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One of the Sandy Hook Lab's research vessels, the R/V Resolute.  Photo credit: New Jersey Natural Gas

visitors at touch tanks
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Local marine species are a popular attraction in the touch tanks. Photo credit: Thomas Noji, NEFSC/NOAA

May 16, 2016
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Sandy Hook Laboratory to Hold Open House May 22

Open House Part of Ocean Fun Days, World Fish Migration Day

Live fish and sea creatures, interactive and educational games, a 32,000-gallon research aquarium, hands-on demonstrations and displays will be part of the annual Open House May 22 at the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory at Sandy Hook, NJ.  Admission and parking are free.

The public is invited to visit the Laboratory 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and learn about the latest research projects, meet the scientists and view exhibits and displays about their activities. Research vessels used by staff will also be on display, along with life raft tours and survival suit demonstrations.

Those attending the Open House will learn about deepwater habitats, corals and biodiversity, visualize the impacts of ocean acidification with hands-on demonstrations of the effect of rising carbon dioxide on seawater pH, and learn how scientists study fish behavior. Information about environmental effects and climate change on fisheries and contaminant risks to young fish will be available, and visitors will enjoy learning about the local live fish, crabs and other sea creatures in the touch tanks.

As part of Ocean Fun Day and World Fish Migration Day, staff at the Sandy Hook Lab will have a live fish display in the lab’s 32,000-gallon research aquarium.  The one-day display is a joint project with the American Littoral Society and will feature river herring from a habitat restoration site at Wreck Pond in Spring Lake, New Jersey, funded by federal, state and local governments.

On Saturday, May 21, Ocean Fun Day activities will take place at Island Beach State Park in Berkeley Township, New Jersey. Coastal and energy-related themed activities will take offered throughout the day, with information for visitors about the Open House at Sandy Hook the following day.

In May 2015, more than 2,000 visitors attended the Howard Laboratory’s Open House, held in conjunction with Ocean Fun Days at Sandy Hook, NJ.  The event provides a variety of family-oriented activities related to the coastal environment and the science of the shoreline. Ocean Fun Days is sponsored by New Jersey Natural Gas in partnership with New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, NOAA, New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection and Division of Parks and Forestry, and the Asbury Park Press.
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