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Apr 17

27th Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable

Join us on April 17 for an evening of education, exploration and fun at our renown professional development event for teachers and educators! The $35 registration fee includes exhibitors, workshops, keynote, dinner and door prizes. Our theme this year is "Sustainable Connections" with all programs focused on sustainability and waste reduction. Keynote speaker, Shaina Brenner, 2022 Milken Educator Award recipient, will inspire us with amazing ways she encourages and empowers her students to become agents of change in building a more sustainable world. Click below for details and to register!

Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education
Navajo Drive, (Entrance on corner of 7th St. and Navajo Dr.), Waretown, NJ 08758
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Apr 17, 2024 03:00pm - Apr 17, 2024 08:00pm

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$35.00

Sustainable Connections

This year's theme is "Sustainable Connections". This theme aims to spotlight the symbiotic relationship between the cultural, historical, and natural resources that define the unique ecological significance of the Barnegat Bay watershed. By focusing on soils, compost, food waste, and trash in the environment, we aspire to underscore the role of educators in fostering a deeper understanding of sustainability and environmental stewardship. Through collaborative learning and exploration, we hope to empower educators to impart invaluable knowledge on future generations, fostering a legacy of conservation and environmental responsibility.


Scroll below to preview our list of Field Trip and Workshops offered at this year's Environmental Educators Roundtable, then click the "Register" button above, to secure your spot. Visit our website to read about Roundtables in years' past. For questions, contact Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Coordinator, [email protected], (609) 991-1534.

2 Hour Field Trip (4:30pm-6:30pm)

Cranberry Bogs and Lumber Mills - two sustainable industries that shaped Ocean County, presented by Andrew Anderson, Double Trouble State Park


For over two centuries, the lumber mills and cranberry bogs at Double Trouble village in Bayville used sustainable harvesting techniques that literally built Ocean County! Some of the earliest houses in Toms River were built from Double Trouble lumber at a time when the county produced over a quarter of the nation's cranberries. During this field trip to the state historic site, you will see firsthand the interaction of people and the environment over time.

1 Hour Workshops offered during Session 1 (4:30pm-5:30pm)

Soil – sustaining the future from the ground up, presented by OCSCD staff and Eileen Miller, South Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council


Don't treat your soil like dirt! This workshop provides hands-on experiences that dig deep into the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil that make life on Earth possible. Explore activities that you can do with your students in the classroom or on school grounds, that lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of the import role soil plays in growing food, ensuring clean water, cycling nutrients, and storing carbon. Lesson plans and resources will be provided.

Navigating Microplastics, presented by Mindy Voss, Alaina Perdon and Rosemary Higgins, NJ Sea Grant Consortium


Plastics are everywhere! They are persistent and a major threat to our environment. Using hands-on activities, you will learn about the different types of plastics, how they act in a marine environment, and how they break down into microplastics. We will demonstrate several simple techniques to search for microplastics, and discuss solutions to the plastic problem.

Trash in the Environment – clean-up and ecology walk, presented by Tanara Hall, Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management and Chris Claus, Ocean County Parks & Recreation


Human litter is persistent in our environment. Participants will engage in a cleanup of the Barnegat Bay shoreline at the Lighthouse Center, catalog the trash found, and make connections to a more sustainable approach to life. During our walk we will explore and learn about the ecology of the watershed, and discuss ideas for running a nature walk or cleanup on your school campus. Bring along a pair of binoculars if you have them. Gloves and trash grabbers will be provided.

Farm to School, presented by Nicole Broadwater, New Jersey Department of Agriculture


Design a Farm to School program to implement in your school or community. Workshop attendees will create actionable Farm to School programming, reflecting their school/community culture and resources. Emphasis will be placed on the incorporation of NJ Climate Learning Standards in all focal areas of Farm to School such as taste tests, school gardening, and climate-conscious recipe building. Learn how you and your students can gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.

1 Hour Workshops offered during Session 2 (5:40pm-6:40pm)

Effects of Marine Debris on Wildlife, presented by Kaitlin Gannon, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve


Human trash in the environment can have devastating effects on wildlife. We will review some interactive lesson plans that focus on characteristics of animals and their susceptibility to various kinds of marine debris. We will also discuss how marine debris can impact humans, vessels, habitats and more. Finally, we will highlight locally relevant grant funded marine debris removal efforts here in NJ’s coastal bays.

Jersey-Friendly Yards School Certification, presented by Bailey Sanders, Barnegat Bay Partnership


Schools are an important component of a healthy Barnegat Bay watershed. You can help to ensure clean water for drinking, swimming and fishing, healthy soil for gardening and growing, and essential habitat for wildlife by engaging students and the entire school community in planning, designing, and creating a Jersey-Friendly Schoolyard. Learn how to complete the Jersey-Friendly Yards School Certification Program for your school.

Composting in the Classroom, presented by Sandra Blaine-Snow and Margaret DeLeon-Rivera, Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management


Join our immersive workshop and discover how to seamlessly introduce composting in your classroom, meeting NJ Student Learning Standards. Engage in hands-on experiences as we guide you through constructing compost bins, exploring the science behind composting, and understanding its impact on waste management, carbon cycles, and nutrient dynamics. Elevate your teaching with practical insights on managing odor-free compost bins, and cultivate a sustainable mindset in your students!

Plastics and Climate – how our consumption controls our survival, presented by Jennifer Lengares Meyer, Jenkinsons Aquarium


In this workshop, educators will learn about the connections between plastics production, consumption, and disposal and our changing climate. This session will cover how to effectively communicate this issue to students, and empower them to create effective solutions. Resources and hands-on activities will be provided for educators to create a climate of environmental stewardship in their classrooms or informal settings.

Keynote: Sustainability in Education, Empowering Students to Shape a Greener World, by Shaina Brenner (7:00pm-7:45pm)

Immerse yourself in an inspiring keynote address that explores the vital intersection of sustainability and education. In this transformative session, Ms. Brenner will delve into strategies to infuse environmental stewardship into every aspect of learning, inspiring students to become change agents in building a more sustainable world. Let's pave the way for a greener future through education.


Shaina Brenner earned her B.S. in Communications from Rutgers University and is presently pursuing an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Montclair University. Since 2018, Shaina has taught second grade at Elms Elementary School in Jackson. Committed to sharing her passion for sustainability and environmentalism, she helps lead her school’s Student Green Team, as well as the Jackson School District Green Team. Shaina’s work is rooted in the belief that a great education is foundational to life success. She has been named Educator of the Year on two occasions and is the 2022 New Jersey recipient of the national Milken Educator Award.