Jacques Cousteau
CRSSA's Role in
Coastal Research
and the JCNERR

The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve at Mullica River - Great Bay, New Jersey

Rutgers University marine field station, Tuckerton, NJ (photo: JCNERR)

Creation, Purpose
The National Estuarine Reserve System (NERRS) was created by Congress through the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. Currently, 23 NERR sites, including the Jacques Cousteau NERR, have been established to manage and protect estuaries that have been selected to represent the biogeographic regions of the United States and its territories. NERRS is a non-regulatory program towards research, education and resource protection.

Field studies (photo: JCNERR)

Research, Education
The JCNERR serves as a research site where the effects of both natural and human activity are monitored and studied. The Reserve also provides educational programs to promote public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of estuarine ecosystems, wetlands and cultural history. These programs, conducted by the JCNERR staff and Reserve partners, serve many levels of interest including the public, elementary and high school teachers, and special interest groups.

Forest (photo: CRSSA) and marine life (photo: JCNERR)

The Mullica River-Great Bay esutary, located in southern New Jersey, is regarded as one of the least disturbed ecosystems in the dense urban corridor of the northeastern U.S.. The Jacques Cousteau NERR was dedicated in October 1997. Encompassing almost 115,000 acres, the Reserve incoporates a wide variety of terrestrial, wetland and aquatic habitats ranging from pineland forests to wetlands, bays, creeks, barrier islands and adjacent coastal ocean. The lands within the Reserve are entirely in public ownership, but managed cooperatively on a regional watershed scale.

CRSSA's Role in Coastal Research and the JCNERR

CRSSA has been fulfilling its mission of applying geo-spatial technology in New Jersey's coastal-shore region, most notably in the Barnegat Bay and Mullica River - Great Bay watersheds and also in the New Jersey Pinelands. Past projects include:

  • Habitat loss and alteration in the Barnegat Bay watershed
  • Examining the spatial distribution of seagrasses in Barnegat Bay
  • Build-out analysis of the Barnegat Bay watershed
  • Watershed based wetland assessment method of the New Jersey Pinelands
  • Boater's Guide to Barnegat Bay and Little Egg Harbor
  • Landscape analysis of the Mullica River watershed

In cooperation with Rutgers University Marine and Coastal Sciences (RUMCS), CRSSA continues its role as the geographic information systems (GIS) coordinators for the JCNERR. As coordinators, CRSSA has supported research, education and outreach activities with GIS applications and expertise.

In 2001, CRSSA collaborated with RUMCS to help establish the coastal resource repository (CRR) at the Reserve. The CRR, which includes and extensive GIS data base, provides hands-on GIS consulting by CRSSA staff to coastal decision makers.

The Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA) is located on Rutgers University's Cook College campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey

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This site is part of the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
© 2001 Rutgers University, JCNERR.
JCNERR GIS site created and maintained by CRSSA. Last updated July 5, 2002.