An annual festival that highlights the importance of protecting the Barnegat Bay estuary and its watershed took on special meaning this year, as the region rebuilds from Superstorm Sandy.
Barnegat Bay suffered a major hit by Superstorm Sandy last October when the storm shattered homes and businesses and washed tons of debris into the waterway.
On Sunday several thousand people turned out for the 16th annual Barnegat Bay Festival at the Wanamaker Complex in Island Heights, next to Toms River, N.J. The event is hosted by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, which promotes preservation of the bay’s health.
The Barnegat Bay Festival included activities such as interactive environmental exhibits, live music, artisans, native plant sales and canoe eco-tours. The New Jersey Department of Environment Protection also was present to give a report on the progress of debris removal from the bay.