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Contact: Daphne Yun, 718-354-4602
Grab your magnifying glass and binoculars to explore nature. On September 23-24, 2016, the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area (Gateway) will participate in the National Parks BioBlitz.
A BioBlitz is a fun, fast paced biological survey of a park's creepers and crawlers, plants and pollinators, mammals and more. The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday with more than 100 BioBlitzes around the country.
During this free, two-day events, teams of scientists, naturalists and volunteers will discover and document the biodiversity in and around Sandy Hook. This 24-hour event will start at 1 p.m. on Friday, September 23 and conclude at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 2016.
"A BioBlitz is a great way for people to learn more about all of the animals and plants at Sandy Hook," said Jen Nersesian, Gateway's superintendent. "Whether you have a couple of hours or a whole day, there will be something for everyone."
Individuals and groups interested in volunteering should register for specific survey times. Surveys will begin at 1:00, 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 23, and 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 24. You are welcome to participate in as many surveys as you want.
Explorers of all ages are needed. All events are free and open to the public. There are activities to engage the whole family, no matter how much time you have.
"The BioBlitz is a rare opportunity for the general public to engage with scientists, educators, naturalists, and take part in a citizen-science based program," said Tim Dillingham, Executive Director for the American Littoral Society, which is hosting the event. "Anyone can volunteer to help with base camp setup, on-site registration, or even cooking. You can also join us just to take a walk through the Holly Forest or to go seining in the bay."
There is no need to register for the public activities. if you wish to volunteer to help with the BioBlitz, use this webpage to register ahead of time: http://bioblitz16.ciesin,columbia.edu.
Volunteers may also register on-site the day of the event. All participants will sign in on the day of the event at the event base cam on the Fort Hancock Parade Grounds, 18 Hartshorne Drive, Highlands, NJ 07732. Sign in is open Friday September 23 from noon to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 24 from 5:30 to 11:00 a.m.
The Sandy Hook BioBlitz is being hosted by The American Littoral Society and Gateway National Recreation Area with support from the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University. With special thanks to OceanFirst, the premier event sponsor for the Sandy Hook BioBlitz.
About Gateway National Recreation Area
A large, diverse park spanning two states, Gateway combines recreational activities with natural beauty, wildlife preservation, military history and more. Visitors can hike, picnic, swim, sunbathe, bike, visit the oldest lighthouse in the nation, see an airplane collection and camp overnight, all in the New York metropolitan area. Gateway is one of the ten most visited national parks in the country. The National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday on August 25, 2016. Gateway will be offering a number of events intended to invite people into the park and encourage visitors to be a part of the NPS's next 100 years. For more information about Gateway's upcoming events, see the park's website at www.nps.gov/gate. To join the conversation about Gateway, like us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Gatewaynps.
About The American Littoral Society:
Leaders in coastal conservation since 1961, the American Littoral Society is a non-profit organization which promotes the study and conservation of marine life and habitat, protects the coast from harm, and empowers others to do the same. The Society is headquartered on Sandy Hook in a building on Officer's Row. In addition to restoring beaches, the Society advocates for sustainable uses of the ocean and coast; educates children and adults to be stewards of the shore; and promotes programs that strive to make beaches, bays and estuaries cleaner and more resilient.