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Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program

An opportunity to get involved and learn about Barnegat Bay ecology, shellfish biology, and aquaculture, as well as positive environmental stewardship while helping the Bay, growing shellfish, and educating other citizens.

"2020 Coastal Stewardship course -- Click here for course flyer and spring class schedule"

***Registration open for fall 2020 classes through September 11 -- click here for fall schedule" (PDF)***

The Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program (BBSRP) is a part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), and includes collaboration with ReClam the Bay, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Bureau of Shellfisheries, and many other local partners. The goal of the BBSRP is to restore depleted shellfish populations and improve the health of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem through educational programming and applied research. A key component of the BBSRP is the annual Coastal Stewardship course (formerly known as the Shellfish Gardener course), which educates stakeholders about the ecology of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem and promotes positive environmental stewardship while using shellfish biology, restoration, and aquaculture as the primary teaching tools.

activities near the ocean
activities near the ocean

The BBSRP was started in 2005 by Gef Flimlin, the previous Marine Extension Agent through Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and has worked in close collaboration with our local partners since the inception. Those who have completed the BBSRP education programs often continue volunteering with ReClam the Bay on an annual basis to carry out the shared goals of our programs. Visit the RCTB website for more information on many of our collaborations ( Together with our partners, the BBSRP and associated volunteers have grown millions of hard clams and tens of thousands of oysters that have been planted in Barnegat Bay. In support of population restoration efforts, the shellfish are grown annually at upwellers (i.e., land-based nurseries) and then planted in the wild. These volunteers also educate other citizens by sharing with them what they have learned in BBSRP programs and while working in the field in order to promote wise utilization of our coastal marine resources.

For more information about the BBSRP, please contact: Dr. Douglas Zemeckis, County Agent III (Assistant Professor), Ocean, Atlantic, and Monmouth Counties, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station: | 732-349-1152 or Kelly Jurgensen, Admin. Assistant, Marine Extension Program: | 732-349-1152

Douglas Zemeckis
Dr. Douglas Zemeckis, County Agent III
(Assistant Professor)

Gef and Freeholder Vicari at Summer Celebration 2006
Joseph Vicari (left) Ocean County Freeholder
and Gef Flimlin (right) founder of BBSRP. Retired
in 2016 after 38 years of services.

The volunteers have formed a non-profit organization to carry out our shared mission, and provide fundraising support to increase shellfish restoration efforts. Please visit to find out more about the volunteer experience. For more information about the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program, contact the Ocean County Extension office.

education in progress near the ocean

Rutgers Logo Ocean County Logo NJDEP Logo NJ Fish and Wildlife Logo Barnegat Bay Partnership RCTB logo


The program has been supported by the Ocean County Board of Chosen FreeholdersBarnegat Bay Partnership, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Exelon Corporation.