Shellfish Gardener Program

The Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Project (BBSRP) is looking for individuals who are interested in growing clams and oysters and educating the public about the Barnegat Bay Watershed. Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County will offer a program to train shellfish gardeners. The Shellfish Gardener Training Course, which is similar to the Master Gardeners Program, will include spring and fall classroom work, field trips and a supervised summer practicum.

Over the past several years volunteers in the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program have raised millions of clams and hundreds of thousands of oysters in nurseries in Barnegat Bay. Beside the fact that we are successfully raising shellfish, the most important part of our program is to educate the public about water quality issues in the Barnegat Bay Watershed. We do this by inviting the public to join in our efforts at our seven shellfish nurseries at various locations around the bay. In addition, ReClam the Bay, our non-profit organization, advertises our work in the news media and on their website. ReClam the Bay helps to support the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program through fundraising and education.


OPEN HOUSE: Tuesday, April 25

  1. 05/02/17: Barnegat Bay Ecology: Shellfish and Habitat
    BBSRP and ReClam the Bay: mission and philosophy
    Types of shellfish: Dr. Jim Merritt, ReClam the Bay
    Ecology of Barnegat Bay: Dr. Stan Hales, Barnegat Bay Partnership Director
  2. 05/09/17: Bay Water Quality
    Water quality testing: Why we do it; Dr. Steve Yergeau, Ocean County Environmental Agent, and Wes Dalzell, ReClam the Bay
    Watershed education: Danielle Fadeski, Barnegat Bay Watershed Ambassador
  3. 05/16/17: Growing Shellfish and Animal Husbandry
    Aquaculture: hatchery to planting; Gef Flimlin, Professor Emeritus Rutgers University
    Maintenance of upwellers: Wes Dalzell, ReClam the Bay
  4. 05/23/17: Water Quality Monitoring: Shellfish in the Classroom
    Oysters in Delaware Bay: Russ Babb, NJDEP Bureau of Shellfisheries
    Shellfish in the Classroom: Chris West, ReClam the Bay
    Note: The location for this evening is at MATES in Manahawkin.
  5. 05/30/17: NJ Shellfish Restoration Programs: Upweller Data Collection
    Water quality monitoring: Bob Shuster, NJDEP Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring
    Shellfish measuring and counting: Frank Vives, ReClam the BayFL1.* 06/04/17: Barnegat Bay Festival (Sunday; Island Heights; 10AM – 12PM; counts as 2 hours field apprenticeship)
    View environmental partners: Littoral Society, OC Soil Conservation, etc.
    Discuss fairs and festivals: Dr. Jim Merritt and Louis Louis, ReClam the Bay
  6. 06/06/17: Environmental Programs for Barnegat Bay
    Restoration programs: Capt. Alek Modjeski, American Littoral Society
    Sustainable seafood: Chef Ian Smith, Chef and Instructor OCVTS
  7. 06/13/17: Setting Oysters on Shell
    Spat on shell oyster production: Gef Flimlin, Professor Emeritus Rutgers University
    Shellfish diseases and predation: Frank Vives, ReClam the BayFL2.* 6/17/17: Long Beach Island (Saturday 9:00AM-1:00PM; counts as 4 hours of field apprenticeship)
    Beach Haven: shellfish nursery tour; Mordecai Island living shoreline tour; NJ Museum of Maritime History

$85 course fee ($35 for students) includes: instruction (7 spring classes, 6 fall classes), 3 field labs (*REQUIRED), manual, RCTB T-shirt and sticker
6 hours additional field apprenticeship required during summer

Please call (732) 349-1152 for registration information.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County
1623 Whitesville Rd.
Toms River, NJ 08755-1199