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May 16, 2019
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

NOAA Fisheries Howard Laboratory Open to Public May 19

Open House Part of 16th 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 James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory Open House at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Admission and parking are free.

The laboratory will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can learn about the latest research projects, meet the scientists, and view exhibits. Research vessels used by staff will also be on display. Touch tanks set up for the day will house fish, crabs and other sea creatures.

NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Observer Program staff members, the agency's port agents for New Jersey, and members of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center's Cooperative Research Branch will also be on hand. Observers collect important data during commercial fishing trips, and port agents are liaisons between the fishing industry and NOAA Fisheries in the region. The Center’s Cooperative Research Branch also works closely with the fishing industry to develop and conduct projects that require the specialized knowledge of each partner.

A wide range of the research conducted at the lab will be on display, with many of the researchers who do the work on hand to talk with visitors. Research areas include deep-water habitats and regional habitat assessments, biodiversity, ocean acidification, effects of contaminants and marine noise on sea life, climate change, marine aquaculture, and work to evaluate offshore sites for wind energy development.

On May 18, the day before the Howard Lab Open House, annual Ocean Fun Day coastal and energy-related activities will take place at Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park, New Jersey, 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.

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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