In 2023 Ocean County Soil Conservation District celebrates our 71st year. We remain committed to building and sustaining a conservation legacy by working with our partners and constituents to conserve, protect and restore our soil, water and natural resources by providing technical assistance, implementing restoration projects, and most importantly through education. For information about education programs, events and projects pertaining to soil, water, native gardening and natural resource conservation, please contact Becky at [email protected].


District Staff Assist with Subaqueous Soil Survey

in Great Bay and Mullica River

This past November, District staff members Rachel Hammack and Kristin Adams assisted the USDA-NRCS with subaqueous soil sampling in the Great Bay. The NRCS Soil and Plant Science Division is responsible for surveying, mapping, and interpreting the nation's soil resources and publishing the data in Web Soil Survey. The Coastal Zone Soil Survey (CZSS) Focus Team concentrates its efforts on improving the soil survey along the coastal zone, including the dunes, marshes, beaches, and shallow sub-tidal soils in coastal lagoons, bays, and inlets. Based out of the Hammonton, New Jersey Soil Survey Office, MLRA (Major Land Resource Area) Soil Survey Office Leader David Steinmann and Soil Scientist Adam DeWolf are part of this team of soil scientists that works primarily in the coastal zone areas throughout New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. (Photo: David Steinmann and Kristin Adams use the vibracore to retrieve a subaqueous soil sample.)

The Great Bay and Mullica River subaqueous survey sampled the subaqueous soils (soils that are submerged for more than 21 hours each day) or better known as the “bottom of the bay” or “bay muck” throughout the watershed. An electric vibracore with a 3-inch sampling tube and/or a McCauley peat auger were used to retrieve the samples. The samples are then brought back to a lab for analysis at a later date. Read more about the Great Bay and Mullica River subaqueous soil survey on our blog. Visit our website to learn more about subaqueous soil research in the Barnegat Bay.

New Jersey Bay Islands Initiative Launches Website

The New Jersey Bay Islands Initiative (NJBII) is excited to announce the launch of their website! Bay islands play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the coastal ecosystem for both people and wildlife. The stated mission of NJBII is to help manage bay islands through the implementation of grants that will maintain and restore functionality and improve habitat of these critical lands. OCSCD has been a partner in NJBII since its inception in 2020, along with a variety of agencies from across the state. Explore NJBII's new website and read about OCSCD's role in the New Jersey Bay Islands Initiative. (Photo: Little Blue Heron foraging on the Sedge Islands, Barnegat Bay, by Becky Laboy.)


Soil Webinar

Don't Treat Your Soil Like Dirt!

Building a Foundation for Your Jersey-Friendly Yard

Join OCSCD online on February 8 for an educational soil webinar: Don't Treat Your Soil Like Dirt! Building a Foundation for Your Jersey-Friendly Yard, presented by Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist with OCSCD. Hosted by the Bergen-Passaic Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. Soil is one of the most important components of your garden, but possibly the least understood. In this program we will explore the chemical, physical and biological processes of soil and how they work together to create a health foundation for your native garden. All are welcome to attend. Free! Click to register. Visit OCSCD's website for more information about webinars and outreach programs for your group.

Poster Contest for Kids

Cash Prize for the Grand Champion Winner!

OCSCD is excited to announce our 2023 NJ Conservation Poster Contest! This year's theme is "One Water". The Poster Contest is open to all students from grades 2-12. The Ocean County Soil Conservation District will declare a First Place winner for each grade group. One Grand Champion Winner is selected among the First Place winners and is awarded a $50 prize. All winning entries from Ocean County are submitted to the NJ Statewide Competition where they will compete for more cash prizes. Deadline to submit Ocean County entries is March 1, 2023. Visit our website for more details and to download the rules and entry form.

26th Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable

SAVE THE DATE - April 19, 2023

SAVE-THE-DATE: Wednesday, April 19, 2023, and get ready for our 26th annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable offering hands-on professional development for teachers and informal educators. This year we will be back at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education. Registration will open in February; visit and bookmark our website for more details.

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