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NAVESINK: BACTERIAL HOTSPOTS IDENTIFIED

rally-navesink-113016Zach Lees of Clean Ocean Action talks about tracking bacteria along storm sewers upland from Red Bank’s Marine Park Wednesday night.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Aided 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.

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RED BANK: SOIRÉE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON

rbba-111716-20
rbba-111716-4The 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)

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RED BANK: RIVER CONTAMINATION UPDATE SET

rb mbc 092214HOT-TOPIC_03Five 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.

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RED BANK: A SEASON’S SOIREE AT THE MOLLY

mollypitcher (1)Press release from Red Bank Business Alliance

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.

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CLEAN WATER EVENTS IN FAIR HAVEN, RUMSON

CINDY ZIPF 062816Cindy 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).

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RED BANK: JUST A COUPLE OF WORKING SNIFFS

sniffer-dogs-092116-1Scott and Karen Reynolds demonstrate the olfactory talents of Remi, right, and Sable (0bscured) in a conference room at Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The 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.

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RUMSON: SPOTLIGHT ON THE NAVESINK RIVER

Tyler Lubin Noah Tucker 062816Rumson-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.

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SEA BRIGHT: CLEAN UP VOLUNTEERS WANTED

sea-bright-beach-1Press release from United Donations Organization

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.

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RED BANK: CLEAN NAVESINK PLAN URGED

navesink-anchor-field-090916The Navesink is safe for boating, but that’s a “low bar” for quality, the group told Red Bank officials in a letter. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A consortium of environmentalists, boaters and fishers is urging Red Bank officials to adopt measures to address recent spikes in bacterial contamination of the Navesink River.

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.

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SANDY HOOK: ZERO WASTE, MAX FAMILY FUN

Lisa Bagwell PizzaRecycled-materials sculptures by Lisa Bagwell are among the art works featured during the Zero Waste Arts Fest, going on September 17 and 18 at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook.

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.

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ON THE GREEN: PADDLE, SKIM, RUNBIKESWIM

rb paddle day 091414 12All 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)

skimbashThe 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.

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RUMSON: DOGS ENLISTED IN RIVER CLEANUP

navesink rally 081116 1Clean Ocean Action founder Cindy Zipf addresses a ‘Rally for the Navesink’ audience at the First Presbyterian Church in Rumson Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Their 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 »

RED BANK: ONCE MORE ‘ROUND THE RIVER

rb paddle 091215 5Press release from Red Bank Council President Cindy Burnham

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.

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SHREWSBURY: NAVESINK EFFORT UPDATED

sickels schuster 080416Red 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

HOT-TOPIC_03Hoping 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.

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RUMSON: RIVER HEALTH ISSUES DRAW CROWD

CINDY ZIPF 062816Clean 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

Navesink suspension acreage 011016An 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?

“We all know what the smoking gun is: stormwater runoff,” Christopher Obropta, a specialist in water resources with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension.  Read More »

RUMSON: ART SHOW RETURNS FOR LABOR DAY

Press release from St. George’s Episcopal Church

Sailing_out_to_Sea,_Mike_Quon,_2-10-16Presenting 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.

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RUMSON: NAVESINK POLLUTION ON AGENDA

rb navesink 071915A view of the Navesink River from the Red Bank Public Library. Below, a map of showing where shellfish harvesting is banned or suspended. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Navesink suspension acreage 011016Eighteen 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 »

A FIRST CHANCE TO RUN THE (SANDY) HOOK

Press release from Peak Projects

Run the HookThe 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.”

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LINCROFT: WATER ON THE TABLE, AT BCC

Press release from Brookdale Community College

Carleton MontgomeryAccording 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.

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SANDY HOOK: A CLEAN SWEEP FOR RBR CLUB

rbr enviro 1A 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.”

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RED BANK: WHAT’S SUP? FIND OUT SATURDAY

rb paddle 091215 17The annual Shore Paddle fundraiser for Clean Ocean Action travels upriver to Red Bank’s Marine Park for the first time Saturday.

rb paddle 091215 20The 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.

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RED BANK: MOVING UPRIVER, WITH PADDLE

SUPPress release from Paddle Guru

The summer SEAson is almost over, but it’s still a great time to be on the water, as well as to enjoy one last paddle with friends at Shore Paddle, the annual fundraising Stand Up Paddle event that presents its 2015 edition on Saturday, September 26 — and in a brand new location.

Hosted by Paddleguru, this final event of the SUP season offers something for all ages and experience levels, and benefits Clean Ocean Action, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting our coastal ecosystems and waterways, keeping them safe and clean for all paddlers, swimmers, and beachgoers. While the setting for Shore Paddle remains the beautiful Navesink River, the event’s continued growth and popularity has resulted in its moving a few miles upriver this year, to Red Bank’s Marine Park.

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RED BANK: RIVER PADDLING UNDERWAY

rb paddle 091215Rowers, kayakers, canoers, standup paddlers and others gathered at Red Bank’s Maple Cove Saturday afternoon for the fifth edition of Paddle the Navesink Day. The free, get-aquainted-with-the-waterway event runs until 4 p.m., rain or shine.  (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)