www.sparkexploreocean.com 21 It’s “Offishal” No visit to the shore is complete without encountering local fish, shellfish and other marine life as part of an educational odyssey that Ocean County offers to help participants learn more about aquaculture, marine biology and commercial fishing. Jenkinson’s Aquarium www.jenkinsons.com/aquarium Since 1991, Jenkinson’s Aquarium has dedicated itself to the education, conservation and care of a diverse collection of life from aquatic habitats. Visitors are guaranteed a unique and memorable experience through creative exhibits as well as innovative educational and outreach programs. Each exhibit is designed to promote awareness of the animals, their habitats and coastal conservation. Open year-round, the aquarium offers workshops for children of all ages, professional development workshops for teachers and group tours for schools and scout groups. ReClam the Bay Clam Trail www.reclamthebay.org ReClam the Bay is a local nonprofit organization that promotes hands-on environmental involvement by growing and maintaining millions of baby clams and oysters in Barnegat Bay. Its mission is to educate the public about the estuary’s water quality and emphasize the importance of shellfish to the Bay area. Everyone is welcome and invited to lend a hand and learn all about clam and oyster farming. See the RCTB website calendar for event dates. Viking Village www.vikingvillage.homestead.com/ Dock-Tour.html Located at the north end of Long Beach Island, Viking Village was founded by a group of Scandinavian fishermen in the 1920s. Home to 45 fishing boats, Viking Village runs free dock tours every Friday morning at 10 am throughout July and August to help the public learn first-hand about the commercial fishing industry. The one-hour tour includes fish tales about the history of Viking Village, the scoop on scalloping, the ins and outs of long-liners, which haul in tuna, Mahi and swordfish, and the challenges of clam and oyster harvesting. Photo by B. Salvanto Maritime Memories Ecotourism embraces the cultural fabric of a nature-based location, so themes like maritime history, historic sailing vessels, lighthouses, nature centers, aquaria, sea ports, historic coastal communities and decoy carving are all components of the ecotourism experience. Barnegat Lighthouse www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/barnlig.html#barnlight Barnegat Lighthouse, or “Old Barney,” is a Jersey Shore icon and cultural treasure nestled within one of New Jersey’s most important watersheds, Barnegat Bay. Barnegat Lighthouse is located in its namesake 32-acre State Park on the northern tip of Long Beach Island in Ocean County. Barney is the undeniable shining light and showcase of the park, which also offers fishing, birding and a maritime forest trail. No visit to LBI is complete without a visit to Old Barney. NJ Coastal Heritage Trail www.newjerseycoastalheritagetrail.com The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail includes over 127 miles of Atlantic coastline and 83 miles of shoreline along the Raritan and Delaware Bays. The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route was established in 1988 through federal legislation to raise awareness and public support and encourage stewardship and protection of our natural and cultural resources. Several points of interest in Ocean County are part of the auto-route, which is approximately 300 miles long. NJ Maritime Museum www.njmaritimemuseum.org The museum and research facility in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island was organized exclusively for educational purposes, to provide a facility for the public display of significant marine artifacts and to promote public education about New Jersey’s rich maritime history. Tuckerton Seaport www.tuckertonseaport.org The Tuckerton Seaport was designed to help visitors discover the Jersey Shore’s unique maritime heritage and the interaction between culture and nature on the Barnegat Bay. The rich traditions of the Jersey Shore and its baymen come alive through the Seaport’s recreated and historic buildings, demonstrations, interpretive exhibits, events, festivals, live aquatic displays and more. The Seaport offers a perfect combination of preservation, interpretation and celebration of Ocean County’s rich maritime heritage and the unique contributions of its baymen.
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