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EPA Celebrates National Estuaries Day; Regional Administrator Kenny Participates in Live Educational Webcast at Barnegat

Release Date: 09/25/2003
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(#03109) New York, N.Y. -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator, Jane M. Kenny, visited the Barnegat Bay Estuary today during a live webcast, EstuaryLive, at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station near Tuckerton, New Jersey. Scientists, teachers and students joined Regional Administrator Kenny to give viewers a "down in the salt marsh" tour that included pulling a net through the water to find animals, called "seining", and learning about the salt marsh grasses, crabs, clams, and the robotic equipment Rutgers students use to study estuaries. The real-time event, accessible on Internet, highlighted the importance of estuaries in general and the Barnegat Bay Estuary in particular.

"This ecosystem occupies a special place in the life cycles of plants and animals. People visit here to explore and enjoy an open space between the land and the sea," said Regional Administrator Kenny. "Every time I come here and learn more about the wonders of the Barnegat Bay Estuary, I am reminded that we must continue to protect it."

The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Rutgers University Marine Field Station, and the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program are all involved in programs in Barnegat Bay and worked together on the EstuaryLive. The webcast also 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.

Internet users around the world can still participate in EstuaryLive, which continues on Friday, September 26. Participants can submit questions about the estuary during the webcast. In addition to the program on the Barnegat Bay Estuary, estuaries in North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana,Oregon, Washington, Florida and Texas are live broadcast sites.