River 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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
The 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)
Post 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.)
The 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.)
A 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.)
A wind speed probability forecast issued by the National Hurricane center at 2 a.m. Friday. (Click to enlarge.)
A 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.
As 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)
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.)
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.
The 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.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Aside 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.
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