Ask a Barnegat Bay Scientist 2021

Join us for the 2021 Ask a Barnegat Bay Scientist webinars. Learn about the research being conducted in the bay and its watershed, and ask scientists your questions during these interactive sessions.

Ask a Barnegat Bay Scientist webinars are free and provided via WebEx Events. The live sessions will be an hour long with time for questions at the end. To join the webinars, you’ll need either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. With presenter permission, a link to a video recording of each webinar will be available on this page after the webinar.

Registration is required. Details about the next webinar are provided below. Click on the title to register. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Walzer at

March 24, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
American Eel: The Underappreciated Hero of Aquatic Ecosystems

View the webinar recording.

The American eel is a key part of many aquatic systems, but is often misunderstood. Dr. Jim Vasslides, Barnegat Bay Partnership’s Senior Program Scientist, talks about the fascinating story of the American eel in North America, its unusual and mysterious life history, and why they are worth 10 times more than silver! He also discusses the Partnership’s American eel monitoring project, which just started its tenth year this February.

April 20, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Coastal Wetlands Resiliency in the Face of Sea Level Rise
View the webinar recording.
Watch the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Wetlands Assessment (MACWA) video

As sea level continues to rise and coastal flooding becomes more frequent in New Jersey, how do we “collectively” mitigate and/or adapt to these changes as they affect our lives? Martha Maxwell-Doyle, Barnegat Bay Partnership’s Project Coordinator, discusses coastal wetlands monitoring by the BBP and other partners and how monitoring findings will help decision-makers and natural resource managers make difficult decisions in the face of climate change.

May 25, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Using Rapid Wetland Assessments & Citizen Science to Help Prioritize Marsh Islands for Restoration
View the webinar recording (Password: MarshIslands2021)

Paddle for the Edge citizen scientist volunteer.

BBP wetlands scientists Shannon Vasquez and Emily Pirl will talk about what the BBP and its incredible team of “Paddle for the Edge” Citizen Scientists are doing to help monitor and protect the marsh ecosystem. Marsh islands in particular provide many benefits, such as protected nesting habitat for colonial water birds and storm surge and wave protection for developed coastal communities. Like all coastal wetlands in New Jersey, marsh islands are threatened by the impacts of climate change (increased storm intensity and frequency, sea level rise) and anthropogenic disturbances (nutrient pollution, shoreline hardening). Data collected by researchers and citizen scientists will help prioritize future wetlands restoration projects.

Emily Pirl is the BBP’s Wetlands Specialist. She primarily works on coastal wetlands assessment and monitoring and climate resiliency projects. Shannon Vasquez coordinates the BBP’s Paddle for the Edge citizen science program and works as a field technician focusing on coastal wetlands assessment and monitoring.

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