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Forsythe NWR, located 10 miles north of Atlantic City, is composed of two separate Divisions, Barnegat in the north and Brigantine in the south. The Brigantine and Barnegat Divisions were originally two distinct refuges, established in 1939 and 1967 respectively, to provide important wintering habitat for waterfowl, especially black ducks and Atlantic brant. The Divisions were combined in 1984 under the Edwin B. Forsythe name, in honor of the late conservationist Congressman from New Jersey.
The refuge complex covers approximately 46,000 acres in three counties including Atlantic, Burlington, and Ocean.
Nearly 80 percent of Forsythe Refuge is tidal salt meadow and marsh, interspersed with shallow coves and bays. Most of the remainder of the refuge acreage is woodlands dominated by pitch pines, oaks, and white cedar, with some fields which are maintained to provide habitat diversity. More than 6,000 acres are designated as Wilderness Area. This includes Holgate and Little Beach, two of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches in New Jersey. These pristine sites provide critical nesting habitat for threatened piping plovers and a wide variety of other beachnesting species. Beaches and dunes provide nesting habitat for piping plovers, black skimmers and least terns. Occasionally peregrine falcons, bald eagles and osprey are seen.
Each spring and fall, thousands of water birds stop at Forsythe Refuge during their long migrations. Waterfowl, wading birds, and shore birds may be viewed from the Wildlife Drive as they feed and rest. Refuge uplands also provide important stopover habitat for migrating passerines.
Forsythe is a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site, a Wetlands of International Importance site under the Ramsar Convention, and an important birding area. It also is a part of The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve and The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail. In 2002 the refuge was the recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Eco-Tourism Award.
The refuge’s headquarters and main public use area is located at its Brigantine Division on the mainland, at Oceanville, New Jersey. From US 9, visitors may enter the refuge via Great Creek Road, which ends at the refuge’s gate.
The Barnegat Platform is located in Barnegat on Bay Shore Drive off of Route 9 between Ridgeway and Edison Avenues.
Building upon the vision of founders Fred W. and Ethel Noyes, it is the mission of The Noyes Museum of Art to provide enriching exhibitions, educational programs and care for the collection for all its beneficiaries. The Museum fulfills this mission by providing exceptional arts education activities and through the collecting, preserving and exhibiting of fine art, crafts and folk art with an emphasis on New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Richard Stockton College of NJ Collaborates with Noyes Museum of Art
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey has entered into collaboration with the Noyes Museum of Art that will benefit students and enthusiasts of the arts, as well as the College, Museum and the entire southern New Jersey region. Stockton, which has a longstanding commitment to the arts and humanities, will partner with the Noyes Museum and will provide significant renovations and upgrades to support an expanded array of educational opportunities, events, exhibits and performances at the nearby off-campus facility. Stockton is also home to one of the area?s top Performing Arts Center, and its own art gallery. Stockton?s Visual Arts program is growing and a new Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is currently under development. Such areas as Communications Studies, Historical Studies, Language and Culture Studies, Literature and Philosophy are examples of how Stockton is serving the Arts and Humanities in southern New Jersey. The partnership with the Noyes is a natural extension of Stockton?s commitment to the area?s cultural scene.
Noyes Museum History
Opened in 1983, The Noyes Museum of Art was the vision of local entrepreneurs Fred W. and Ethel (Lingelbach) Noyes, Jr. who were avid art and antique collectors. Fred was also an academically trained artist and produced many works which reflect his love of southern New Jersey’s natural features. His art and personal collection of vintage bird decoys are now a part of the Museum?s vast permanent collection of 19th to 21st century fine and folk art.
The Museum boasts a serene lakeside setting adjacent to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and is located minutes from downtown Atlantic City and dining and shopping at Historic Smithville Village.