Home » Education & Outreach » Barnegat Bay Festival » 18th Annual Barnegat Bay Festival 2015

18th Annual Barnegat Bay Festival-June 7, 2015

This year's festival theme is "Citizens and Science: Partners in Protection".

From water-based activities like the canoe eco-tour to hands-on children’s activities like the aquatic touch tank and seining, attendees will have many opportunities to explore science in action while learning about the valuable natural resources of the estuary. 

Focusing on ways citizens can get involved in science and stewardship, the participating environmental organizations will showcase the importance of partnerships and volunteerism in protecting our natural resources. We celebrate our continued commitment to educating as many as we can to the wonders of our precious natural resource, the Barnegat Bay,  

Join us at the Wanamaker Complex in Island Heights on Sunday June 7, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Rain or Shine).

Learn all you can about protecting and preserving the Bay.  As in past years there will be more than 60 environmental organizations represented.  Among the features:  the Watershed Ambassador will be featuring our interactive storm flood model,  the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will update its successful Blitz throughout the watershed, our Native Plant sale (with Rare Find Nursery) will spotlight storm-sturdy yards, and many organization exhibits will focus on climate-ready endeavors and sustainability. There will also be an emphasis on continued support of the Jersey Shore with many of the wonderful ways you can enjoy the recreational aspects of the bay: kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, fishing, crabbing, clamming, camping, birding, kite-flying...and so much more

Other fun and free activities at the Barnegat Bay Festival:

·         Enjoy a canoe eco-tour (pre-registration required) or a pontoon boat ride on the Toms River. Take a kayak ride or learn to paddleboard(special festival pricing) with Freekin' Creekin' at the Summit Avenue beach.

·         Relax to The ShoreSyde Duo with the sounds of summer or the traditional music of the Greater Pinelands Dulcimer Society, the Acoustic Musicians Guild, the Top Hats, or a special children’s performance by YOSI and Johnny.

·         Touch sea life in Jenkinson's Aquarium touch tank, learn about raptors and reptiles with the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, make paper with seeds, try your hand at fish printing, or walk through the soil tunnel for an “underground” experience.

·         Visit the more than 40 eco-friendly vendors and enjoy all varieties of great festival food.

There is so much to do and learn...and it's FREE.

So if you are staying closer to home this summer…save gas and save money, but most importantly learn how you can protect our most treasured natural resource, be more prepared for the future, and support the communities of the Barnegat Bay and its watershed.

If you would like more information or would like to pre-register for the canoe eco-tour, please call Betsy Hyle, Special Events Coordinator at 732-914-8109. 


Special Thanks to this year's Festival Sponsors:


     for their support of our children's programs




For supplying coffee and pastries for our vendors and exhibitors





 for supplying the festival shuttle busses



Special Thanks to our sponsors of

the Barnegat Bay Foundation Gala

& the Barnegat Bay Festival










 The Grunin Foundation









Click Here for interactive children's programs throughout the day 

Click Here for the List of Exhibitors and Vendors at the Festival


Click Here for Directions to the Festival

For easy access, park your car near the Island Heights Fire Station and take the Shuttle Bus to the Festival Grounds.  The buses are handicap accessible as are the Festival grounds. 


Hands-on Activities & Main Stage Events

Pontoon Boat Rides will be offered at 10:30 a.m.,11:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.  Tour the beautiful Toms River on the Ocean County pontoon boat.  Tickets are free and must be picked up ahead of launch time at the Barnegat Bay Partnership booth.  The shuttle bus will take you to the launch site.

Paddle your way along Dillon's Creek with a naturalist guided canoe tour.  The free tour will leave Summit Beach at 10:30 and is approximately 2 hours in length.  Some paddling experience is preferable. Pre-registration is required.  To register call Betsy Hyle, Special Events Coordinator, at 732-914-8109.  


Want to try kayaking or paddle boarding? Now's your chance. Freekin' Creekin' will be on hand at Summit Beach for Kayak Rides and Paddle Boards on the Bay. Special Festival fees for adults. Children 12 and under are free.  Register at the Freekin' Creekin' Booth. Take the shuttle bus to the beach.


