Dr. Mike Kennish, a Research Professor at Rutgers University and one of the most prolific scientists in the Barnegat Bay watershed, is officially retiring at the end of March. Dr. Kennish has been conducting research in the Barnegat Bay for nearly 40 years, beginning with his studies on the effects of power plant thermal discharges on the growth and mortality of hard clams. He subsequently studied the effects of various pollutants on estuarine finfish and shellfish, changing demographics of submerged aquatic vegetation communities, effects of eutrophication on estuarine ecology, and recently has been working in salt marshes. And that doesn’t include his research in deep-sea systems!
All of this work translated into a robust publication record – Dr. Kennish has authored or edited over 200 publications, including co-editing the book Ecology of Barnegat Bay and editing a special edition of Journal of Coastal Research focused on Barnegat Bay. As a result of this outstanding level of scholarship Dr. Kennish has received numerous awards, including the 2008 “Guardian of Barnegat Bay Award” from the Barnegat Bay Partnership, “Graham Macmillan Award for Marine Science and Conservation” from the American Littoral Society, “Pearl S. Schwartz Environmental Award” from the League of Women Voters, “Frank Oliver Environmental Award” from New Jersey Environmental Lobby, and most recently, the “Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award” from Marquis Who’s Who.
Dr. Kennish was present at the establishment of the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program (the precursor to the Barnegat Bay Partnership), and has served on various Partnership committees through the years. We thank Dr. Kennish for his many contributions to improving our understanding of the Barnegat Bay, and wish him the best in his retirement!