Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards
Watershed Education and Urban Fishing Program
"Environmental Stewardship through Urban Fishing"
Celebrating its 20th year, the Watershed Education and Urban Fishing Program (Program) is designed to educate children from urban areas in New Jersey about their local watershed. Children learn about how people’s actions, including their own, can affect both the water and the creatures that depend on it, as well as human health. The Program also teaches children what they can do to help protect their water resources.
The Program began in 1996 as a one-day fishing excursion in Bayonne to educate urban youth about the importance of natural resources and instill in them a sense of stewardship towards their own community. In the 1980s, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Department) discovered high levels of potentially harmful contaminants in several species of fish and blue crab in the Newark Bay Complex. As a result, fish consumption advisories were put into place to guide citizens about safe eating practices like limiting or avoiding consumption of certain types of fish and shellfish. The Urban Fishing Program was one of the measures put in place to help spread the word about the consumption advisories through the Fish Smart Eat Smart educational campaign.
For the first several years, the Program remained as a one-day fishing excursion conducted only in the Newark Bay Complex. Since then, the content has expanded to a four-day program that includes classroom, storm drain stamping/cleanup, fishing and boating activities. The Program is now also offered in other urban areas around the State, including Trenton and Camden. Click here to read an article about the Program published in the May 2007 NJ Fish & Wildlife Digest (Vol. 20, No. 3, Marine Issue).
Want to learn more about the Program? Click on any of the tabs at the top of the web page for detailed information about Program, where it’s been offered, how to participate, and about fish consumption advisories throughout the State. For additional information about fishing in New Jersey, please visit the following Department websites:
Additional information about water education and other environmental education resources is available on the State Environmental Education Directory (SEEDS) website at http://www.nj.gov/dep/seeds/index.html.