Back for a second annual edition on the Sandy Hook peninsula, the charitable event known as Run the Hook returns on Sunday, May 14 with 5K and 10K races for athletes of all abilities — in addition to a way to raise funds for a hard-working local nonprofit, a chance to enjoy some of the best scenery on the Jersey Shore, and “the perfect opportunity for runners to kick off the summer at the beach.”
For the second straight year, the event will partner with Sandy Hook-based Clean Ocean Action as the designated beneficiary, with a portion of all registration fees going directly to COA and its efforts to preserve and improve the quality of New Jersey’s ocean waters and beaches.
By JOHN T. WARD
Aided by a trio of specially trained sniffing dogs, environmental detectives have zoomed in on particular locations in three towns that may be at least partly responsible for a recent spike in bacteria levels in the Navesink River, they reported Wednesday night.
At the final Rally for the Navesink event of 2016 organized after a ban on shellfish harvesting from 566 acres of the river last February, a coalition of groups identified specific sites where leaking sanitary sewer lines or septic systems in Red Bank, Fair Haven and Middletown may be contributing bacteria from human waste.
The first-ever Holiday Soirée thrown by the Red Bank Business Alliance at the Molly Pitcher Inn turned out to be quite the affair, as more than 300 attendees packed two ballrooms to sample small plates, dance, bid on artwork and generally kick off the holiday-party season. In the process, the RBBA raised some $19,000 for two nonprofit organizations — Jason’s Dreams for Kids and Clean Ocean Action.
Check out redbankgreen’s photos below to see who you know. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Five months after the series began in response to a sharp increase in fecal coliform contamination, a final Rally for the Navesink event of 2016 has been scheduled.
Organized by Clean Ocean Action and a handful of environmental advocacy groups, the periodic rallies began in June, attracting sizable audiences and offering both science-heavy updates on water quality and practical tips on keeping pollutants out of the waterway.
On Thursday, November 17, the members of the Red Bank Business Alliance (RBBA) will host their first Holiday Soirée at the Molly Pitcher Inn overlooking the beautiful Navesink River. Scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., the evening of holiday festivities will focus on supporting the business owners, consumers and residents of the Red Bank area, with an emphasis on giving back to the community.
One hundred percent of ticket sales and proceeds from the event will be donated to two locally based nonprofit organizations — Jason’s Dreams for Kids, helping local kids with cancer fulfill their dreams, and Clean Ocean Action, focusing on a project to clean the Navesink River. Guests will enjoy silent auctions, complimentary cocktail tastings, fine fare, drink specials and entertainment.
Cindy Zipf is pictured addressing a crowd at Rumson’s Bingham Hall on recent pollution issues in the Navesink River. The Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action returns to the borough on October 18, for a free public lecture event sponsored by the Rumson Garden Club.
From press materials furnished by Rumson Garden Club; Monmouth Conservation Foundation
The middle of October will see two free public-welcome discussions — one in Rumson, one in Fair Haven — that aim to furnish the public with updated information on the effort to address the pollution problem in the Navesink River, as well as provide tips on ways that individual residents and business owners can pitch in to help improve the quality of our area’s waterways.
On the morning of Tuesday, October 18, the Rumson Country Club is the setting for a special lecture entitled “Watershed Mindfulness: We Are All Connected to the Sea;” presented by Rumson Garden Club and featuring as guest speaker Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of the Sandy Hook-based nonprofit Clean Ocean Action (COA).
By JOHN T. WARD
The effort to solve the mystery of elevated bacteria levels in the Navesink River is now in the paws of real experts.
Two dogs trained to bark when they smell fecal coliform with a “human signature” have been working the waterfront in Red Bank and Fair Haven in recent days, helping environmentalists and officials source-track fecal coliform contamination, which spikes whenever it rains.
On Wednesday night, the four-footed detectives came to Riverview Medical Center to show several dozen onlookers how it’s done.
Karen Reynolds of Environmental Canine Services with Logan, checking out a storm drain in Bangor, Maine. They’re scheduled to participate in a Rally for the Navesink meeting in Red Bank Wednesday, when environmentalists will discuss plans to clean the river of fecal coliform bacteria, an effort that will involve Logan and two other canines trained to sniff out the bacteria to track its source.
