Atlantic Estuarine Research Society

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Field Trips

Tour of Stockton Marine Field Station and R/V Petrel

Following the closing of the meeting Saturday and lunch on your own, attendees are invited to join us at Stockton’s Marine Field Station from 1-3pm for a tour of our facilities and our newest research vessel, the R/V Petrel (distance 8 miles, instructions available at registration).

The eight-acre SMFS site provides diverse laboratory space as well as dockage for the research vessel fleet. Access to the southern Barnegat Bay waters, Great Bay and Atlantic City back bays as well as the Mullica, Bass and Wading rivers is easily conducted leaving directly from our waterfront facility on the Nacote Creek. The 36' x 14' R/V Petrel was built to meet Stockton's expanding needs in the coastal sciences, including offshore bottom mapping, ROV video observations, increased oceanography fieldwork and scientific diving. The Petrel provides a much larger platform for both teaching and research and is used extensively throughout the courses in river, bay and ocean environments.

Add-on Exploration: Forsythe National Refuge

For those interested in exploring Edwin B. Forsythe National Refuge via Wildlife Drive, you will have an opportunity to sign up for times departing from the SMFS (1pm, 2:30pm). Spaces in the shuttle from the field station are on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be available at registration. The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats which is actively managed for migratory birds. The refuge’s location in one of the Atlantic Flyway’s most active flight paths makes it an important link in seasonal bird migration. Its value for the protection of water birds and their habitat continues to increase as people develop the New Jersey shore for our own use. The most popular place to view wildlife on the refuge is the Wildlife Drive. This 8-mile, one-way, unpaved road leads you through wetlands and woodlands. Look for spectacular concentrations of migratory water birds in spring and fall, as they stop and linger in refuge habitats managed to meet their needs. Two observation towers and the accessible Experimental Pool Overlook are equipped with spotting scopes.

Link to Refuge brochure

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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