Shellfish Gardener Program

Rutgers Cooperative Extension 2018 Shellfish Gardener Course

Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) is hosting its Shellfish Gardener course in 2018 as a part of the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program (BBSRP) at the Cooperative Extension of Ocean County.

The course focuses on teaching about the ecology of Barnegat Bay and positive environmental stewardship using the biology and aquaculture of shellfish as teaching tools.

Weekly evening classes and two field trips from May 8 – June 25, 2018
Hosted at RCE of Ocean County (Toms River, NJ)

Participate live in-class or online via webinar as part of this “HyFlex” course.
Come to an Open House on April 24 or contact RCE if you’d like to learn more before registering.

Cost: $75.00/person
Checks payable to “Ocean County Board of Agriculture”
Mailed to: Cooperative Extension of Ocean County
1623 Whitesville Rd., Toms River, NJ 08755

Please register before May 4, 2018. To register or for more information, please contact:

Kelly Jurgensen, Administrative Assistant, | 732-349-1152
Douglas Zemeckis, Ph.D., County Agent III (Asst. Prof.), | 732-349-1152

To successfully earn the Shellfish Gardener Certificate, all students must complete 20 hours of volunteer time in collaboration with ReClam the Bay, or another approved program.

Over the past several years volunteers in the BBSRP have raised millions of clams and hundreds of thousands of oysters in nurseries in Barnegat Bay. Beside the fact that it is successfully raising shellfish, the most important part of the BBSRP’s work is to educate the public about water quality issues in the Barnegat Bay Watershed. They do this by inviting the public to join in its efforts at its seven shellfish nurseries at various locations around the bay. In addition, ReClam the Bay publicizes the BBSRP’s work in the news media and on our website, and helps to support it through fundraising and education.

2018 Shellfish Gardener Course Sessions

All sessions are on Tuesday nights from 7:00 – 9:00 PM, except for June 25 and field trips (see below), and will be held at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County (1623 Whitesville Road, Toms River, NJ 08755).

“HyFlex” course so that students can participate live in-class or from another location via online webinar.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00 PM: Open House with BBSRP and ReClam the Bay volunteers.

Class Sessions:

(1) Tuesday, May 8: Barnegat Bay Ecology

– Dr. Jim Merritt, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)

– Dr. Stan Hales or Dr. Jim Vasslides, Barnegat Bay Partnership

(2) Tuesday, May 15: Shellfish Biology and Basic Aquaculture

– Dr. Jim Merritt, NJDEP

– Gef Flimlin, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University

(3) Tuesday, May 22: Shellfish Biology and Estuarine Research

– Lisa Calvo, Rutgers University

– Mike De Luca, Rutgers University

(4) Tuesday, May 29: Hard Clam Surveys and Assessments

– Kira Dacanay, NJDEP

– Dr. Monica Bricelj, Rutgers University

(5) Tuesday, June 5: Water Quality Monitoring

– Bob Schuster, NJDEP

– Dr. Steve Yergeau, Rutgers University

(6) Tuesday, June 12: NJDEP Bureau of Shellfisheries; Fisheries in Barnegat Bay

– Jenny Tomko, NJDEP

– Dr. Douglas Zemeckis, Rutgers University

(7) Tuesday, June 19: Volunteering Opportunities and Community Education; 2nd Topic TBD

– ReClam the Bay volunteers


(8) *** Monday, June 25: Shellfish Restoration Projects 6:30 – 9:00 PM ***

– Dr. Christine Thompson, Stockton University

– Capt. Al Modjeski, American Littoral Society

– Meredith Comi, NY/NJ Baykeeper

*** Note different day of the week and meeting time for last class session on June 25

Field Trips

Saturday, June 2: Visit BBSRP/ReClam the Bay upweller, build screens and silos, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

Saturday, June 16: Visit Parson’s Seafood commercial shellfish nursery, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM; Second event pending for earlier that morning in Tuckerton, NJ.


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