Shellfish are used as a teaching moment as part of our efforts to help people become coastal environmental stewards.
Knowledge about growing and caring for shellfish becomes a key to unlock other knowledge about the waters in the Barnegat Bay watershed. This is the core of RCTB’s outreach efforts where people can become a Certified Shellfish Gardener. As part of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Coastal Stewardship Course. People do not need a degree in marine biology to participate. This course, conducted by Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the BBSRP, includes 24 hours of classroom training. Educational sessions include various venues: The Rutgers University Haskins Shellfish Research Laboratory and The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve. In addition to classroom training, shellfish gardeners participate in a minimum of 20 hours of internship. Instructors include academics; researchers and scientists from Rutgers University, Stockton University, the NJDEP, and the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science at Ocean County Vocational Technical School; commercial shellfish growers and environmental organizations.
RCTB and its partner, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, provide informative sessions related to the environment that surrounds the Barnegat Bay watershed.