More than 800 New Jersey middle school students from 32 schools will attend Clean Ocean Action's two-day Seaside Summit on May 15 and 16 at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook.

The group's Kari Martin says it's a hands-on experience that will teach students about the effects of climate change, dune systems and marine litter.

"We have schools from as far as Warren County and Bergen County but we also have local schools from Monmouth County. Some of the students have never been to the speech or to a beach New Jersey," she said.

She points out that they will be the future leaders and will be making environmental decisions.

"It's good to get them wet and sandy and and just interested in what they see in the outside in nature," she said. "It's a free program for the schools that pay for the transportation and when they get here they go through a number of field station field trips."

Martin says the kids will experience six hands-on workstations and 12 field activities.

This will be Clean Ocean Action's 31st annual Spring Student Summit.

"We've had thousands of students come for the past 31 years. We hope that they learn respect for the environment and they learn about the animals and are able to take that home with them to tell others about the importance of the marine environment to our earth, to our state and to ourselves."

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