 Native Plant Sale 

Presented by Rare Find Nursery in Jackson, the Native Plant Sale will be all day at the Festival on Sunday. You will also be able to pick up the latest edition of the New Jersey Native Plant Guide.  Along with Rare Find Nursery manager Jason Austin, experts will also be on hand from Rutgers Master Gardeners of Ocean County and the new Jersey Shore Chapter of the Native Plant Society to share their knowledge about native plants and provide visual guides for your own gardens.  Find out the best ways to create a storm-sturdy yard and what to do if your garden and yard are still recovering from standing salt water.

If you are traveling on the shuttle, you can leave your plant purchases at the booth and pick them up after you retrieve your car.  We have a special pickup/parking area.

Dana Dazzles   Special Airbrush tattoos with a nature theme! 

Seining at the Beach offer a hands-on experience for all ages. Learn what lives in our bay.

Fish Printing captures the age-old craft of species as art...but we use the rubber kind.

Papermaking with Seeds: Recycle junk mail and make your own paper. Add seeds to the mix and you can plant your paper in in your garden! Look for this fun activity between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. under a tent near the Native Plant Sale.

Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge brings a selection of winged wonders, raptors and reptiles to share at special programs at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30.p.m.under a tent near the BBP information booth.


Throughout the day -- Enjoy the Summer Sounds of The ShoreSyde Duo


10:00 a.m. -- The ShoreSyde Duo

11:00 a.m. -- Join Children's performers YOSI & Johnny for a "Meet Eugene" concert

12:00 p.m. -- Guardian of the Barnegat Bay Awards Ceremony


1:00 p.m. -- The ShoreSyde Duo

2:00 p.m. -- The Top Hats

3:00 p.m.-- Acoustic Musicians Guild

(Photos: John Bendel)


Sign up for our FREE DRAWINGS

A bag of Oceangro from the Ocean County Utilities Authority

Beautiful hanging flower baskets from Barlow Flower Farm

 An amazing easy flyer Flip Flop themed kite from Cobra Kites


Festival Exhibits and Vendors


Acoustic Musicians Guild: Learn more about acoustic Bluegrass music and traditional country folk music. The group will also be performing on stage at 3 p.m.

Alaska Wilderness League: Find out about the public lands of our 49th state through educational activities focusing on the Arctic Ocean; Also explore how we all can celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8th. Learn more about this world-wide effort to protect all our oceans, which in turn protects all our water resources like the Barnegat Bay. 

American Littoral Society: Founded by divers and naturalists with a desire to learn more about the littoral zone, learn more about this organization which works to conserve the beauty and bounty of our coastal regions for generations to come. 

Americorps Watershed Ambassadors: Find out more about this environmental community service program. Meet our Barnegat Bay Watershed Ambassador, GraceAnne Taylor.

Barnegat Bay Foundation: this foundation of volunteers works to support projects aimed at protecting and restoring the Barnegat Bay through education and fundraising. The Foundation is the official co-sponsor of the Barnegat Bay Festival. 

Barnegat Bay Student Grant Program: Check out a display of the 2015 recipients and their projects.

Barnegat Monthly Meeting: Learn more about the Quakers and how Earth-care is one of their major projects.

Barlow’s Flower Farm: For the Kids: Get your hands dirty - plant a seedling in a peat pot, make your own paper pots, and seed treats for our birds. .

Boating Education and Rescue (B.E.A.R.): Using environmental and  boating safety related games, learn about the causes, effects, and solutions surrounding marine pollution as well as overall safe boating.

Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority: Interact hands-on with the Enviroscape model to learn the movement of water through the Metedeconk Watershed and the pollution that run-off may cause.

Cattus Island County Park: Stop by this interesting display to learn more about our sea and forest creatures with exhibits of animal "touchables". Kids can take part in a craft activity as well. 

Don’t Miss the Pontoon Rides sponsored by Cattus Island County Park-Free tickets can be picked up at the Barnegat Bay Partnership information tent located in the center of the field. Rides are at 10:30am, 11:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm.

