Helen Henderson and Al Wutkowski on Earth Day 2011The American Littoral Society introduced the Barnegat Bay Guardian on Earth Day 2011 to strengthen our already robust efforts to protect and preserve Barnegat Bay. Al Wutkowski, a lifelong resident of Point Pleasant, will be putting his eyes, ears, voice as well as his boat to work for the Society and the Bay. The Barnegat Bay Guardian has quickly become recognized out on the Bay.

“Big Al Wutkowski” developed a love of boating and fishing when he was just a young boy.  He is best known for his prowess as a striped bass fisherman and his passion for protecting bay wildlife, especially waterfowl.  He works closely with the Mercer County Wildlife Center and has personally saved over 30 birds that were victims of oil coating and other injuries sustained in the Barnegat Bay.

Al was tired of witnessing oiled up birds, diesel fuel slicks on the water, a noticeable loss of weak fish, unattended crab traps and fishing pole lines that harm wildlife and other offenses to the bay like the dumping of trash and debris in the water. He approached the American Littoral Society to find out how he could be empowered to improve condidtions in the Bay and the Barnegat Bay Guardian was born.

Since then, Al has been working with our Policy Advocate, Helen Henderson, to develop the Barnegat Bay Guardian program to empower and educate more individuals, especially boaters, to make better decisions that will protect the Bay. Al Wutkowski is working to help people understand the consequences of their actions, especially those that are prohibited, activities such as the discharge of wastewater. As the Society's volunteer watchdog eyes on the bay, Al

Jetskier on Barnegat Bay

  • Educates the boating community about the Bay and the issues facing it including the Bay’s status as a No Discharge Zone.
  • Provides information about the location of pump out facilities and educate about wildlife, wildlife protection and marsh protection.
  • Informs the appropriate authorities about illegal or damaging boating activity in the vicinity of marshes and conservation areas.
  • Watches for and reports pollution, algal blooms and other problems on the Bay
  • Monitors for unpermitted coastal development and working with local and state authorities.
  • Helps scientists, citizens involved in restoration projects and decision makers gain access to bay.

If you are a boater interested in volunteering to make a difference in Barnegat Bay, contact the American Littoral Society (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to get more information and learn how you can get involved. In 2014, the Society expanded the tools available to those that are interested in being citizen science volunteers.  Learn more about becoming a Marine Defender here where instructions for the smart phone app are also provided

You can also contact us to report a specific problem or violation you have encountered for our assistance in contacting the appropriate authorities.

Special thanks to:

Brian Cosgrove and the Manasquan River Club, International Marina Group for hosting our Guardian program

Boater Resources:

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Boater Education resources

"Big Al Wutkowski" Barnegat Bay Guardian

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Barnegat Bay and Manasquan River Guardians

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