River RangersAfter suspending the program in 2016 in part over concerns about elevated bacteria levels in the Navesink River, officials at the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association are reviving the summer educational program, the group announced Monday.

The five-day program instructs children aged 10 to 14 about small-craft boating and marine life. Out of an “abundance of caution,” officials cancelled the 2016 elevated levels of bacteria found in animal and human waste prompted the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to declare 566 acres of the river off-limits to shellfish harvesting.

Since then, a coalition involving Clean Ocean Action, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and other groups has source-tracked the bacteria with the help of specially trained dogs to several storm drains, which flush the waste into the river after rain- and snowfalls. Research has also shown that the tidal river quickly dilutes and sweeps away the contaminants. 

“This understanding has enabled NMHA to safely restart the River Rangers program for 2017, as the daily program will avoid those locations that are polluted after a rainstorm,” the group said in an announcement. Visit the NMHA website for more information. 

Meantime, the coalition’s next ‘Rally for the Navesink’ meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. at Bingham Hall in Rumson. (Photo courtesy of  Navesink Maritime Heritage Association. Click to enlarge)