paddle 2 090812Participants of all ages and skill levels are invited to take it to the river on Sunday, when Paddle the Navesink Day returns to cover the Red Bank waterfront. (Photo above by Peter Lindner; below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

PaddleIt’s called Paddle the Navesink Day — and it’s all about kayaking, canoeing, sailing, rowing, and just generally enjoying Red Bank’s picturesque riverfront from a whole different perspective.

When it returns for its fourth edition on Sunday after taking 2013 off, the rain-or-shine event will show its late-summer colors as “a free community-wide celebration of the Navesink River;” a convergence of local businesses, boating clubs and nonprofit organizations that’s hands-on, oars-in, and all about the history, culture, and ecology of the waterway from which a community took shape.

Going on between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm, the slate of activities centers around the Maple Cove area at the river’s-edge foot of Maple Avenue (adjacent to the Hovnanian headquarters). It’s there that paddlers can enjoy “mini guided demo tours” of the river, with Navesink River Rowing hosting learn-to-row sessions and previewing its programs for ages 14 and up. Brick-based Jersey Paddler will be on scene, offering 25 different types of kayaks and stand-up paddle boards to demo. All participants will be provided life vests and paddles, and all demo sessions are free.

There’s more at the Cove, courtesy of environmental and historical groups like Navesink Maritime Heritage Association, who will be hosting informative presentations and hands-on activities for kids (with info offered on their River Rangers children’s summer program).  The Sandy Hook-based chapter of the American Littoral Society will offer kids a chance to go seining —  the drag-net process that allows children to acquire “wonders” that make their home in the river, with the wonders then placed in a touch tank to learn about and touch. Clean Ocean Action will be on hand with a fish printing craft activity — and representatives from S.E.A.S., a nonprofit group that offers sailing lessons at all levels to adults, will be on hand to answer questions about all their programs.

From there, take it a short hop east to the historic Monmouth Boat Club, where visitors will be offered free sailboat rides, hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as information on the club’s adult and youth sailing programs.

For more details on Paddle the Navesink Day, contact borough Councilwoman Cindy Burnham at or (732) 241-9532; or Linda Ensor at or (732) 693-3067.