Waterfront donation stockton 2

Stockton University Dean of Natural Sciences and Math Peter Straub, Atlantic City Historical Waterfront Foundation President Chris Seher, Stockton President Harvey Kesselman, foundation board member Marty Blumberg and Vice President Brenda Pecan at the Stockton Board of Trustees meeting Thursday.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Marine science students at Stockton University will benefit from funding donated by the now-defunct group that previously ran Atlantic City’s Gardner’s Basin.

At its meeting last week, the college’s Board of Trustees accepted a $125,000 donation from the Atlantic City Historical Waterfront Foundation. According to the college, the money will be used to support marine and maritime programs involving Stockton students and faculty in Atlantic City, with special emphasis on the waters adjacent to the city and the Atlantic City Aquarium.

The Waterfront Foundation managed and developed Historic Gardner’s Basin for about 40 years until 2017, when Atlantic City transferred stewardship to private developer Scarborough Properties. Late last year, the city took over the 1st Ward destination.

Since it was removed from the management aspect, board member Pete Straub said, the foundation had been trying to decide what to do with its remaining funds.

“When the group was dissolved, it was a bit of a conundrum. And part of the idea was to continue the legacy of this great group and to also backstop the marine programs and the aquarium by adding a research component,” Straub told the board.

Straub, who is also dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Math at Stockton, said the college had a long-term internship program with the aquarium and operated programs such as the Sea Perch underwater robotics program there.

Chris Seher, foundation board president, said the group could not think of a better organization than Stockton to steward the funds.

Seher said he would be remiss if he did not thank James Cooper and Murray Raphel, who started the foundation. Raphel died Sunday at 91.

“If it wasn’t for them 40 years ago, Gardner’s Basin would be high-rises or a dirt field,” Seher said.

Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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