A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Will Howard Marine Lab Closing Affect MAST? Matawan Regional? Fisheries?

Today's Asbury Park Press features an article about how the James J Howard Marine Laboratory at Sandy Hook is to be closed soon due to budget cuts. The lab is under NOAA, which needs the $3 million to run other programs.

The article says the Jersey Coast Anglers Association is upset at the closing, calling it a disaster. The association says the lab was opened in 1961 to demonstrate federal and state support for local fisheries. State budget cuts have already impacted programs that monitor fisheries sustainability in New Jersey waters, so Federal cuts will put the nail in the coffin. No one will know whether particular breeds are being overfished, for example.

The article doesn't talk about the educational side of the equation. How will the closing of the Howard Lab affect the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in March? How will the closing impact oceanography classes at Matawan Regional High School and other schools in Monmouth County? I doubt we'll be funding field trips to Connecticut, where NOAA is relocating its resources.

Take a look at this 2007 APP article about Liza Baskin, who teaches chemistry at MAST now but previously taught at Matawan. It shows how the programs at Sandy Hook, Rutgers and the county school system are intertwined, providing benefit to all. The closing of the lab could have a negative effect in so many ways.

UPDATE 4 March 2012:  There is now a Facebook page supporting the Howard Marine Laboratory and an online petition you can sign. If you'd like to see the lab stay at Sandy Hook, "like" and "share" the Facebook page and sign the petition.


  1. The Feds have Billions to send to foreign Countries in the way of aid, But a few pennys for home eduction!! O B at his Best, you all vpoted for change and you GOT it right up the B - End.

  2. If you isolate the budget from tax policy, you might say that, I guess. Obama is having to make some uncomfortable cuts. But you need to remove your Republican-friendly blinders. You're ignoring the fact that the Republicans have blocked an increase in revenues because they want smaller government. Those who voted for the Tea Party also voted for change and have been seeing the ugly results ever since. Last year's debt ceiling crisis was only one example. I'm unhappy with the closing of the lab, and I understand that it is an Obama Administration cut, but I also see that funding isn't where it should be because of Republican ideology that supports the wealthy and those who want to become rich one day. You won't agree, no doubt. But it is very clear to me.

  3. Help keep the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory in NJ:

    Sign the petition to reverse the closing at:

    Like the Facebook page dedicated to keeping the Laboratory in our State: