The Beachcomber

Check Out Alliance for a Living Ocean’s Summertime Activities

By JULIET KASZAS-HOCH | Jul 13, 2018

Local nonprofit Alliance for a Living Ocean offers interactive, family-friendly eco-activities and events throughout the summer months. “Our summer events are all meant to engage and educate about the various aspects of our natural marine environment here on Long Beach Island,” said ALO Executive Director Kyle Gronostajski. “ALO’s summer programs are hands-on, and free, for kids and adults alike.

“Come find out what calls Barnegat Bay home and learn about the issues we’re currently fighting to better the environment.”

One of those issues is the prevalence of single-use plastic waste. On Thursday, July 19, ALO will join with the Garden Club of LBI and other partners for a free screening of the film “A Plastic Ocean,” from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies.

The film, as noted on the ALO website, livingocean.org, is “an epic global adventure following a world record free diver and the filmmaker as they travel through our oceans over a period of four years. International scientists reveal the causes and consequences of plastic pollution and discuss solutions.”

Additional viewings of the film are Aug. 15 at Farias Surf & Sport in Ship Bottom, and Oct. 20 at the Ship Bottom Firehouse.

ALO is also on site at the Surf City Farmers Market every Monday from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Surf City Firehouse. “We will have our water bottle refilling station so you can stay hydrated while you shop,” says the nonprofit, as well as “merchandise and items to help create a #plasticfreeLBI.”

Learn more about the Farmers Market at facebook.com/SCFDfarmersmarket.

ALO’s weekly educational events are also underway this summer, including a “critter roundup” every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon at the bay beach at 14th Street and Bay Terrace in Ship Bottom, and every Thursday, also from 11 a.m. to noon, at Bayview Park, at West 68th Street and Long Beach Boulevard in Brant Beach.

“This free program allows a hands-on and up-close look at the creatures who call Barnegat Bay home,” the nonprofit states. “We pull our seine net through the bay to bring in crabs, fish, and all kinds of exciting plants and animals you may have never known were in our waters! Everything we catch is handled with care and safely released after we learn about each critter.”

And on Fridays, bring the kids to check out the eco-science fun at the New Jersey Maritime Museum, 528 Dock Rd. in Beach Haven, from 10 to 10:45 a.m. “Enjoy a fun hands-on activity while you learn about the plants and animals that make up the ocean’s ecosystems while learning what you can do to help Alliance for a Living Ocean improve and protect the environment,” ALO explains.

These programs, which are also free, may include Gyotaku fish printing, Smartphone/tablet microscopes, eutrophication/cyanotypes, ocean depths creature identification, and make-and-take seaside goldenrod planting, depending on the week.

Aug. 4, meanwhile, is the 10th annual ALO LBI Longboard Classic surf contest, beginning at 8 a.m. on the 17th Street beach in Ship Bottom. (No-wave date is Aug. 5.)

“The ALO LBI Longboard Classic is one of our largest fundraisers and one of the most fun events we’ve organized,” the nonprofit explains. “Started by our longtime board member Tom Beaty, the Longboard Classic brings together generations and celebrates our oceans the best way we know possible: surfing!

“This contest requires a vintage surfboard that is at least three feet longer than you are tall, and is judged on style, nose rides, and ultimately looking like you’re having a good time.”

The event will include live music, food, raffles and camaraderie. Sign up to compete, or just come out to spectate and socialize.

Companies and organizations interested in sponsoring the event can visit livingocean.org to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

Volunteers for any of ALO’s summer events are encouraged to sign up online.

Donations are always appreciated, and are accepted on the website.

For more information, or to become a member, visit livingocean.org, call 609-494-7800 or email livingoceanalo@gmail.com.

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