Researchers will present the results of three years of research on the health of Barnegat Bay at a presentation at Ocean County College next week.
The public can hear the results of the studies and how the information will be used when the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Barnegat Bay Partnership host “What Lies Beneath – Barnegat Bay: A Public Outreach Forum” on Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Gateway Building, Lecture Hall Room 104, at Ocean County College on College Drive in Toms River.
Registration is required to attend the free event, officials said.
The studies looked at development of estuarine water quality criteria, the impact of harmful algae blooms, natural resource assessment and management for sustainable fisheries, assessment of ecological impacts from the planned closure of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in 2019, prediction of algae blooms and jelly fish population explosions, reduction of boater impacts on environmentally sensitive areas, and ecological modeling of the bay for ecosystems-based management of important commercial and recreational fish.
In addition to assessing the ecological health of the bay, the research results will identify stressors on the bay and explain new strategies for managing the waterway, the DEP said in a statement.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health, led by Dr. Gary Buchanan, will present many of the studies. Results will also be presented by scientists from Rutgers University, Monmouth University, Rider University and Montclair University, as well as researchers from out-of-state schools as Drexel University, Villanova University, Louisiana State University and the University of Maryland.
“Environmental research poses and answers important human health and ecological questions for managing Barnegat Bay, fills in critical data gaps, and supplies valuable information for modeling, water quality criteria, and enforceable standards based on sound and defensible science,” said Thomas Belton, DEP’s Barnegat Bay research coordinator, in a statement. “All of these Barnegat Bay research projects are designed to assist decision-makers to answer applied regulatory questions.”
For more details about the symposium, including the complete agenda of research discussions, and ongoing Barnegat Bay research, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/barnegatbay/plan-research.htm
To register for the forum, please email Terri Tucker at Terri.Tucker@dep.nj.gov or call her at 609-984-6070.