Local Environmental Organizations Celebrate World Ocean Day

On a cloudy and brisk late spring morning, Jeffrey Morgan, Executive Director for Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids (OPAK), and Nicole Haines, the American Littoral Society’s Education Director, met with CBS 2 New York’s Meteorologist John Elliott on a Sandy Hook beach to discuss the importance of World Ocean Day and protecting our oceans.

John Elliott interviewing Nicole Haines and Jeffrey Morgan.

 

“We want to teach kids when they are young to care about the ocean and incorporate that into their lives as they get older,” said Haines. The Littoral Society often hosts nature walks and other events that are open to the public. Discover upcoming activities through the Society’s website or by signing up for the Littoral News at: https://www.littoralsociety.org/mailinglist.html

 

In addition to speaking on the role our oceans play in our daily lives the two spoke about the celebration they had planned later in the day, which included passing out ocean scavenger hunts for the whole family and seining in Sandy Hook Bay at Lot C beach.

Sample of organisms caught in seine, including marine debris.

 

When asked about students’ reactions to critters found in seine nets Morgan said: “It is a mix of fear and pure joy!”

 

The cooler weather certainly slowed traffic to the Hook for the June 12th event, but many avid beachgoers still popped by to see what came up in the seine net. Some highlights included a horseshoe crab, which was probably the crowd favorite, a juvenile flounder, Atlantic silversides, sand shrimp, comb jellyfish and unfortunately, plastic.

 

Everything caught in the net is “a teaching moment,” Morgan said. “It is eye-opening not just for the students, but for the parents.”

 

For a day set aside to celebrate our blue planet, there was a lot to applaud and a lot to learn. If you would like to join OPAK and the Littoral Society in the future for an event like this one, make sure to follow both organizations on social media:

American Littoral Society Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LittoralSociety

American Littoral Society Instagram: @littoralsociety

OPAK Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OPAKedu

OPAK Instagram: @opakedu

 

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About Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids (OPAK): OPAK is an educational nonprofit organization with a mission of empowering youth to become curious ambassadors for the environment through the arts. Founded in 2016, OPAK offers marine science, art and advocacy lessons for students in grades K-12 across New Jersey and Massachusetts. Learn more at www.opakedu.org 

 

About The American Littoral Society: Leaders in coastal conservation since 1961, the American Littoral Society, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, promotes the study and conservation of marine life and habitat, protects the coast from harm, and empowers others to do the same. Learn more at www.littoralsociety.org/

Cover photo: Nicole Haines holds Horseshoe Crab