Tag Archives: USDA

Volunteers Help to Map the Ocean Floor

P1000226(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Ok, so it’s not EXACTLY the ocean, but it’s a body of water that’s connected to the ocean. In this case, it’s Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, which runs from the Atlantic Ocean up along the Jersey coast for around 40 miles. And, as this press release points out, the bay’s ecosystems, especially in the soil at the bottom, have been seriously impacted over the years. And not impacted in a good way. Now, volunteers are helping the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to sample the soil on the floor of the bay. With the volunteers assistance, scientists have been sampling and mapping the soil, a process which will go along way toward restoring the bay’s ecological health. According to the release, “The Earth Team volunteer program helps the agency meet conservation needs in communities. Volunteers enable NRCS to stretch available resources and help put additional conservation practices on the ground.” Or, in this case, in the water.


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Volunteering for National Public Lands Day

IMG_2763(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

I have to confess, I had no idea that it was recently National Public Lands Day, an annual event now in it’s 21st year. This nationwide event, which occurred a few weeks ago on September 27th, included thousands of volunteers doing some amazing work across the country. Last year, events took place at over two thousand sites, where volunteers did everything from removing invasive species to repairing and maintaining trails. This blog from the U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that the Forest Service waived fees in an effort to encourage more people to join in the efforts. The National Public Lands Day website offers lots of information including ways for people to stay involved after the event. Locally, there were many events and calls put out for volunteers, all the way across the country, from these events in Alaska and in Hawaii, to these stories out of Pennsylvania and New Orleans. There are many other stories out there about all the events that no doubt made the day a huge success and a major win for our public lands.