Friday, April 22, 2011

Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center Workshops for Teachers

Are you interested in earning professional development credits in a fun and unique setting while learning about NJ's remarkable estuarine environment?

The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife offers an extraordinary learning experience at our Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center, located within NJ's first Marine Conservation Zone, just off Island Beach State Park in Barnegat Bay.

A 15-minute ride to the island within the Sedge Islands Wildlife Management Area via the Division's pontoon boat sets the stage for the experience.

The shallow water surrounding the group of islands serves as a nursery for many species of marine animals. Blue claw crabs, hard clams and fish abound. In fact, crabbing and clamming are just two of the many hands-on activities used to teach about the ecology and culture of the bay.

In season, striped bass, weakfish, summer flounder and many other species of fin-fish provide some of the best fishing on the coast.

A small grove of pine and cedar trees on Sedge Island provides nesting and resting sites for many birds. The WMA's location within the Atlantic Flyway ensures exciting birding year-round.


During the three-day/two-night workshop you will stay in the Sedge House, a renovated duck-hunting lodge, which is equipped with a common room, 7 bunkrooms (you will have to share a room), a full kitchen and dining room. As part of the experience, you will live a conservation ethic. Fresh water is limited (we transport bottled water from the mainland) as is electricity-a solar generator provides power. Grey water from sinks and showers is treated in a special grey-water system and sewage is composted in a Clivus Multrum composting toilet.



The workshop explores both the natural and cultural history of the Barnegat Bay area using hands-on methods including marsh walks, kayak tours, and conventional fishing, crabbing, and clamming techniques. Further investigation of the marine environment will be done using nets, microscopes, field guides, and more. Whether it's seining near an eel grass bed to observe the importance of submerged aquatic vegetation or having a built in anatomy lesson while cleaning and preparing a meal of fresh caught seafood, the activities offered provide first-hand insight to the wise use of New Jersey's natural resources, their importance and the role the Division plays in their management. You will leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of the entire ecosystem that you will be able to convey to your students.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EDUCATORS
The Division is a registered provider with the DOE; professional development credit will be granted for the three-day/two-night workshop. The workshop fulfills core curriculum standards in both science (5.12) and social studies (6.9).


You are responsible for all your food during the two-night stay. There is a gas range stove and refrigerator, a gas grill and a quick steamer for preparing the day's harvest, as well cooking utensils you may need.


The cost of a three day program is $135 per adult, $85 per student (2 nights, minimum of 10 participants - maximum 14 per group). A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required to secure a date. Cost includes transportation to and from the island, instruction, equipment and facility use. Participants provide their own meals and bedding. (Rates for length of stay other than standard three day program available upon request.)

Classroom teachers or other educators who wish to gain experience and knowledge of marine environments and/or are interested in earning professional development credit, or a group of teachers and students who are embarking on a special course of study or leadership training, are our priority groups.

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