The Children's Home Society of NJ: Learn more about our Barnegat Bay through reading. Stop by for a book giveaway designed to encourage more time spent reading with our kids. 

Clean Ocean Action: Discover how you can be the solution to ocean pollution at this exhibit. Find out all the ways you can help by volunteering! Don't forget World Oceans Day is June 8th.

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge: Find out more about visiting one of our local natural treasures and join in some fun activities for the kids.

Emily de Camp Herbarium:  The herbarium at Island Beach State Park began in 1995 and was named to honor the memory of Emily deCamp, a conservationist and artist. Find out exactly what an herbarium is and why it is such a valuable resource for us here at the Jersey Shore. 

Forked River Mountain Coalition: Mountains on the Jersey Shore? Find out more about it at this exhibit.

Friends of Island Beach State Park: How can you be a friend to this magnificent state park? Find out here!

Forest Resource Education Center (F.R.E.C.):  Get to know our local trees and their importance to our water quality. Learn to identify the various species by examining leaves, twigs, bark, flowers, fruits, and seeds. participate in demonstrations that will show how trees help reduce flooding and pollution as well as create habitats along streams.

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore:  Join the scouts for a fun activity. Get your cookie fix.

Greater Pinelands Dulcimer Society: Go back in time with this traditional and historic instrument and music. Don’t miss them as they “jam” in their tent near the festival food!

Island Heights Cultural & Heritage Association: Recycle the past by preserving and renovating old homes. Ask about the incredible Island Heights Garden Tours. Also a nature paper craft activity for the kids.

Island Heights Environmental Committee: Meet members of our host borough’s Environmental Committee. Learn more about the unique bioswale project right there in the Festival parking lot. 

Jacques Cousteau Coastal Education Center: Learn more about this beautiful reserve which encompasses over 115,000 acres in southern New Jersey. Lots of fun things for the kids to do as they learn more about the Barnegat Bay.

Jenkinson’s Aquarium Touch Tank: Touch a variety of Bay species: look for sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs and more.

Jersey Shore Chapter of the Native Plant Society:  This new shore organization can provide advice and resources on the proper way to replant Sandy-damaged lawns and landscapes.

John Drulle, MD Memorial Lyme Fund, Inc.: Learn more about Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Exhibit helps raise awareness and provides prevention education.

John F. Peto Studio Museum: Learn more about the newest museum in Island Heights-an 1880's home and studio of a well known local artist. Get information on this summer's exhibition and summer concert series.

Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science: Participate in the interactive turtle and terrapin display and find out all about them from the students at M.A.T.E.S. Meet their mascot-SCUTES! 

Marine Mammal Stranding Center: Find out about sea animals which need help returning to the wild. Kids can be part of a mock seal and sea turtle rescue.

Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue: Find out more about these wonderful dogs and how you can help to "recycle" them through adoption.

Natural Resource Education Foundation of NJ (The Lighthouse Center): Experience Barnegat Bay through educational programs and hands-on learning. 

NJ Beach Buggy Association: Find out more about the history of this Bay area tradition and its purpose. Go back in time with the 1936 Model A Beach Buggy on display. Kids will have fun with special activities.

NJ Council of Diving Clubs: What does SCUBA stand for? The answer at this interesting booth with displays of sports diving equipment and artifacts retrieved from the marine environment.  Find out about the safety laws and regulations, as well as how you can get certified.

NJ Friends of Clearwater:  Find out more about this volunteer grass roots organization that stresses the importance of clean, clear water and urges citizens to be responsible custodians of our waterways. Kids of all ages are invited to participate in an environmental quiz...there are prizes!

NJ Sea Grant Consortium:  Check out their new game...take a selfie with the Horseshoe Crab.

NJ Water Association:  Check out this active model that shows how pollution travels through our aquifers.  Learn more about how to keep our drinking water safe. Coloring books and stickers for the kids.

NJ Department of Environmental Protection-Team Barnegat Bay: Find out the latest statistics from this year's Barnegat Bay Blitz which takes place June 3rd throughout NJ. Find out how to save water and money by using rain barrels with the NJ DEP CleanWater NJ/NJ Watersavers.. Check out the displays and get the kids some activity books.

