Barnegat Bay is the largest body of water in New Jersey! It extends nearly 200 square miles, from Bay Head (or the head of the bay) south to Little Egg Harbor. It is a very unique ecosystem, known as an estuary, with diverse habitats: barrier islands, eelgrass beds, salt marshes, mud flats, and maritime forests. Many species of birds, invertebrates, and fish depend on Barnegat Bay as a nursery for their young and will migrate here from as far away as Canada and South America. In this chapter, we’ll take a look at the Barnegat Bay Watershed and some of the threats to the plants and animals that inhabit it.

Starting a Defenders Club at Your School

Schools, teachers, and students interested in starting their very own Barnegat Bay Defenders club at their school should start by downloading the Barnegat Bay teachers manual and student guide:

A lead teacher needs to be appointed the school’s contact for the defenders program. Teachers will decide the frequency that the club meets and at what time. Teachers will be guided through planning activities for their students. Save Barnegat Bay can provide networking opportunities for students and their local municipal officials as well as content for activities and presentations.

Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certificate, a patch, knowledge, contacts, and most importantly the confidence to speak clearly while informed about environmental topics they feel passionately about.

Interested schools should email Graceanne Taylor at to get started.