Paddle for the Edge

Paddle for the Edge is an annual data collection event driven by volunteer kayakers, canoeists, and stand-up paddle boarders. 

Thank you 2023 Paddle for the Edge volunteers!

In 2015, the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) launched the first Paddle for the Edge event.  Paddle for the Edge is a data collection event driven by volunteer kayakers, canoeists, and stand-up paddle boarders.  So far volunteers have paddled a total of 182 miles of shoreline and collected more than 9,144 data points with their smartphones, while enjoying a great time out on the water!

Interested in participating in the 2024 Paddle for the Edge survey?

Email if you’re interested in participating in 2024. All volunteers will complete a Virtual Training and submit a Knowledge Check before receiving a paddling assignment. After registering, you will receive email updates about this year’s project, including the link to the Virtual Training. Email if you have any questions.

Why DO we want your help describing Barnegat Bay’s shorelines?

Land and water interact at the edge, sometimes dramatically (think Superstorm Sandy!). The bay’s shorelines are dynamic habitats, sometimes growing and sometimes eroding. Each shoreline is different, with the erosional (washing away) and accretional (trapping and accumulating) processes affected not only by physical forces (storm waves, boat wakes) but also by the presence of living species (mussels, plants).

Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in the Maryland Coastal Bays

The BBP’s survey includes various shoreline features and key biotic indicators, which help to assess conditions and identify what processes are impacting the bay’s shorelines. The indicators cover a range of processes, such as recreational use, shellfish growth, water quality, erosion and accretion, built structures, and plant and animal composition.

The data collected will help us monitor these critical bay shorelines and assist planners and resource managers in many ways — providing information about flooding and storm impacts, predicting how shorelines may react to sea-level rise, identifying potential restoration areas, and evaluating the recreational, habitat, and commercial value of our estuaries.

If you have any questions, please e-mail

Frequently asked questions

1. I participated last year, do I still need to go through training this year?

Yes. You need to watch the Virtual Training Video. This will help give you a refresher of the Paddle for the Edge program. After watching the video, you will need to complete and submit a Knowledge Check. You must submit a Knowledge Check to receive a paddling assignment.

2. I don’t have a smart phone, can I still participate?

Unfortunately, if you do not have a smart phone or access to a smart phone, it will be impossible for you to complete the survey.  The ArcGIS Field Maps app developed for our project, stores the data safely all in one place. It is how we get the most accurate GPS reading of where you are taking your points, and it keeps all the photo records together with the data you collect.

3. What if I don’t have my own kayak?

You will need to have a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddle board in order to participate in Paddle For the Edge. If you do not have your own, or have one to borrow, there are several retailers in the area that rent out kayaks and canoes.

4. I’m confused about the dates, when do I have to go out?

At any time during the collection time period, you may go out and collect data points. You may go out more than once, after work, on the weekends, or whenever you have free time to enjoy paddling. There is no required day, as long as your section of shoreline is complete by the end date. The P4E survey occurs in the summer, usually during the month of July. Check back for the exact 2024 P4E survey dates.

5. I can’t transport my kayak, do I get to choose where I kayak?

We understand if you don’t have the means to transport your kayak across the watershed. Please let us know through e-mail if you need to kayak in a specific area. We will make every effort to assign you to an area near where you request. However, please have an open mind, it will take a lot of paddling to survey the entire bay! Lots of our volunteers last year were excited to discover new places to kayak!

If you have concerns or questions that are not listed here, they may be addressed in the training manual, or you can email at any time.

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