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April 5, 2000

For more information contact:
Mimi Dunne at 908-637-4125

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife is offering a variety of one-day and overnight excursions at the Division's Sedge Island Wildlife Management Area in Ocean County. Coordinators of county park and recreation departments, community colleges, city recreation programs, youth groups and summer camps may contact the Division to arrange for a recreational and educational trip during the summer months.

"These excursions are designed to introduce and educate groups interested in learning about New Jersey's coast and the Barnegat Bay estuary," said Division Director Bob McDowell.

The Sedge Island Wildlife Management Area is comprised of several small islands in an isolated section of New Jersey's largest estuary, Barnegat Bay. Sedge Island, the outermost of the group, is one mile off Island Beach State Park in the shadow of historic Barnegat Lighthouse. Shorebirds abound in the grasses of the uninhabited islands while the warm shallow waters are filled with fish, crabs and clams. This unique natural habitat along the Jersey shore provides a perfect setting for children and adults to experience first-hand the estuarine resources and ecology of Barnegat Bay.

Groups up to 30 participants can enjoy day-trip activities in and around the waters of the island for a nominal fee of $20 per person. This fee includes transportation to and from the island, instruction, all equipment and sample of locally caught seafood for lunch. The Sedge Island House, a newly renovated historic building, can accommodate 14 guests in seven bunkrooms for overnight accommodations. Groups are responsible for providing all bedding and food (except for seafood snacks). The $30 per person fee for one night includes everything offered on the day trip plus accommodations. Two night stays are also available.

A selection of activities are offered including: kayaking the warm, shallow waters of the bay: snorkeling to examine undersea life: seining for aquatic and marsh sea life: spin and fly fishing for bluefish, bass or weakfish; sketching, painting or photographing the scenic beauty of the marsh islands; catching blue claw crabs; digging for clams; observing osprey, herons and waterfowl from a raised observation deck; and discovering the coastal history of the bay.

For more information, a more extensive list of activities or to schedule a trip, please contact the Dr. Jim Merritt at 732-793-2371 or via e-mail at