Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, December 2010


The October creature feature was the sea nettle.  Rising nuisance sea nettle populations in the New Jersey region may be due to a variety of human activities.  Increased coastal development has resulted in more hard surfaces from bulkheads, docks, and pilings creating habitat for sea nettles during its polyp life phase.  Salinity changes due to drinking water withdrawal that reduces groundwater input to our waterways, and rising sea levels may also be affecting sea nettles.  Predator removal and increased nutrient loadings due to fertilizer misuse and land development -- the problem in Barnegat Bay -- also may be contributing to the increase in the sea nettle population.  Judge Jell E. Fish thanks all who submitted guesses and congratulates the contest winner, Doug Brown of Belmar, NJ.


The December creature is a soft coral species that can look like a giant feather sticking-out of the seabed.  The creature is a suspension feeder, passively extracting food and plankton from seawater.  The species can completely withdraw into the sediment to hide from predators, such as sea stars.  This species occurs in deep waters along the western Atlantic seaboard.  For a chance to win a COA T-shirt, submit your guess to Judge Jell E. Fish using the online form below, or by mail or fax (18 Hartshorne Dr., Suite 2, Highlands, NJ 07732; 732-872-8041).  


(Coastal Creature Feature appears every other month in the Clean Ocean Advocate.)


PLEASE NOTE: Please only complete and send the following online form ONCE.  After clicking "Here's my guess," a new window will appear saying "Thank you for your input!"  Your form has been submitted and received; please do not click "Here's my guess" or fill out the form again.  The page will reload/refresh. 


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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