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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: 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: PETE’S BANJO PLIES THE NAVESINK

petes-banjo-091716River watchers may have noticed a distinctive two-masted vessel with red sails plying our beautiful Navesink on recent Saturdays. That’s Pete’s Banjo, a replica of a 19th-century Tuckerton Oyster Garvey built by members of New Jersey Friends of Clearwater and named in honor of late folk singer Pete Seeger. A true sailboat, it has no motor, so “when there’s no wind, we have to row it back to shore,” says Clearwater’s Charles Gross. 

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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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ON THE GREEN: SUN SETS ON SUMMER

sunset-092116-1The final sunset of summer 2016, as seen on the Navesink River from the Oceanic Bridge linking Rumson and Middletown Wednesday evening. Autumn arrives Thursday at 10:21 a.m.

The new season arrives with plenty of sunshine and a peak temperature in the high 70s, according to the Weather Underground(Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

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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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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ON THE GREEN: WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK

rb-sunrise-090916heat-forecast-090916Clouds lay above our beautiful Navesink River at dawn Friday, as seen from the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank. 

The weekend weather outlook for the Greater Red Bank Green includes continued muggy conditions through Saturday, with temperatures peaking above 90 degrees and possible thunderstorms, before we see a return to sunny skies and moderate temperatures Sunday, according to the National Weather Service(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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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ON THE GREEN: TODAY’S LOCAL FORECAST

rb clouds 090716forecast-090816Thick clouds loomed west of Red Bank Wednesday afternoon, as seen from Maple Avenue and West Front Street.

According to the National Weather Service, Thursday’s forecast includes partly cloudy skies, with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, and temperatures reaching about 90 degrees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: GOODBYE TO SUMMER

luis 090516 7SUMMER-SCENESThe final installment of  our Summer Scenes series finds photographer Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado down on the banks of the Navesink River once again. He shot this photo through the boat storage racks of Irwin Marine at Union Street and Boat Club Court in Red Bank.

“Yes, I am drawn to the river,” says Luis, who spent part of the summer rowing with Navesink River Rowing. “The river is just an open space, like there’s no trees or, most of the time, people. And sunsets look great because you can kind of see the reflection of the sunset or what’s on the other side of the river on the water.”

redbankgreen thanks Luis for his wonderful photos, and wishes him the best as he enters eighth grade at Red Bank Middle School. His other Summer Scenes photos may be viewed here(Photo by Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado. Click to enlarge)

LUIS DELGADO BIO BOX

ON THE GREEN: HERMINE BYPASSES REGION

hermine 090516Post Tropical Cyclone (formerly Hurricane and Tropical Storm) Hermine, seen from the Long Branch boardwalk Monday afternoon, as the Greater Red Bank Green enjoyed sunshine and soft breezes, untouched by the rain and strong winds of the storm.

Dangerous ocean rip currents remain, however, along with the threat of minor flooding, as the area faces a mostly cloudy day Tuesday, with a chance of rain after 2 p.m., winds gusting as high as 33 miles per hour, and temperatures peaking at around 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

SEA BRIGHT: BRACING FOR HERMINE

sb hermine 090416 1StormWatchThe forecasted impacts in terms of both rainfall and tides from Tropical Storm Hermine have been reduced as the storm moved farther east into the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center announced Sunday morning. Still, “moderate” but widespread coastal flooding is expected with the Sunday night and Monday morning high tides.

In Sea Bright, borough workers were busy removing lockers and completing a berm of sand on the municipal beach Sunday morning.

Elsewhere, Jersey Central Power & Light said it has more than 2,400 linemen, forestry workers and other support personnel standing by should high winds and flooding interrupt service to its central and northern New Jersey customers . (Click to enlarge.)

sb hermine 090416 4

ON THE GREEN: RAINFALL FORECAST UPDATED

hermine rainfall forecast 090216StormWatchA weakening of Hurricane Hermine as it traveled across the Florida panhandle led the National Weather Service to downgrade it to a tropical storm early Friday. But the future track of the storm remains uncertain, and it could douse the area that includes the Greater Red Bank Green in up to three inches of rain Saturday and Sunday, the NWS said in a forecast issued Friday morning. (Click to enlarge.)

