Proud recipients of the NJ Clean Communities Excellence in Education Award
We are B.E.A.R, Debbie and Mike Bennett, and since 2010 we have brought our presentations/displays to over 20,000 kids aged 4 to 100, throughout NJ, DEL, PA and Wash, DC. B.E.A.R. promotes education by offering environmental, boating safety (including green boating practices) and recreational programs, designed to help people make responsible decisions about the environment. Hopefully, when people are enjoying the outdoors and educated about the sources and effects of pollution, they will be less likely to contribute to the problem and more respectful of our environment.
B.E.A.R is partnered with, promotes and participates with:
Barnegat Bay Partnership – outreach/educating the public on environmental issues regarding the Barnegat Bay and it's watershed. Ocean County Park Systems – Fun, safe, educational outdoor recreational activities, environmental and boating safety presentation Jenkinson’s Aquarium - Dedicated to educating the public on all aspects of marine life and conservation SUEZ - one of the Nation’s leading environmental companies, providing water and waste recycling services to more than 7.5 million people in the U.S. and Canada. Globally, SUEZ is present on all five continents and is a major player in circular economy for the sustainable management of resources. Marine Trade Association (MTA)- Bringing boating safety and clean boating practices to their members and customers. MTA promotes and protects the recreational marine industry and waterways in NJ Department of Environmental Protection- monitoring the Environmentally Sensitive Zones, Water Quality Monitoring and educating the public on Environmental/ Green Boating activities. Promote and participate in the annual/bi-annual “Barnegat Bay Blitz” – a watershed wide clean up. Outreach/educators for schools and other organization on environmental issues. Educating the public on the Sea Nettle problems. Sea Grant Consortium/Clean Vessel Act- promoting the use of the Pump-Out Facilities and Pump-Out Boats. Sea Grant Consortium programs are directed towards advancing greater understanding and stewardship of our state’s marine and coastal resources NJ Clean Communities- A statewide, comprehensive, litter abatement program serving New Jersey residents and visitors for over 25 years Clean Ocean Action– promote and participated in beach clean-ups.
B.E.A.R. set-up "Life Jacket Loaner Stations" at various areas throughout Ocean County and donated the life jackets to these locations. B.E.A.R works with many special needs groups - "Day on the Bay" - Boat Rides to Special Needs People and their families. Works with Ocean County Park and ARC of Ocean County, bringing environmental programs (i.e. shellfish, benefits of earthworms, composting, and fishing fun). Many fishing events with special needs children and adult groups B.E.A.R. assists Disabled Veterans with fun, safe outdoor activities.
Mike and Debbie Bennett of Boating Education and Rescue (BEAR), hosted an event, “I Learned to Fish Today”, on Sunday, August 16th 2015. Sponsors of the event were Ocean County Parks, Lakewood Police Benevolent Association, Marine Trade Association (JerseyBoatExpo.com), Jenkinson’s Aquarium and Bass Pro Shop of Atlantic City.
The event held at Lake Shenandoah Park, was attended by over 50 children (ages 5 through 18), their parents and siblings. Twenty-five volunteers from the community gave of their knowledge, talents and energy, to educate and assist in making “I Learned to Fish Today” a tremendous success. These volunteers were excellent role models and mentors to the children.
There were six (6) learning stations, consisting of (1) Safety – Personal, environment and fish handling (2) Environmental Protection – Healthy habitats, effects of runoff, identification of macro invertebrates , (3) Casting skills, different types of rods/reels, (4) Fish Identification, types of fish, parts of the fish, (5) Knot Tying, types of tackle and how to rig a fishing pole and (6) Conservation, catch and release, how to find bait and where to fish in NJ.
After the children rotated through the six learning stations, the Lakewood PBA provided lunch to all participants, families and volunteers. Children ended the day with fishing knowledge, an event tee shirt, a new fishing pole/reel, tackle kit, a bucket filled with fishing goodies and a greater respect for their environment. Parents were thrilled with the program, most asking when our next event will occur.