The Ocean County Vocational Technical School, Toms River, has been named as a National Service Learning Leader School by the Corporation for National Service, based in Washington, D.C. The school is among only 64 schools in the country to gain recognition for projects that integrate community service into their curriculum.
The vocational technical school’s selection was based on documentation submitted on the Clearwater History Project and other community contributions. The Clearwater history venture brought together students in the district’s Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Sciences (MATES) and residents of the Gardens of Pleasant Plains retirement community in an intensive effort to restore a polluted lake.
About 60 marine science students are participating in the project. They are working cooperatively with residents, environmental professionals and nonprofit organizations to restore the lake. The lake system has been plagued by severe eutrophication, a condition caused by excess nutrients and lack of oxygen in the water, according to project members.