Each year, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System hosts a FilmFest contest in conjunction with the system-wide annual meeting. The goal of the NERRS FilmFest is to highlight the Reserves, our partners, and the amazing coastal resources we protect. This year, the JC NERR submitted two films: “NERRS News – Sharing stories on the benefits of estuaries on coastal communities, critters, and you!” and “Rig-It-Right with WeCrabNJ!”. Both films won awards that were announced during the FilmFest premiere on October 12th.
NERRS News – Winner of Marsh Mud Award for Most Captivating
It’s NERRS News! Check out our film that shows the many different benefits of estuaries (also called ecosystem services) on coastal communities, critters, and you. Portrayed through the metaphor of a fictional news channel with breaking news stories, commercials, and witty characters, this short film is fun for the whole family!
Rig-It-Right with We CrabNJ! – Winner of the Terrapin Award for Best Conservation Efforts
(linked video shows full version from a 2021 grant project, a clip of the full video was submitted for the FilmFest)
Commercial and recreational crabbers rely heavily on NJ estuaries to either make a living or catch some dinner using “Chesapeake-style” commercial crab traps. Boat traffic, incorrectly set gear, vandalism, shifting tides, and storms can unfortunately result in lost or damaged gear. These lost pots are called “Ghost Pots” and they continue to fish, accumulating blue crabs and other species that become trapped in the ghost pots. This has an impact on our estuaries and the enjoyment of the estuaries in various ways.
Using the proper gear is essential in preventing ghost pots. Check out this video from JC NERR Education Coordinator Kaitlin Gannon to learn how you can “Rig-It-Right”!
Be sure to also check out our website to learn more about WeCrabNJ and the movement to remove ghost pots and prevent them from occurring: