Meeting & Retreat Ctr

The NATURAL RESOURCE EDUCATION FOUNDATION OF NEW JERSEY, a non profit organization, provides opportunities for groups and organizations to utilize the day use and residential facilities at the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife’s LIGHTHOUSE CENTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCE EDUCATION, located on Barnegat Bay in Waretown, Ocean County, NJ.

The Center is located on 194 acres of diverse coastal habitat, including maritime forest, tidal creeks, salt marsh, a fresh water pond, a brackish impoundment, and a sandy beach on the shores of the bay. Visitors can pick up a trail guide booklet and explore the yellow blazed “Experience Barnegat Bay” Trail and wander through the blueberry patch, stroll through the white pine grove, or hike down to the waterfront pier. There are opportunities at the 8 outdoor learning stations for nature photography, bird watching, crabbing, fishing, or just enjoying sunrise or sunset on our secluded site.


  • DAY USE: The rustic LOCANDRO LODGE with woodburning stove makes a great conference center.
  • The MARINE FIELD STATION has 2 classrooms/meeting rooms, each with tables and seating for up to 15. This building is ADA accessible (3 steps) and each classroom rents for $125 per day for a maximum of 12 hours per day. Each reservation must be accompanied by a $125 security deposit, plus the rental fee amount.
  • Kitchen/Kitchenette is available at $50 per session for meal preparation.
  • There are rustic CABINS that sleep up to 4 persons. Each cabin has 4 beds, dressers, closet space, and a bathroom. Cost per cabin is $140 per night, plus a security deposit of $125. Note, there is no cooking or A/C in the cabins.       For larger groups, the EAST WING and WEST WING each sleep up to 24 each. Wings may be reserved, if available, at a paid-in-advance rate of $35 per person per night, plus a 10% security deposit. Dormitory accommodations include private rooms, each with 2 beds, dressers, and an adjoining bathroom for each suite of 2 rooms. In addition, there is a lounge area. Ask for a listing of local caterers. **Complete Roster of attendees and signed Liability Waivers must be provided.**

RESERVATION POLICY: All rented facilities must be broom swept and left in clean condition, including removal of trash and recycling to dumpster or cans at front gate. The security deposit will be returned when it is determined that no damage has been caused, and that adequate clean-up has been done. If cleaning or damage repair are deemed necessary, the security deposit will be retained by the Foundation. In addition, the renter will be charged for any cost incurred beyond the amount of the security deposit. All rental groups will be required to present a current CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE prior to rental date.

Please note that it is required that you must name: NJ Department of Environmental Protection, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Natural Resource Education Foundation as additional insureds. Required limits are $1M property and $1M liability.

If cancellation occurs 30 days prior to an event, refunds minus a $60 cancellation fee will be returned within the following 30 days.

For all overnight stays, a complete roster and completed liability waiver must be completed for each person participating.

Download a paper reservation form by clicking the appropriate form below:

Natural Resource Education Foundation of NJ