This article was published by the Asbury Park Press: 7:00 p.m. ET Aug. 18, 2017
The US Green Building Council New Jersey (USGBC NJ) hosted an Environmental Education Day for children from underserved households on Thursday, August 17th at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Sandy Hook Beaches at Gateway National Recreation Area. This is the 7th consecutive year that the Summer Social has raised funds for a day of green education for underserved youth from around the state…
On Thursday, August 17, 2017 the kids toured the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and marshes, and Sandy Hook Beaches at Gateway National Recreation Area. The primary mission of the Howard Laboratory is to conduct research in ecology, leading to a better understanding of both coastal and estuarine organisms and the effects of human activities on nearshore marine populations.
The NOAA Lab is one of the few national labs engaged in ocean acidifation research–tied to Carbon-pollution and warming–and will engage the kids in a lab experiment by NOAA scientists and fisheries biologists. The tour also included birding (and wading) in the NOAA coastal salt marsh. The day included time for the kids to enjoy the beaches at Sandy Hook, close to the lab.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Asbury Park/ Redbank, Newark, and Trenton explored both the natural and human history and landscape of Sandy Hook. The Clubs, consisting of 110 school-aged children, ages 8-14, explored stations that exemplify the historical and natural resources of a barrier peninsula. The stations included a tour of the NOAA Fisheries lab; Sandy Hook Lighthouse and Mortar Battery; a botany and wildlife walk to Gunnison Wetland; and beach seining on the bayside at Horseshoe Cove. At the conclusion of the trip, the children and their chaperones departed for independent activities at one of the life-guarded swimming beaches. Photos of the event are available here.