Helping children and adults learn about the beauty and wonders of the shore is a core part of the American Littoral Society's mission, which is why the Society runs summer camps and other programs that bring students of all ages onto the sand and into coastal waters.
Thanks to the generosity of the OceanFirst Foundation, the Littoral Society has been able to expand the coastal classroom experience in dramatic ways. In addition to providing scholarships to children in grades 5 through 8 through the Horizons at The Jersey Shore student enrichment program, the foundation is also sponsoring a Student & Family BioBlitz on Friday, Sept. 29.
Summer Coast Camps aim to turn children into passionate stewards of the shore through fun activities related to coastal science and marine biology. Camps this year were held on Long Beach Island (July 24-28) and Sandy Hook, NJ (Aug. 7-11). Activities at the camps included kayaking, a fishing clinic, seining, marine life identification, birding and understanding nature through art.
A $2,000 gift from the OceanFirst Foundation's Summer Camp Grants initiative enabled eight children from Red Bank, NJ to attend the Sandy Hook camp.
The Foundation also gave a $5,000 grant to sponsor the 2017 Sandy Hook Student & Family BioBlitz. The BioBlitz offers the opportunity for volunteers from nearby communities to work alongside scientists and expert naturalists as they search for and catalog plants, animals, insects and birds that live on or around Gateway National Recreation Area's Sandy Hook Unit. The event will run from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.
Students of all ages and their family members are welcome to join in the exploration of Sandy Hook and help discover the wonders of the diverse ecology. Register to take part in the BioBlitz at: http://bioblitz17.ciesin.columbia.edu/.
The camps and BioBlitz are just two of the educational programs run by the Littoral Society. Other education programs from the Society include:
- Public nature encounters in New Jersey, New York and Florida (find them on the Society events calendar);
- SeaQuest, a program for middle school children in under-served coastal communities;
- School and scout programs focused on such things as coastal ecosystems, salt marsh ecology, and oyster reef sampling;
- Grasses in classes, an initiative designed to engage students in coastal stewardship through planting and growing beach and marsh grass; and
- Close encounters with the coast, a program through which groups can book a coastal field trip designed to meet their needs and age groups.
For more information on educational programs at the Littoral Society, go to http://www.littoralsociety.org/education.html or contact Education Director Lindsay Weil by emailing Lindsay@LittoralSociety.org or calling 732-291-0055.