RED BANK: REMOVING ‘CRAP’ LEFT BY OTHERS

Boris Kofman, above, and Michael Paul Raspanti, below, during Saturday’s riverfront cleanup on Red Bank’s West Side. (Photos by Wil Fulton, above, and Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Duane Bowker stood in the wooded area above the Swimming River in Red Bank and pointed.

“Some roofer, this is his favorite place to throw his crap – and drink beer,” he said. “Over here is a plumber’s favorite place to throw his crap.”

The occasion was Saturday’s cleanup effort by members of the borough Environmental Commission and the environmental nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. They teamed up to tackle a riverbank full of tires and construction debris at the western end of Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

A plumber and a roofer apparently aren’t the only offenders. Michael Paul Raspanti, a recent addition to the commission, said there are so many tires embedded so deeply in the slope to the river that to remove them would be to risk a landslide.
“It’s upsetting to keep digging and find layer upon layer of garbage,” he said.
Raspanti suggested that the best way to ward off any further dumping is to make the area more attractive to the public.  “With more exposure, people are less likely to dump there,” he said.
While the West Side clean-up was underway, Raspanti’s sister Tara and his partner Jamie brought the couple’s seven-year-old daughter and a friend of hers to Marine Park, where they gathered two bags of garbage in the course of an hour.
Other participants in the clean-up were Environmental Commission member Boris Kofman and Navesink Swiming River Group organizer Jerry Keelen.