Just this past February, a spill occurred in the Arthur Kill area, during which a rail car leaked approximately 1,500 gallons of crude oil into the regional waterways. To the people of the American Littoral Society, the incident served as a perfect example of why we need trained eyes on the water.
On Saturday, May 7, the Oceanic Free Library in Rumson will be the setting for a free free Spill Spotters Network workshop, in which attendees will learn how to help protect coastal wildlife and habitat when an oil spill or other pollution event hits our waters.
Scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event is preceded at 10:30 by on-site registration, and will kick off with a screening of the short video Oil in Our Waters, about the illegal dumping of oil from ships. This film explores the extent of the problem, the impact of oil on the marine environment, the creation of MARPOL, the rewards for whistleblowers, and the penalties faced by polluters caught in the United States.
A live presentation follows on the Littoral Society’s Spill Spotters program, featuring a demonstration of the Marine Defender App.
Following a light lunch served up free of charge, workshop participants are invited to head outside and participate in a biological assessment along the nearby riverfront. Identifying and documenting our coastal natural resources is a vital first step in protecting them from harm. Waders will be provided, but be prepared to get wet and muddy during the assessment portion of the program.
As members of the Spill Spotters Network, participants in the May 7 workshop will be better positioned to understand the impacts of oil spills on wildlife, habitat, and water; to monitor and collect data about vulnerable coastal areas; to respond in ways that enhance New Jersey’s official response to spills, and to use the Marine Defender App to report oil spills, pollution, algal blooms and other problems in our waters.
Interested participants should RSVP by Thursday, May 5 to Julie Schumacher at [email protected], or call (732)291-0055.