Registration Open for Barnegat Bay Master Naturalist Course

Jan 23, 2019

Enjoy learning about the wildlife, ecology and traditions of Barnegat Bay, and sharing that knowledge with others? Consider signing up for the Barnegat Bay Master Naturalist Program. Registration is now open for the spring 2019 training course, offered by the Barnegat Bay Partnership through Ocean County College’s Continuing and Professional Education Department.

Educator and naturalist Becky Laboy will lead the course, which will “get students out on the bay and around the watershed for a true Barnegat Bay experience,” BBP public outreach coordinator Karen Walzer explains. “Students will learn about marine life, special habitats such as seagrasses and wetlands, birds and other wildlife, native plant identification, forest resources, soil health, Pinelands ecology and more.

“During Saturday field trips to local parks and nature centers, participants will hike, kayak, seine and photograph as they learn from experienced naturalists and field ecologists,” she added. The course also includes training in interpretive techniques for educating others about the bay.

The program will be held April 3 to May 22, with four Wednesday evening classroom sessions and five Saturday field trips. The cost is $299.

Visit barnegatbaypartnership.org or the CPE page on the OCC website, ocean.edu, for more information, including registration details.

As Walzer pointed out, “Taking the course is the first step in becoming a certified Master Naturalist. After finishing the course, participants who wish to become certified must complete 40 hours of volunteer service within the Barnegat Bay watershed.”

The Barnegat Bay Partnership, one of 28 national estuary programs, brings together community, government, academic and business groups to collaborate on protecting and restoring the water quality and living resources of the Barnegat Bay and its watershed.

Contact Walzer at kwalzer@ocean.edu or 732-255-0472, extension 2, with any questions.—J.K.H.

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