Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve

New Jersey’s Jacques Cousteau reserve is located in the southeastern part of the state and encompasses New Jersey Pinelands, the coastal plain, and the barrier islands of the Mullica River-Great Bay ecosystem. The reserve’s 115,000 acres are an oasis for wading birds, waterfowl, raptors, songbirds, blue crabs, hard clams, bluefish, summer flounder, and more than 90 species of fish. Through a combination of research, outreach, and education, reserve staff address the most critical issues facing the New Jersey coasts—from the restoration of ecosystems and communities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to the development of science-based strategies to enhance future resilience of the state’s coastal areas.

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Vital Stats

The Jacques Cousteau reserve participates in the System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP), which collects, analyzes, and makes available weather, water quality, and nutrient data from all National Estuarine Research Reserves. Learn more


The reserve hosts a suite of family and recreational programs. Visit the interactive habitat tour or the “Life on the Edge” exhibit, and share a role in protecting and preserving estuaries.


Volunteer at the reserve in a variety of activities that include assisting with research projects, engaging in citizen science activities such as data collection for long-term monitoring studies, leading tours, providing administrative assistance, organizing and supporting workshops, and representing the reserve at community events.

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Become a Friend

This reserve currently does not have a formal friends organization. Please stay tuned for more information.

Did you know?

Every winter, the reserve’s waterfowl population swells to more than 70,000 birds.


Mike De Luca
Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
Jacques Cousteau Coastal Education Center
130 Great Bay Boulevard
Tuckerton, NJ 08087
T: 609-812-0649
E: deluca@marine.rutgers.edu