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news releases

May 12, 2015

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


(15/P42) TRENTON – Island Beach State Park, one of the crown jewels of the New Jersey state park system, will kick off its summer event season by hosting a free Ocean Fun Day, an annual environmental education event for children and families, on Saturday, May 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event, organized by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) in coordination with the Department of Environmental Protection, will offer eco-tours of the island, a host of hands-on activities, educational displays, a variety of classes, and exhibits that celebrate the wonders of the Jersey Shore, while offering tips on preserving our natural coastal resources for future generations.

“Ocean Fun Day is becoming a great tradition at Island Beach State Park and we’re excited to again provide some great recreation for our residents and to show off how fully our park has recovered from the battering it took from Superstorm Sandy,” said Island Beach State Park Manager Ray Bukowski. “Our beautiful barrier island, where visitors are always enjoying and learning about the environment and the park’s ecology, is a perfect setting for this fun and educational event.”

A large number of exhibitors have committed to be a part of this year’s Ocean Fun Day. Activities will include seining (net fishing), coastal crafts, an energy-saving scavenger hunt, youth fishing clinics, face painting, touch tanks, a student science fair competition and the NJSGC’s famous fiddler crab races. There also will be a clamming demonstration.

Partners in Ocean Fun Day include founding sponsor New Jersey Natural Gas, the Asbury Park Press, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry.

“There could not be a better place for Ocean Fun Days to begin than Island Beach State Park” said Claire Antonucci, Executive Director of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. “It is the perfect outdoor classroom to learn about the wonders of our coast.” 

“This event only happens due to a dedicated team of professionals, including DEP and New Jersey Natural Gas staff, who work tirelessly to make Ocean Fun Day a fun-filled way to learn of New Jersey’s environment and how to care for it.”

Visitors coming on Saturday to Island Beach State Park for Ocean Fun Day are directed to go to Ocean Bathing Area 1, which is about four miles past the park’s gatehouse.

Shaped by storms and tides, Island Beach State Park is a narrow barrier island stretching for 10 miles between the ocean and Barnegat Bay. It is one of New Jersey's last significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem and is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast.

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. NJSGC meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs.

For more information about NJSGC, visit:

For more information about Island Beach State Park, visit:




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Last Updated: May 7, 2015