Discovery Days Continue Through Aug. 24 at LBI Foundation

Jul 30, 2018

Delve into the local environment through the interpretive centers at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, in Loveladies. LBIF’s Discovery Days – on Wednesdays and Fridays – continue through Aug. 24. Get a closer look at the native plants, diamondback terrapins, bees, ospreys and much more.

Discovery Wednesdays feature a guided walk through the Foundation’s 21-acre protected salt marsh preserve, while Discovery Fridays are all about the area’s birds, bees and butterflies. Discovery Days are free, with no registration required, and held rain or shine.

“On the guided tours, stop by and meet local field experts from ReClam the Bay, Long Beach Township, MATES and Uriah Creek Apiaries,” said membership and community coordinator Jillian Schratz. “Long Beach Island is an important feature of the New Jersey coastline, specifically as a barrier island, protecting the mainland and the estuaries of the Barnegat and Manahawkin bays.

“Discovery Days stress the importance of barrier islands and their ecosystems, the Island’s habitat, and the future health of the Island and its waters.”

Those that can’t make it on a Wednesday or Friday have the option to schedule a private guided tour or field trip with LBIF. “Guided tours of the nature preservations are open to individuals and families of all ages, with no group size or age requirement,” Schratz explained. “Learn about the birds, bees, flowers and trees that make up the unique ecosystem of LBI by exploring the bay, upland, salt marsh and beach around the LBIF property with a knowledgeable guide.

“Or try a field trip to discover the hidden secrets of the different parts of LBI, from Barnegat Light to Holgate. A personal guide will provide an overview and then accompany the group to several different locations.”

Tours and field trips are approximately two hours long and require 24 hours’ notice. Reservations can be made through the LBIF main office, and require a non-refundable $40 fee at time of reservation, plus $10 per person. Children younger than 10 are free.

The Foundation also offers environmental immersions – with interactive, family-friendly themed programs that include “The Ocean,” “Diamondback Terrapins,” “Ospreys and Other Shore Birds” or “Pollinators” – as well as kayak eco-tours. The kayak tours begin with an educational overview, “then experience, explore and learn about the Barnegat Bay’s wetlands with an experienced naturalist,” said Schratz. Destination options for the two-hour, family-oriented tours are either Clam Island or Bonnet Island. Kayaks are provided.

Both the kayak tours and the environmental immersions are $40 per person, or for the latter, register the entire family for $40 for the first person, and $10 for each additional registrant.

To schedule a guided tour, field trip, environmental immersion or kayak eco-tour, call 609-494-1241 or visit lbifoundation.org. Twenty-four hours’ notice is required for these activities.

The LBIF is located at 120 Long Beach Blvd. —J.K.-H.

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