The beaches, boardwalks, resorts, and theme parks of Ocean County are tourism hot spots. But whether you are visiting or live here all year round, there is a wealth of ecotourism opportunities in the Barnegat Bay watershed to enjoy.
What is ecotourism?
In general, it is responsible travel that encompasses natural and cultural resources, while conserving and sustaining natural habitats and local economies. Ecotourists are often looking for a place where they can leave the stressful modern world behind and experience nature, or experience the cultural/traditional history of a place. Such divergent themes as maritime history, lighthouses, natural centers, fish ports, and decoy carving are all components. Ecotourism includes hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hunting, and birding.
From north to south, east to west, the Barnegat Bay watershed abounds with opportunities to experience diverse natural habitats and cultural and heritage sites.
So where should you begin? Check out the following online resources to help you get started.
- Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (locations in the Barnegat Bay watershed from Brick to Tuckerton)
- Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences
- Long Beach Township Field Station: Eco kayak tours, terrapin talks, summer science lecture series
- NJ Division of Parks and Forestry: Find a Park (click on the “Shore” part of the map)
- NJ Division of Parks and Forestry: Passport to Adventure
- Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation
- Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission
- Ocean County Historical Society
- Passport to LBI
- Pinelands Adventures: Paddling, hiking, and nature tours
- Pinelands Preservation Alliance: Exploring the Pinelands
- ReClam the Bay: Follow the Clam Trail; visit a shellfish nursery upweller
- Tuckerton Seaport: Tours and programs about the bay’s history, culture, and folklife traditions
- Viking Village: Summer dock tours of this commercial fishing facility