Hugo Neu Ocean Pathways Mentorship Program at Kearny Point, NJ

AltaSea, Hugo Neu, and NY/NJ Baykeeper have joined forces in launching the Ocean Pathways High School Research Mentorship Program. This innovative program aims to provide high school students with hands-on research experience and mentorship opportunities in the fields of marine biology, sustainability, and environmental conservation.

As part of the program, students will have the opportunity to work alongside leading scientists, educators, and environmental advocates at AltaSea, Hugo Neu, and NY/NJ Baykeeper. They will engage in field work, data collection, and analysis, and gain valuable insights into the challenges facing our oceans and the environment at large.

NY/NJ Baykeeper has functioned as a citizen advocate for the NY-NJ Harbor estuary for over 30 years. While historically Baykeeper has sought to make local water bodies cleaner through research, restoration, and litigation, they have recently expanded to offering experiential education as a tool for empowering local communities.

The Ocean Pathways program is designed to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders in the fields of marine biology, sustainability, and environmental conservation. It will equip students with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience needed to succeed in these critical areas, while also fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world and our role in protecting it.


Good written and verbal communication skills are necessary as well as the ability to work independently. Interns will be expected to work a minimum of 10 hours per week, beginning Monday, June 19, 2023, and ending Friday, July 28, 2023.

Proposed Schedule:

Virtual: Research Project

The student will select a research project from this recommended list and give a presentation at the end of the 6-week mentorship

a) Water/Air Quality in your community? (Community Impact Focus)

b) Environmental Justice: What does EJ mean to you? Examination of Environmental Justice Issues within your community. (Political Impact Focus)

c) Research on East Coast Blue Economy Landscape: What industries could grow in our region? (Business Impact Focus)

d) Research on Green Infrastructure Projects and Funding Sources: What projects have the ability to transform our urban centers and communities? (Sustainability Impact Focus)

e) Superfund Sites (Environmental Impact Focus)

  • Definition of superfund site; # of superfund sites throughout the country, examination of remediation efforts under EPA Superfund Program
  • What is the geographic make-up of Hackensack River; Why is it a superfund site; What type of clean-up may be needed; What studies have already been done re: Hackensack River
  • Among other topics: Examination of Federal funding and remediation track record over past 5 years in state of NJ; Explanation of current projects 2023-24 in NJ and beyond
  • Insight into the Clean Water Act

Oyster Garden Experiential Learning: 2 Week Hands on Experience at the Oyster Garden at Kearny Point (run by NY/NJ Baykeeper)

Conservation Efforts

  • Oyster gardening interns will attend mandatory training where they will be instructed on how to collect data, maintain the habitat units, and briefed on the laws and regulations regarding shellfish harvest. All interns will be provided with the necessary equipment and training to perform data collection and maintenance of the habitats throughout the year.
  • Interns will learn best practices for data collection and leverage the following metrics for further research: ● Oyster Growth ● Survivorship ● Recruitment ● Salinity ● Biodiversity ● Habitat Unit Maintenance

More details and how to apply:

  • Non-paid Internships
  • Food Subsidized while at Aquaculture Site at Kearny Point
  • Students will receive 60 volunteer hours toward college application packet and formal recommendation letters
  • Kearny Point Website:
  • AltaSea Website:
  • Baykeeper Website:

To apply, please fill out this form. Applications are due on May 31, 2023