There's money available to support education and stewardship projects that help protect and restore the Barnegat Bay. Toms River-based Barnegat Bay Partnership announces that they're accepting applications for its 2013 Communication and Education Grant Program.

BBP Communications and Education Committee Co-Chair Lisa Auermuller says they have $30,000 that they can award and they'll consider funding request for projects that range from $1,000 to up to $10,000. Auermuller says "what we are looking for is people who have project ideas in mind that help get out the word about the important resources in Barnegat Bay, how individuals and community members can become active stewards in helping to protect the bay."

Auermuller says this is the first year they've identified priority topics and priority audiences that will receive special consideration. Under priority topics she says "we're looking at fisheries and fisheries decline, climate change and sea level rise and soil health as topics that have not been covered so well in the watershed." As far as undeserved priority audiences they identify spanish-speaking residents and commercial fishermen and the business community.

The application deadline is December 14th, 2012 and grant recipients will be announced by February 15th, 2013. Details and application forms can be found bbp.ocean.edu or call (732) 255-0472