love for nature. Students show why New Jersey’s wildlife is important by creating a video, app, podcast, webpage, or other multimedia project.

But best of all, its FREE and offers all New Jersey high school students the opportunity to win scholarship money!

Special thanks to Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest sponsor PSE&G.

All entries are due before April 30, 2015.

For more information and to learn how to enter the contest visit our website.

Questions?
Contact Stephanie Feigin at stephanie.feigin@conservewildlifenj.org.

 

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

Why are Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) Important to Wildlife Conservation?

Monday, December 15th, 2014

By: Stephanie Feigin, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Wildlife Ecologist

Photo: atlantaschoolguide.com

Photo: atlantaschoolguide.com

S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is an important learning tool for today’s students. It encourages critical thinking, problem management skills, and uses real world applications to promote innovation. S.T.E.M. has become a new way to prepare students for the future and help them succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society.

 

As technology continues to become more accessible to the masses and continues to play a major role in the lives of the general public, wildlife conservationists have begun to utilize these innovative advancements to reach new audiences on growing social networking platforms, and educating the public through new technologies on the importance of protecting wildlife.

 

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) uses new media and technology, such as live webcams and interactive story maps, to educate the public and advance our work to protect New Jersey’s rare wildlife. In an effort to highlight the importance of S.T.E.M. education in the classroom, Conserve Wildlife Foundation has launched a new Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest.

 

Species on the Edge 2.0 is the first contest that CWF has specifically designed to focus on S.T.E.M. education. We hope that this focus will engage and teach high school students about science and New Jersey’s rare wildlife, while also capitalizing on students’ fast-growing expertise with technology. This contest invites all New Jersey high school students to submit an original video, application, podcast, digital graphic design, webpage, or other multimedia project showing why wildlife protection is important in New Jersey. The contest is free to enter, with prizes up to $1,000 in scholarship money thanks to our sponsor PSE&G.

 

All Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest entries are due before April 30, 2015. For more information and to download your contest kit visit: www.ConserveWildlifeNJ.org/Education/Edge2.0.

 

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The Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest expands on the success of Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s existing Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest for fifth graders. The contest is open to all New Jersey fifth graders in public, private, or home schools. It is a great way to engage and excite students into learning about New Jersey’s over 80 endangered and threatened wildlife species. Educators praise the contest for encompassing inter-disciplinary teaching using science, language arts, computer technology, art, and geography. Judging takes place in March. Winners are notified by the end of April.

 

Entries for the Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest are due before January 31, 2015. For more information and to download your contest kit visit: http://www.ConserveWildlifeNJ.org/education/edge/.

 

 

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