New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife:  Learn more about the Clean Vessel Act program and keeping our bay clean through the use of pump-out boats. Also pick up information from the Marine Trades Association of NJ about its Go-Boating NJ program and get a copy of the 2014 Boaters Directory

Ocean Air Support Squadron will display over 100 aerial photos of Barnegat Bay. Don't miss this amazing perspective from the air.

Ocean County Artist's Guild: Find out more about this historical art league located right in Island Heights. Check out current exhibits and summer art programs.

Ocean County Business Development & Tourism: Take the pledge not to litter with Watershed Willie; Pick up your Barnegat Bay Buddy-in-Training bookmarks; Find out about all the things to see and do in Ocean County.

Ocean County College: Our Partner and Sponsor celebrates the festival with representatives from Admissions & Continuing and Professional Education who will share information, upcoming events, children’s camp programs, and senior programs.  Have fun with the Shark bean bag toss.

Ocean County Library: Meet the Island Heights Library Staff & Friends of the Library: Try your hand at the kids’ spinning wheel for prizes; have a go at making a special craft..

Ocean County Master Composters: See first hand how to build a “compost pile” and find out how you can compost at home. Special Demonstration will be presented.

Ocean County Mosquito Commission: Watch for the Giant Mosquito hovering nearby; find out the ins and outs of mosquito control and how we can keep them from "bugging" us..

Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund:  Learn more about this program that dedicates a portion of our county taxes to buy lands in Ocean County for conservation and farmland preservation. Learn more about the Barnegat Branch Trail and Farmland Preservation programs.

Ocean County Solid Waste Management:  Find out more about how Ocean County Recycles…are there more things to recycle than you know?  Pick up lots of information and activity books for the kids. Also find out more about composting to help fertilize your gardens with the Ocean County Master Composter program.

Ocean County Soil Conservation District: Caring for the watershed means caring for the land as well. Find out more about what you can do to improve the health of your soil. Put your hands in some SOIL. Walk through the SOIL TUNNEL! Make an edible "mudpie".

Ocean County Utilities Authority: Learn more about proper fertilization and the new law governing use of fertilizers. Get a sample of OCUA’s Oceangro. 

Pinelands Preservation Alliance:  Learn more about our beautiful Pinelands and how important they are to our Barnegat Bay watershed.

Potter Creek Crusaders: Learn more about this special project by students from Berkeley Township Elementary School in Bayville, New Jersey, who made a commitment to discover information about their local watershed area that could be passed on throughout the community. They gained knowledge through field studies, experimentation and research, and captured it all in a beautiful book to help others learn more about the Barnegat Bay and its watershed.

ReClam the Bay: Have your picture taken in the Giant Clam! Find out how clams and oysters are grown from seed and why shellfish are so important to the ecology of our Bay. Find out how you can help make their water safer for them.

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Ocean County:  What is a Master Gardener? Would you like to be one? What’s involved? Inquire here and get lots of great information about your garden. Pick up a Master Gardener Calendar and help support the effort.

Save Barnegat Bay: You probably have heard the controversies about nitrogen in the Bay. Stop by and find out more about its impact on the Bay and its watershed. 

Sierra Club: Learn more about this national environmental organization which is our nation’s oldest and largest. Get information about the New Jersey Chapter.

Starbucks: "Grounds for the Ground" Find out more about using coffee grounds to improve your compost pile. Take a scoop home!

The Living Earth Oases Project: Learn how to protect the Monarch Butterfly and our other pollinators. 

Toms River Macaroni Kid: find out more about this online children's resource while the kids create a marine life craft. 

Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum: The seaport brings some of its history to Island Heights by way of duck carving and beach apparatus drills. Stop by and visit. Check out the full-size garvey on display.

US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 7-11: Bring the kids here for a hands-on activity that helps them to understand what should and should not go in the water and why water safety and cleanliness is important.

Volunteer Auxiliary for Animal Shelters: Stop by their amazing adoption bus and meet some of the adorable dogs looking for new homes.

Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge:  Dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey's wildlife and habitats through education, conservation and rehabilitation, this refuge sits on 174 wooded acres on the edge of the New Jersey Pinelands. Don't miss the special programs at 1:30pm ( Winged Wonders) and 2:30pm (Raptors and Reptiles) right at their booth near the BBP information tent.


A & A Dips offers more than a dozen varieties of party dips as well as a bruschetta mix.

Aina Clothing features an eco-friendly line of organic cotton clothing with water based inks-all ages, all sizes and hats too.

Angel Creation Jewelry brings Swarovski crystal and nautically themed jewelry with many uniquely crafted pieces.

Babies ‘n Bows is a collection of handcrafted girls’ dresses and doll dresses with “shore” themed fabrics.

Island Heights craftsman Steve Berglund features handmade wooden cooking utensils-some made from Sandy damaged tree branches.

Blind Bob’s Pottery features handmade functional and art pottery-platters, bowls, mugs (all food safe) along with birdhouses, dog bowls, leash hooks and more.

Blueberry Wood Apiary brings all things Bees with honey, candles, wax blocks and cosmetics.

Celtic Chairde features homemade skincare products, natural lip glosses, and unique jellies and jams.

Cobra Kites wants to share how easy and exciting kites can be for everyone-catch their passion.

Alice DiNizo is a New Jersey author who writes mostly about the Shore. Check out: "Bay House" about Toms River and Island Heights, "Comings and Goings" about the Pinelands, and "Up from Down and Out" about Seaside.

Downstairs Sales features sterling silver jewelry as well as hand-made tea sets and wreaths.

F & M Novelties offers Sand Art for the Kids in recyclable containers.

Hats and Stuff provides protection from the sun as you enjoy all that our Beach and Bay has to offer.

Healing in the Hurting Place highlights tales of the Pine Barrens in books by award winning local author Karen F. Riley.

JCK Special Tees is a local family run business that will be selling embroidered organic boat totes, dry bags, appliqued sweatshirts, Barnegat Bay and Island Heights t-shirts & tank tops.

LeafFilter North of NJ, Inc. makes sure that just rain gets into your rain barrel. Stop by to find out how to harvest your rain, not your leaves.

Linda King has earthenware, ornaments, jewelry, wall hangings, and pottery, all with a natural/sea life theme.

Kula-Kamala-Yoga shares information on yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques and classes. Check out the special interactive demonstration at the beach.

David Lerner Associates will help you plan financially for those environmental changes you may want to make to your home.

Maggie's Baggies upcycles old materials headed to the landfill to provide a stylish reusable shopping bag.

Nostalgic Designs presents handcrafted women's shawl/collars with matching purses.

Power Home Remodeling Group offers energy efficient windows, siding, roofing, and doors.

Puruha Art brings traditional Native Indian art to the Festival.

S & S Kitchens returns with cakes/sweet breads in loaf pans with lids, jams, and sticky buns. Some gluten free items as well.

Shipwreck Iron provides new life for old steel. Reclaimed metal scraps turned into decorative images. All pieces are hand drawn and cut from recycled metals.

Shipyard Nautical Gifts brings back for another year its shipyard nautical gifts, shells, wooden boats, and picture frames.

Solar City will be on hand to discuss the possibilities for solar use at your home or business.

Steve & Anne's Biplanes made from soda and beer cans are the ultimate in whimsical recycling. Catch them spinning in the bay breeze.

Tastefully Simple is easy to make gourmet food that requires, at most, 2 ingredients. Products range from appetizers to desserts and include some organic and kosher items.

The Pampered Chef offers goods and tools for the home kitchen.

United Water Toms River will be on hand to share information about its local water provision and services as well as its global water research and initiatives - as part of a world-wide environmental company.

VintageViewsUSA has vintage pictures of local town scenes including Island Heights, Toms River, Ocean Gate< Beachwood, and more.

Viridian Energy /Solar is a renewable energy business and offers green energy choices for electric and gas. Solar installation information also available.

