NJ Bay Islands Initiative

The New Jersey Bay Islands Initiative (NJBII) was formed in 2020 by various agencies and organizations that view island restoration as critical to ensuring the resilience of both the natural habitats and developed communities of New Jersey’s bays. The group is taking a regional and coordinated approach to island restoration. The long-term goal of the NJBII is to manage bay islands as a system and pursue a variety of habitat enhancement and restoration projects to address multiple needs.

Island Assessments

In 2020, field teams from the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) and the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge used the Mid-Atlantic Tidal Wetlands Rapid Assessment Method to determine current conditions on 52 Barnegat Bay islands from Bay Head to Little Egg Harbor. The data will be integrated into an island decision-support tool, which will help restoration practitioners identify islands in the bay that would benefit from restoration or protection projects. For more information about the assessments, contact Martha Maxwell-Doyle, BBP Project Coordinator, at [email protected] or Virginia Rettig, Forsythe Refuge Manager, at [email protected].

Decision-Support Tool

With grant funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy, the Stockton University Coastal Research Center developed a tool to support decision-making about island restoration projects. The tool will enable the initiative working group to weigh different parameters to align funding opportunities with potential restoration projects. It will also provide an opportunity to strengthen collaboration among partners (e.g., using sediment from channel maintenance to optimize available funding).

NJBII Member Organizations

Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
Long Beach Township
Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute
National Marine Fisheries Service
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
New Jersey Department of Transportation – Maritime Resources
Ocean County
Ocean County Soil Conservation District
Save Barnegat Bay
Stockton University Coastal Research Center
The Mordecai Land Trust
The Nature Conservancy
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Philadelphia District
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (contact: Virginia Rettig at [email protected])
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – NJ Field Office


NJBII Charter

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