Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, April 2005

     February’s Creature Feature was a Red Beard Sponge.  This brilliant orange or red-colored sponge is very common to our region.  It attaches to hard substrates and grows in small clumps to nearly a foot in diameter, with fingerlike branches, and a tough, protein exterior full of miniscule pores.  Water, bacteria, and fine detritus enter the sponge through these pores, and move through canals and chambers where food particles are ingested.  Predators include sea slugs, sea stars, and turtles.  You’ll find the Red Beard Sponge from Nova Scotia to Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, and from Washington to California.  If this creature is broken or damaged, it regenerates into a complete sponge.  Readers missed “SpongeBob Squarepants” clue.

April’s Creature Feature (pictured to the left) is often found washed up along the shoreline scattered among the shells. It’s dark brown or black with a leathery texture and “horns” on the sides.  According to to its folklore name, Ariel may use this as an accessory to her wardrobe. 

To enter for a chance to win a COA T-shirt, send your guess by mail, fax, or e-mail (PO Box 505, Sandy Hook, NJ 07732; fax 732-872-8041; e-mail


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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