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news releases

August 16, 2013

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 984-1795
Tanya Oznowich (609) 984-9802
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994


(13/P81) TRENTON – Island Beach State Park will host a Harvest the Bay festival on Tuesday, August 20, providing visitors an opportunity to learn about the clams, crabs and fish that are important to the ecology and economy of Barnegat Bay while sampling the wide-ranging interpretive programming available at this popular park.

The festival, the second of three to be held this season, will take place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ocean Bathing Area 1 and is free with park admission.

“Our first Harvest the Bay festival was a great success and we know these events are only going to get better,” said State Park Service Director Mark Texel. “This is another chance for visitors to get a very unique perspective of Barnegat Bay, while also taking advantage of our tremendous interpretive programming, which has been restored and improved since Superstorm Sandy.”

The festival is designed to foster public appreciation of the bay’s natural environment and the commercial fishing industry that depends on this watershed. Park naturalists will teach visitors about the role clams, crabs, and fish play in the Barnegat Bay ecosystem, and how they depend on a healthy bay.  Visitors will also learn proper techniques for harvesting these resources and will be able to sample locally caught seafood prepared by award-winning chef Mike Jurusz, owner of Chef Mike’s ABG in South Seaside Park

Island Beach State Park, one of the crown jewels of the state park system, is seeing high numbers of visitors since Sandy, reinstating a full raft of interactive and educational nature programs, adding the Harvest the Bay series and hiring a new park naturalist. The park hosted the first Harvest the Bay event on July 23. The third and final Harvest the Bay event of the year will be Oct. 12.

The Harvest the Bay education programs are made possible through a generous grant from the Barnegat Bay Partnership, which also provides the programs in Spanish. The Barnegat Bay Partnership is providing funding support for the series.

Island Beach State Park interpretive programs are supported by a partnership between the New Jersey State Park Service, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, the Friends of Island Beach State Park, Save Barnegat Bay, Ocean County Vocational-Technical School’s MATES Academy, ReClam the Bay, and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

“This has been a tremendous summer so far at Island Beach State Park,” said Park Manager Ray Bukowski. “The Harvest the Bay days provide a perfect opportunity for people to savor this unique place and learn about it through our interpretive programming.”

To learn more about Island Beach State Park, visit:

To learn more about educational programs at Island Beach State Park this year, visit:

For more information about the Harvest the Bay summer programs, contact Edward Hale at (732) 793-0506 or at

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




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Last Updated: August 6, 2013