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bathymetry exhibit using sand to show how ocean floor can change when moved Students maneuver sand to see how ocean floor topography changes at the 2017 Sandy Hook Open House. Blue equates with depth, red with height above the sea floor. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/Thomas Noji, NEFSC
visitors view live fish in circular tanks Visitors can see and learn about live fish and other creatures on display. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/ Thomas Noji, NEFSC
Observer display at Island Beach State Park on Saturday during the two-day Ocean Fun Days celebration. Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/Joanne Pellegrino

May 14, 2018
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Sandy Hook Laboratory to Hold Open House May 20

Open House Part of 15th NJ Ocean Fun Days

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 20 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 from 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 for the public to tour. The NOAA Northeast Fisheries Observer Program will be on hand, as will New Jersey port agents.

Those attending the Open House will learn about deep-water habitats, corals and biodiversity, and see how ocean acidification affects seawater and things that live in it. Visitors can talk with scientists who study fish behavior and who evaluate noise in the ocean and its impact on marine life. Information about environmental effects and climate change on fisheries and contaminant risks to young fish will be available, and visitors can find out more about the local fish, crabs and other sea creatures on display in touch tanks for the day.

As part of the 15th Annual Ocean Fun Days, staff at the Sandy Hook Lab will have live black sea bass on display in the lab’s 32,000-gallon research aquarium. Research to support the aquaculture industry in the Northeast will also be featured, as well as how NOAA is working with other agencies on evaluating offshore sites for wind energy projects.

On May 19, the day before the open house, Ocean Fun Day activities will take place at Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park, New Jersey. Coastal and energy-related activities will take place throughout the day. NOAA staffers will be on hand to talk with visitors and provide information about the Open House at Sandy Hook the following day.

In May 2017, more than 2,000 visitors attended the Howard Laboratory’s Open House, also 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 the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, NOAA, New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection and Division of Parks and Forestry, the National Park Service, and the Asbury Park Press.

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