Rumson-Fair Haven Regional students Tyler Lubin, left, and Noah Tucker will present their research at a public discussion of Navesink River pollution, hosted at Oceanic Library on September 22. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The state of the Navesink River — a centerpiece of local life here on the greater Red Bank Green, and the subject of numerous news stories here in 2016 — will be the topic on the evening of Thursday, September 22, when Rumson’s Oceanic Free Library hosts a public-invited panel discussion and Q&A session on the recent environmental issues affecting the waterway.
As reported here and in numerous other recent stories on redbankgreen, unacceptably high levels of bacterial pollution prompted the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to issue a ban on the harvesting of shellfish from a significant area of the river — and spurred inquiries that included a public meeting presented by Clean Ocean Action (COA), a special conference of local mayors, and even an effort to employ canine helpers in determining sources of contamination.
The situation also commanded the attention of a couple of juniors at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School — and next Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Tyler Lubin and Noah Tucker will be sharing the research that they’ve assembled over the course of the summer, during the third and latest in a series of free community forums at the library.
Hurricane Hermine brought pollution in lieu of disaster — and in honor of International Coastal Cleanup Day, United Donations Organization (uDo) is hosting a beach cleanup in Sea Bright this Saturday, September 17.
The uDo organization is working with the nationally recognized, Sandy Hook-based ocean advocacy nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. COA has led one of the nation’s longest running beach cleanup efforts, the Beach Sweeps, which are hosted semiannually and which allow the volunteers to become “citizen scientists” as they record the debris removed.
This effort serves as a leading example for how local businesses and charities can work with local government. The Borough of Sea Bright is showing great support by helping to facilitate the community initiative. By the end of the day on September 17, the beaches of Sea Bright will be cleaned and its dunes repaired.
By JOHN T. WARD
As part of what it calls a “no-blame, find it, fix it” effort, the self-styled “Rally for the Navesink” group of seven organizations delivered a “letter to Red Bank” on the issue at Saturday’s Paddle the Navesink event at Maple Cove.
Press release from Monmouth County Arts Council
On Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, the Monmouth County Arts Council invites the public to take part in a weekend of free family fun — in which the arts intersect with the wonders of our local environment — during the inaugural Zero Waste Arts Fest (ZWAF).
Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook, ZWAF represents a partnership between Monmouth Arts and Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit. The event also marks the culminating phase of a larger Gateway to the Arts grant project, a $20,000 award that Monmouth Arts received from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2016, to honor both the 50th anniversary of the NEA and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
All ages and skill levels are invited to take it to the river on Saturday, when Paddle the Navesink Day returns to the Red Bank waterfront, above, while Skimbash brings top Skim USA Pro/Am Tour action to Sea Bright. (Photo above by John T. Ward; below by Peter Lindner)
The beach-badge booths are boarded up; the “Bennys Go Home” banners lovingly folded with the care befitting a precious family heirloom. But on the ocean beaches and waterways of the Greater Red Bank Green, it’s still very much Local Summer; a busy interlude of family-friendly festivals, recreational opportunities and other welcome rituals.
The weekend ahead sees the reappearance of three such signifiers of Local Summer living — including the September edition of SkimBash in Sea Bright, and the annual Iron Girl Women’s Triathlon on Sandy Hook.
By JOHN T. WARD
Their species has been implicated as a likely suspect, but dogs may also be helpful in solving the mystery behind recent alarming spikes in bacterial pollution levels of the Navesink River, environmentalists say.
Canines trained to detect the presence of fecal coliform bacteria have been used to sniff water samples taken from the river, Clean Ocean Action attorney Zach Lees told attendees at a “Rally for the Navesink” held in Rumson Thursday night. And next month, they’re expected to be deployed in Red Bank and Fair Haven, to try to track down land-based sources of the bacteria, which occur in the intestines of warmblooded animals: humans, their pets and wildlife. Read More
If you have always wanted to kayak or try to paddle board on the Navesink River, but never knew how to get to it, now is your chance! On Saturday, September 10, Red Bank residents and visitors will once again have the chance to demo a kayak, paddle board, rowing shell, or try a class in paddle board yoga — and all for free — at the 6th Paddle the Navesink Day.
Going on from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., the event takes place at Maple Cove (foot of Maple Avenue), the only public access site in Red Bank where you can hand launch a small non motorized craft in the Navesink River.
Just West of Maple Cove is Navesink River Rowing, which will be holding an open house to offer people the chance to demo a rowing shell and get information regarding their adult and youth rowing programs.
Red Bank Administrator Stanley Sickels, left, discussed sewer lines with the DEP’s Bob Schuster after the meeting at Shrewsbury’s borough hall Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Hoping to curb high levels of bacteria associated with human and animal waste in the Navesink River, a New Jersey environmental official offered local mayors and environmental activists evidence of minor success Thursday night.
