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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2014

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION'S "HARVEST THE BAY
FESTIVAL" RETURNS TO ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK

AUG. 9 EVENT TO FEATURE INTERACTIVE EDUCATION, FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT

(14/P81) TRENTON – The Harvest the Bay Festival, an event that celebrates the ecology and its connection to the economic resources of Barnegat Bay through fun, interactive activities for the whole family, returns to Island Beach State Park on Saturday, Aug. 9.

The festival, which debuted last year, will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ocean Bathing Area 1 pavilion. The event is free with park admission. A rain date of Aug. 16 has been established in the event of inclement weather.

“Harvest the Bay proved to be very popular with our visitors last summer and we’re eager to host the event again this year with more than a dozen exhibitors,” said State Park Service Director Mark Texel. “This is a great chance for kids and families to take part in interactive events, while also learning of the importance of Barnegat Bay for our environment and to our local communities.”

The festival is designed to foster public appreciation of the bay’s natural environment and the recreational and commercial fishing industries that depend on this watershed. Park naturalists will provide free clamming and seining tours, while also teaching visitors about the role clams, crabs, and fish play in the Barnegat Bay ecosystem, and how they depend on a healthy bay. Visitors also will learn proper techniques for harvesting these resources and will be able to sample locally caught seafood.

New Jersey-based surf rock band, Wally and The Chillers, will perform throughout the festival.

Island Beach State Park, one of the crown jewels of the state park system, offers a collection of interactive and educational nature programs, including Harvest the Bay. The Harvest the Bay education program was developed in 2013 and made possible through a generous grant from the Barnegat Bay Partnership. Island Beach State Park interpretive programs are created and run through a partnership of the DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and the Friends of Island Beach State Park.

“We are proud to have funded the first year of the Harvest the Bay festival and educational programs in 2013 and pleased to see it continued this year,” said Dr. Stan Hales, Program Director of the Barnegat Bay Partnership. “The festival and summer-long educational activities give residents and visitors the opportunity to experience clamming, crabbing, and fishing in the Barnegat Bay.  Everyone, from the seasoned commercial fishermen to a child on his first fishing trip, must recognize their individual roles in conserving our valuable local commercial and recreational fishing resources.”

 “It has been a great summer so far at Island Beach State Park,” said Park Manager Ray Bukowski. “Many visitors come enjoy our beautiful beaches and we welcome them, but there is so much more to this park and the Harvest the Bay festival is a great opportunity for people to come out, enjoy some great food and also learn about the many benefits of Barnegat Bay.”

To learn more about Island Beach State Park, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/island.html

To learn more about educational programs at Island Beach State Park this year, visit: www.conservewildlifenj.org/education/programs/islandbeach/

MEDIA NOTE: Please contact DEP Press Office if you are interested in covering Saturday’s event.

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Last Updated: August 5, 2014