Barnegat Bay Partnership Names 'Guardian Of Barnegat Bay' Recipients

The Barnegat Bay Partnership is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2014 Guardian of Barnegat Bay awards, presented annually at the Barnegat Bay Festival in June.  Recipients are being honored in two categories, “Lifetime Achievement” and “Pete McLain Young Environmental Stewards.” 


Dr. Jim Merritt will receive the “Lifetime Achievement” award, which is presented to an individual who has made a significant, long-term contribution to the protection of the Barnegat Bay. 

Merritt - the program director of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center - has inspired thousands to be better stewards of the bay.  In his free time, he also volunteers with ReClam the Bay, Friends of Island Beach State Park, the New Jersey Marine Education Association, the Cattus Island Advisory Council, and Save Barnegat Bay.


The “Pete McLain Young Environmental Stewards” award recognizes a young person, or group of young people, in grades K through 12, for efforts to protect and restore the Barnegat Bay and its watershed. 

The award is named in honor of Pete McLain, a dedicated steward of the bay’s resources and a mentor to generations of young environmentalists.  This year’s recipient is a group of West-Windsor Plainsboro North High School biology students, who designed a study about residents’ willingness to pay for ecosystem service restoration in the Barnegat Bay watershed. The study was recently published in the journal Ecological Economics.


The Barnegat Bay Festival, our 17th, will be held on Sunday, June 1st, from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. at the Wanamaker Complex in Island Heights.  The award ceremony will take place at noon under the main tent.  Attended by over 3,000 people each year, the festival showcases our partners’ diverse efforts to promote environmental stewardship and features hands-on activities, eco-friendly vendors, and bay-related recreational activities.  For more information about the festival, visit http://bbp.ocean.edu/pages/208.asp.


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