It involved horse manure.
Clean Ocean Action founder Cindy Zipf addresses a packed Bingham Hall in Rumson, where the topic was degradation of the Navesink River. Below, a map showing areas where shellfish harvesting is prohibited. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
An alarming rise in bacterial pollution levels of the Navesink River drew more than 100 people to the historic Bingham Hall in Rumson on a humid summer night Tuesday.
Among many questions to be addressed were what’s causing a rise in fecal coliform levels, and how can it be stopped?
Press release from St. George’s Episcopal Church
Presenting its fifth anniversary edition in 2016, the annual Canterbury Art Show…a Tapestry of the Arts returns to St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church for a premier local exhibition and sale of juried and non-juried artwork.
The three-day event will take place Labor Day Weekend at the historic church property, located at 7 Lincoln Avenue in Rumson. Event dates are Friday through Sunday, September 2-4, with a preview and Meet the Artists reception on Thursday, September 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Hundreds of attendees and art patrons have enjoyed the Canterbury Art show since its inception in 2011. Each year, over 600 works by artists from all over New Jersey and beyond (including Fair Haven favorite Mike Quon, whose “Sailing Out to Sea” is pictured here) are featured, with 38 new artists participating for the first time this year, according to event chair Coni Lefferts. Proceeds from the sale directly benefit St. George’s-by-the-River and its outreach grants to more than 30 local agencies serving the needy of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
By JOHN T. WARD
Eighteen months after the the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection suspended shellfish harvesting in 566 acres of the Navesink River because of unacceptably high levels of fecal coliform, Clean Ocean Action plans to host a public meeting on the issue.
The Rumson event will offer an overview of the DEP’s rationale for the January, 2015 downgrade, attributed in park to stormwater runoff, and mark the release of a Clean Ocean Action report on bacterial pollution in the river, according to a press release by the Sandy Hook-based nonprofit. Read More
Press release from Peak Projects
The live event production company Peak Projects has announced a brand new road race, taking place at one of the Jersey Shore’s most iconic places, Sandy Hook. Scheduled for the morning of Sunday, May 15, Run The Hook will commence its inaugural run — and the start of a new Shore tradition — from the historic Fort Hancock area at the north end of the Hook. The 11 a.m. race action will include 5K and 10K distances for runners of all abilities, and a portion of proceeds will benefit Clean Ocean Action, the local nonprofit dedicated to improving and protecting the quality of the waterways in the New Jersey and New York region.
According to Daragh Kneeshaw, co-founder with Joey Garafalo of Peak Projects and Run the Hook “Our hometowns and beaches have seen more than their fair share of hardships over these past several years, so it’s a thrill for us to be able to showcase Sandy Hook in our debut event, and simultaneously help the area through our partnership with Clean Ocean Action.”
Press release from Brookdale Community College
According to a December 2015 report by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), only 55 percent of New Jersey’s waters fully support one of the department’s five designated uses of water resources: water supply, recreation, aquatic life, shellfish harvest and fish consumption. The other forty-five percent support none.
What does this mean to our daily life here in the Garden State? How do watersheds function? What do we need to do to protect our supply of drinking water? And could what happened in Flint, Michigan also occur here?
On the evening of Wednesday, April 13, Brookdale Community College invites all members of the community to hear answers to these and other questions, during a free panel discussion on local drinking water, water quality and the potential risks to statewide water supplies.
A group of students from the Environmental Club at Red Bank Regional discovered a dead osprey while taking part in an October 24 Beach Sweep on Sandy Hook. The bird was studied later, to determine whether pollution-related causes were responsible for its death.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
On October 24, as part of a Fall Beach Sweeps initiative organized by the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action, more than 50 Red Bank Regional High School students and their friends descended upon Sandy Hook, collecting trash and data to help determine and reduce sources of pollution on the peninsula.
“So many of our RBR students enjoy summers at the beach, fishing, kayaking, and surfing,” explained RBR science teacher and Environmental Club advisor David Hussey. “These students took the opportunity to give back to their local marine environment that they love so much.”
The brief, sunlit window of Local Summer may be giving way to the first flush of fall, but the communities of the Greater Red Bank Green are hardly ready to throw in the beach towel on outdoor delights.
Witness the return on Saturday of a favorite riverside diversion: Shore Paddle in Marine Park in Red Bank.