October 2020
Soil is the foundation of all life on Earth! Attend one of OCSCD's online educational programs, or engage with our many environmental education partners throughout Ocean County. Experience nature at its roots!
Shellfish Farming in the Barnegat Bay
OCSCD's "SPARC" Project Ignites!
In conjunction with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Ocean County Soil Conservation District's Sustainable Practices for Aquaculture Resource Conservation grant project (SPARC), a technical assistance grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), now has "boots in the water" working with local shellfish farmers to gain a better understanding of their specific natural resource concerns. The goal is to further develop the conservation practices of the NJ NRCS Aquaculture Initiative, while increasing producer participation and involvement. OCSCD Erosion Control Specialist, Kristin Adams, recently visited two different aquaculture operations to learn more about oyster farming from industry professionals.
Dale Parsons of Parsons Mariculture in Tuckerton offered a tour of his nursery where he raises oyster spat and hard clam seed in raceways and upwellers. This system provides a continuous flow of oxygenated bay water rich with phytoplankton for the growing shellfish to eat. Oyster seed that has "set" onto recycled surf clam, whelk and oyster shell is used to establish and enhance oyster reefs in the bay, some for commercial harvest and some for restoration and research. Clam seed is broadcast into the water on Dale's leases, where it will settle onto the sandy bottom and mature before harvesting.
Matt Gregg of Forty North Oyster Farms in Barnegat Light showcased a different technique to grow oysters, using a rack and bag system. This system allows oysters to be cultivated directly in the bay using protective plastic mesh bags that are supported above the ground on steel racks. Situated within their natural ecosystem, the oysters have plenty of phytoplankton to feed on. Here, they also continue to provide an important ecosystem service - to clean the water! This method of growing oysters is not only possible in sandy bottoms, but also in areas that are otherwise too muddy for cultivation directly on the intertidal grounds.
What's in a Name? Names from Nature
September 24, 10:00am
Hosted by the Pinelands Commission
September 24: What's in a Name? Names from Nature. The cold clear waters of Cedar Creek once provided raw material and power for two Pinelands industries. Utilizing colonial era survey maps, historic pictures, and the "What's in a Name? Names from Nature" section of OCSCD's Discovering Barnegat Bay guide, presenter Andrew Anderson of the NJ Division of Parks & Forestry will discuss the names of waterways and land in the Barnegat Bay watershed and how they give perspective to the way settlers viewed or made use of the area's resources. Hosted by The Pinelands Commission via a "live" presentation at 10am on YouTube. Or tune-in to watch a recording of the live program on The Pinelands Commission's YouTube Channel.
Get the Dirt on Your Soil - Webinar Series
September 24 and October 8, 7:00-8:00pm
Hosted by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County
Healthy lawns and gardens start with healthy soil. Join us for this webinar series to learn more about your soil and how to keep it healthy. Free!

Sept 24: Digging Deeper: What's Your Soil Telling You?
Get the scoop on your soil by taking a soil test. Find out the importance of testing your soil, how to conduct a soil test, and how to interpret the results to keep your lawn and garden healthy and happy. Presented by Dr. Stephanie Murphy, Director of the Rutgers Soil testing Laboratory, on September 24 at 7pm. Pre-registration required.

Oct 8: Root Out Soil Compaction
Soil compaction is a major problem impacting your lawn and garden. Learn what causes soil compaction, how it affects soil health, and how to correct soil compaction in the home landscape. Presented by Dr. Steve Yergeau, County Agent with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic and Ocean Counties, on October 8 at 7pm. Pre-registration required.

For more information please call 732-505-3671 or email tbecker@co.ocean.nj.us
How and When to Clean-up the Winter Wildlife Garden
September 29, 7:00-8:00pm
Hosted by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, OCSCD and RCE
Join Barnegat Bay Partnership, OCSCD and RCE for our 2020 Jersey-Friendly Yards Webinar Series: Wild About Jersey-Friendly Yards. On September 29, join us for How and When to Clean-up the Winter Wildlife Garden. From the perspective of a life-long naturalist intimate with the workings of the natural world, Pat Sutton will share countless common-sense garden maintenance techniques that will help property owners avoid common practices that actually harm rather than benefit wildlife. Presenter: Pat Sutton, Educator and Naturalist, Pat Sutton’s Wildlife Garden. Registration required. For more information contact Karen Walzer kwalzer@ocean.edu. Photo by Tony Hisgett
How to Compost
September 30, 5:30-7:00pm
Hosted by Ocean County Master Composters
Ocean County Master Composters will present How to Compost on Wednesday, September 30, 5:30-7:00pm. Learn how to make compost! Presenters will introduce you to the many different materials you can use to make compost at home, which compost bin to use, and share why compost is an important component of healthy soil. Free! Pre-registration required. For more information, please contact Tanara Hall: THall@co.ocean.nj.us

Do you want to join the Master Composter volunteer team? Contact Sandra Blaine-Snow 732-506-5047 or SBlain-Snow@co.ocean.nj.us
Watch and Learn on OCSCD's
YouTube Channel!
Live Webinar Recordings Available
In case you missed any of our educational webinars, you can now watch live recordings on OCSCD's new YouTube Channel. Subscribe now and view all our latest educational videos. Don't Treat your Soil Like Dirt!, Attracting Birds to Your Jersey-Friendly Yard, Wild About Jersey-Friendly Yards, and Wildlife Friendly Trees and Shrubs for Your Backyard are all now available for your viewing pleasure, at your leisure. Enjoy!
Fall Blooming Beauties
Maryland Golden Aster (Chrysopsis mariana) features delicate yellow flowers atop 12 inch stems. It is attractive to small butterflies and bees. This drought tolerant plant grows well in dry sandy soils in full or partial sun.
Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus) is also called Bursting Heart. It is a deciduous shrub with inconspicuous flowers that develop into crimson red fruits which burst open in the fall. Birds eat the seeds. Grows in part shade, medium moist, sandy or clay soil.
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) is one of the showiest asters. It boasts a large number of flowers with a long bloom period that extends from the end of summer until the first frost. Mass together with native Goldenrod for beautiful, contrasting fall color.
When is the Best Time to Transplant?
Spring and summer blooming perennials, including bulbs such as Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) should be transplanted in the fall. Late summer and fall blooming perennials such as Goldenrods and Asters should be transplanted in the spring.
Photo by David J. Stang
Visit our website: www.SoilDistrict.org
For more information about education programs, events and projects pertaining to soil, water, native gardening and natural resource conservation, please contact Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District: education@soildistrict.org.