Clean Ocean Action founder Cindy Zipf speaks at Bingham Hall during a June 2016 public meeting on degradation of the Navesink River. The nonprofit COA returns to the Rumson community center on April 27, for a followup forum on water quality monitoring and boat pumping stations.  (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In 2016, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection condemned over 565 acres of shellfishing habitat due to bacterial pollution. In response, the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action established Rally for the Navesink — the name for an alliance of 32 locally based organizations, as well as for the series of events that the COA has conducted over the course of the past year.

On the evening of Thursday, April 27, Rally for the Navesink returns to historic Bingham Hall in Rumson — scene of a well-attended public forum in June of last year — for a “Find It, Fix It” presentation that seeks to provide information on pumping station facilities for boat owners, in addition to putting out a call to concerned citizens who wish to assist in the community-wide monitoring of water quality in the river.

Scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the all-welcome event will offer information on a new program that seeks to identify and eliminate contributing sources of pathogen contamination in the Navesink River, through “citizen science” sampling and monitoring. The program will implement a long-term bacteria source tracking system and a “hot spot” monitoring investigation throughout the watershed.

Scheduled speakers at the Thursday evening meeting include Michael Danko of New Jersey Sea Grant. The nonprofit’s Assistant Director Extension Marine Recreation Agent for Fisheries and Boating will be addressing the current pump-out stations and boats in the Navesink River area. Additional speakers are COA staff scientist Swarna Muthukrishnan, Phd; Trish Ingelido of the state Department of Environmental Protection, and Brian Rice, Chairman of Navesink River Municipalities Committee.

A partnership between Clean Ocean Action, the Navesink River Municipalities Committee and the NJDEP Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring will undertake a weekly volunteer water quality sampling program. Clean Ocean Action will be seeking dedicated volunteers to participate in the weekly water quality sampling program, and anyone interested in participating in the program is invited to attend the April 27 Rally for the Navesink meeting for more information, and to hear requirements for participation.