 

ON THE GREEN: STORMY WEEKEND POSSIBLE

wind speed probabilities 090216A wind speed probability forecast issued by the National Hurricane center at 2 a.m. Friday. (Click to enlarge.)

StormWatchA category-one hurricane named Hermine was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Florida early Friday, and is now expected to travel northeast along the Eastern Seaboard according to the National Weather Service.

But with “quite a bit of uncertainty” in the storm’s track afterward, the impact on the Greater Red Bank Green’s Labor Day weekend is unclear.

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RED BANK: A SUMMER MOMENT BY THE RIVER

luis 082816 9SUMMER-SCENESAs the lazy days of summer 2016 wind down, Summer Scenes brings you this placid view of the Navesink River lapping softly at the shore at the home of Navesink River Rowing in Red Bank.

The photo is the latest in the Summer Scenes series. The others may be viewed here (Photo by Luis Enrique Santamaria Delgado. Click to enlarge)

LUIS DELGADO BIO BOX

ON THE GREEN: WEATHER TO FROLIC IN

sb dolphins 081916 1sb dolphins 081916 2Visitors to the Sea Bright municipal beach were treated to the sight of a dozen or so dolphins feeding just offshore last Friday.

Whether the dolphins will stick around is unknown, but Monday kicks off what looks to be a week of sunny skies, peak temperatures in the low 80s and cool nights, according to the National Weather Service.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK CHARTER STEM PROGRAM SETS SAIL

RBCS summer STEMPress release from Red Bank Charter School

Jayshawn Banks, an eighth grade student at Red Bank Middle School, peeks above the top of his laptop — just enough time to compare the sailboat blueprint he’s developing on his screen with the real dinghy that is being assembled just a few feet away.

Jayshawn’s classmate, Shelly Vasquez, a seventh grader at Red Bank Charter School, does the same. Both are intent on the task at hand: to build a sailboat. And while both students know they can get quick answers from their teachers in the room, they remain steadfastly independent, choosing to work with their peers instead.

“We feel like architects,” Jayshawn said. “And when we run into problems, we know we can ask the teacher, but we’d rather figure it out ourselves.”

This balance of independence and collaboration is a hallmark of the five-week RBCS Summer Institute, available to all elementary school-aged children.

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ON THE GREEN: ONE MORE DAY OF THIS HEAT?

heat map 081616The good news weatherwise on the Greater Red Bank Green is that a cold front is expected to arrive Wednesday and put an end to the recent heat wave. The bad news is that we still have to get through Tuesday, when heat values are expected to again reach the “excessive” range, according to the National Weather Service. There’s also a 40-percent chance of severe severe rain with strong winds in the afternoon, the agency forecasts, (Click to enlarge.)

RUMSON: CLINGING JELLYFISH GONE FOR NOW?

navesink rally 081116 2A slide shown during a presentation on clinging jellyfish by Montclair State University marine biologist Paul Bologna. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Aside from the fact that they’re dime-sized and pack a truck-sized wallop in their sting, not a lot is known about clinging jellyfish. But a recent profusion of the creatures in waters in and off New Jersey has led to some insights, a marine biologist told a gathering in Rumson Thursday night.

One is that they’re a favored meal or sea nettles, larger jellyfish also known for their sting. Another is that, for this summer at least, the sea nettles may have eaten them all.

“They’re kind of gone for the season,” Paul Bologna, director of marine biology and coastal sciences at Montclair State University, told attendees at a Rally for the Navesink organized by Clean Ocean Action and other environmental groups and held at the First Presbyterian Church.

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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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SANDY HOOK: CLINGING JELLYFISH TARGETED

clinging_jelly_newA closeup view of the clinging jellyfish (Gonionemus vertens), an invasive species from the Pacific Ocean that packs a painful sting. (Photo courtesy of  the American Littoral Society. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The clinging and stinging jellyfish that prompted the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association to cancel this summer’s River Ranger program is clearly something to be avoided.

Still, the American Littoral Society is hoping to get a closer look at the dime-sized creatures.

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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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