Sandy Hook, NJ - Ocean Fun Days will once again offer two days of free, family-oriented activities at Island Beach State Park on Saturday May 19th and Sandy Hook on Sunday May 20th.  For the ninth consecutive year, this popular pre-summer event will focus on eco-friendly hands-on programs and feature special tours and more that help explore and celebrate the wonders of the Jersey Shore.  

            Ocean Fun Days is presented by New Jersey Natural Gas, in partnership with the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC), the Asbury Park Press, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

            Both locations will feature dozens of exhibitors and include displays, exhibits and demonstrations that promote natural resources and energy conservation.  An annual science fair showcased at Ocean Fun Days encourages students in grades three through six from Ocean and Monmouth County to discover new information about the Jersey Shore, share it with others and earn recognition and valuable prizes for their schools.

            This year, the Sandy Hook event based at the NJSGC headquarters in Fort Hancock has been expanded to offer tours of most of the historic sites located within the park, including first-time access to the US Coast Guard station and vessels.  Back by popular demand, the NOAA/James J. Howard Marine Fisheries Lab will open its doors to the public for tours and the chance to meet NOAA lab scientists. A transportation loop has been set up at Sandy Hook to shuttle people around the event using a trolley provided courtesy of the Sandy Hook Foundation, natural gas jitneys and school buses.

            The student recipients of the NJSGC Stew Tweed Fisheries and Aquaculture Scholarships will also be announced during a special ceremony at the event.  The scholarships were established in 2007 by NJSGC to honor the memory of Stewart Tweed who served as a Marine Agent for the New Jersey Sea Grant Extension Service between 1978 and 2005.  The scholarship perpetuates Stew’s dedication to applying fisheries and marine related technology and scientific information to the real world of shellfish aquaculture and commercial fisheries, and his commitment to educating students of all levels about sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. 

            The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment.  NJSGC       meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs. For more information about NJSGC, visit njseagrant.org