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EPA Celebrates National Estuaries Day in New Jersey with Live Webcast for Teachers and Students

Release Date: 09/24/2004
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(#04143) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today marked the annual celebration of the nation's estuaries with a live Webcast for students and teachers at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station Exit EPA disclaimernear Tuckerton, New Jersey. Walter Mugdan, EPA Director of Environmental Planning and Protection, joined scientists, teachers and students for a "down in the salt marsh" tour of the Barnegat Bay Estuary that included a lesson on the salt marsh grasses, crabs and clams that inhabit the estuary, and the robotic equipment used by researchers and students at Rutgers to study them. The real-time event, EstuaryLive, was accessible worldwide via the Internet; it highlighted the importance of estuaries for habitat and recreation, and the particular resources of the Barnegat Bay Estuary.

The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve Exit EPA disclaimer, the Rutgers University Marine Field Station, and the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program, all of which play an active role in the restoration and conservation of Barnegat Bay, worked together on EstuaryLive. The Web cast featured students and teachers from Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School, Toms River's Marine Academy of Technology and Rutgers University. The program marks National Estuaries Day, which focuses public attention on estuaries, the ecosystems found where rivers meet the sea.

The Barnegat Bay watershed serves over 450,000 people, doubling in the summer as people increase their travel to the Jersey shore for recreational purposes. The Barnegat Bay Estuary is a vital component of New Jersey's tourist industry, and an important natural resource that supports populations of commercially significant fish and rare and endangered species. The Barnegat Bay Estuary Program protects the bay from pollution, development and overuse.

Internet users around the world were able to participate in EstuaryLive and submit questions about the estuary during the live Webcast. In addition to the program on the Barnegat Bay Estuary, estuaries in North Carolina, New York, Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington were featured. Segments of the Webcasts will also be available after the live sessions by going to