Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program

Volunteer Training Program

Now in its eleventh year, the program offers a volunteer education program about shellfish aquaculture and water quality. The instructors are scientists from the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Research Lab, Cooperative Extension and the DEP. So far, 200 volunteers have participated, and they have raised 10.8 million clam seed, and 1.6 million disease resistant oysters. Besides raising clams and oysters, the volunteers educate the public about shellfish, water quality, the Barnegat Bay, and wise use of resources to help keep the Barnegat Bay a treasured resource for years to come.

Waretown Lease Photo 2015

Planting Day at Waretown Lease 2015

After the Spring session, the volunteers spend the summer raising clams and oysters in our land based upwellers and our FLUPSY floating dock systems. They tend to their crop weekly, and provide onsite education at the growing sites, as well as other local fairs and festivals. 2011 saw a big increase of outreach to school children. The public schools that have participated in our "Shellfish in the Classroom" are very enthusiastic. This program brings baby clams and oysters into the classroom so students can learn about how those creatures live and what needs to be done to increase the populations of shellfish in the Barnegat Bay and why that is important. An estimated 500 students have participated in this program during its first year in existence.

The fall activity each year is to take up the clams planted under predator control screens in the preceding year and release or distribute them. Following this, volunteers plant the current year juveniles that have been grown in the upwellers (nurseries) in the same or new plots. Classroom instruction also resumes in the fall, culminating with an assessment on all of the material they have learned through the course of the year.

For more information about the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program, contact the Ocean County Extension office.

Putting Seed in the Upweller Counting Clams
Putting Seed in the Upweller Counting Clams from under Predator Screen

Cooperative Extension of Ocean County