Local man honored for outstanding work

The New Jersey Marine Education Association (NJMEA) recently recognized New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium/ New Jersey Sea Grant’s (NJMSC/NJSG) Lee Rossbach at its “Teach at the Beach” annual meeting and teacher workshop held at Monmouth University and co-hosted by the university and NJMSC/NJSG. Rossbach, who has served as a marine field instructor for NJMSC/NJSG for the past 19 years, received the Outstanding Educator Award for his contributions to marine education in New Jersey.

Rossbach, 83, a longtime resident of the Elberon section of Long Branch, is a retired Wall Street securities broker. He joined the staff at NJMSC/NJSG after he was encouraged by his daughter-in-law to apply for the field instructor position as a way of sharing his knowledge and passion for the local marine environment. “[Being a field guide] enables me to hone my lifetime interest in the marine environment and the natural world,” he said. “Because every field trip is different, you never know what to expect.”

Through NJMSC/NJSG’s education program, Rossbach is one of many field instructors who lead K-12 classes on guided tours of Sandy Hook’s back bays and beaches, educating the students about the marine life found in the urban estuary. He is one of only a handful of field instructors who have been with the education program since its humble beginnings, now serving close to 20,000 K-12 students annually.

The New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium/ New Jersey Sea Grant is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. NJMSC/NJSG meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs. For more information about NJMSC/NJSG, visit njmsc.org.