Wanna Tooth captures the beauty of shark's teeth (found along North Carolina beaches) in jewelry. 

Washed Ashore Photography captures coastal and seashell photography...specializing in photos of bay shells.

Waterbourne Spa and Candles offers all natural bath & body products packaged in recyclable containers.

Wicked Good Spices is just what it sounds like- unique and delicious spice blends for all dishes. 



Sweet Jersey Kettle Korn

Sierra Club offers Teriyaki Steak Sandwiches & amazing Hot Dogs

Down the Shore Ice Cream

Harrison's Gourmet Coffee will have hot/iced coffees, hot/iced tea, biscotti, gift baskets and more

Sausage Sandwiches, cheese steak sandwiches, Gyros, Funnel Cakes, Chicken Fingers, Butterfly French Fries from Damian Jordan-Big Daddy's Chicken & Ribs

Mike's Sno-Cones and Shaved Ice

Shrimp just about every way: steamed, buffalo and wraps with The Shrimpman

Cameron's Market brings a bit of Scotland to the Festival. Try the delicious meat pies among other fare

 The Seafood Shack provides delicious seafood specialties: lobster rolls, crab cake sandwiches,New England clam chowder, and lobster bisque.  

Cajun Jax is spicing things up with grilled Gater Legs, Crawfish Boil, Cajun Chicken on a stick, Moink Balls (bacon wrapped meatballs), Hush Puppies and Cajun pretzel bites

Kevin's Salad Station offers "healthy fast-food" for those looking for vegan alternatives, fresh salads and smoothies.  

GrillyCheese offers cheesy breakfast sandwiches, grilled cheese sammies, fried pickles and more

Mainline Pretzel Company offers soft pretzels along with Caribbean Iced Tea

Cure Catering will offer BBQ ribs, Pulled Pork, Grilled Chicken and Steak kabobs with ribbon fries


Directions to the Barnegat Bay Festival:

For Vendors and Exhibitors: Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 82.  Take Route 37 east to Vaughn/West End Avenues.  Take a right on West End Avenue, go up the hill (keeping “Triangle Park” where the “Welcome to Island Heights” sign is located on your right), and take a left on Summit Avenue, then a right on East End Avenue (almost to the water).  Cross over Van Sant Avenue and take your first left into the police station/municipal complex driveway (just after a small playground).  You will be able to park your car in this parking lot with an issued parking pass that you will receive on arrival. Watch for exhibitor/vendor signage directing you to the field.

For the General Public:  The parking lot at the Wanamaker Complex is reserved for vendors, exhibitors, and handicapped parking.  We have arranged for free shuttle busses to take you from more accessible parking near the Island Heights Fire House to the festival grounds (Volunteers will direct you to open spaces along the road and park-unfortunately we are no longer able to use the fire house parking lot).  The bus will be circulating all day and we would recommend parking in that area.  You are free to try to find on-street parking in the surrounding neighborhood following the directions above.  Please just be mindful of driveways and fire hydrants...and other NO Parking areas. 

If you would like to park near the firehouse, take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 82.  Take Route 37 east to Vaughn/West End Avenues.  Take a right on West End Avenue (keeping “Triangle Park” where the “Welcome to Island Heights” sign is located on your right), and a left on Lake Avenue.   Parking will be one block up on your left There will be signs and volunteers to direct you..

For GPS:  Corner of West End Avenue and Route 37 East, Island Heights, New Jersey, 08732.

 Interactive Children's Programs with

Yosi & Johnny Present "Meet Eugene" Concert

at 11:00 a.m. on stage


Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge

(tent near BBP Booth)

Program 1:  Winged Wonders 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

This lively program, geared for younger audiences, teaches the characteristics of our feathered friends while introducing the children to two of our resident raptors.


 Program 2: Raptors and Reptiles 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm 

Festival -goers get a chance to meet some of the wondrous creatures that grace our Jersey Shore-beaches and woodlands.


(Tent Near Native Plant Sale)

 Papermaking with SEEDS: 1:30pm-3:30pm

Recycle junk mail and make your own paper. Add seeds to the mix and you can plant your paper in your garden!