SEA BRIGHT: IDEAS SOUGHT FOR PARK SITE

Sea bright anchorage park 2sb anchorage lot 040507What should become of Anchorage Park, the 1.2-acre sliver of riverside land at the foot of the Route 520 bridge in Sea Bright?

Acquired by the borough after Hurricane Sandy left the Anchorage Apartments uninhabitable in 2012, the now-vacant site may be eligible for grant money. But first, borough officials are asking for public input: should it be developed, along the lines of the concept shown above? Planted with grass and left at that?

A public discussion of the matter has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at borough hall. The regular council meeting will follow at 7 p.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

ON THE GREEN: MARINE SANCTUARY PROPOSED

Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary 2An effort to create a “water-based equivalent of a National Park” covering Sandy Hook Bay, the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers and their tributaries is the subject of upcoming informational sessions, one of which is scheduled for Monday night.

If enacted by federal authorities, the Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary would  add more than 12,500 acres of public-use parkland to eastern Monmouth County, according to proponents. Among them are the Navesink Marine Heritage Association, whose website has extensive information on the proposal.

Tonight’s presentation is slated for 7 p.m. at Crawford House at Tinton Falls. The Red Bank Public Library plans to host another on March 16 at 7 p.m. (Click to enlarge)

SANDY HOOK: A CLEAN SWEEP FOR RBR CLUB

rbr enviro 1A group of students from the Environmental Club at Red Bank Regional discovered a dead osprey while taking part in an October 24 Beach Sweep on Sandy Hook. The bird was studied later, to determine whether pollution-related causes were responsible for its death.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

On October 24, as part of a Fall Beach Sweeps initiative organized by the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action, more than 50 Red Bank Regional High School students and their friends descended upon Sandy Hook, collecting trash and data to help determine and reduce sources of pollution on the peninsula.

“So many of our RBR students enjoy summers at the beach, fishing, kayaking, and surfing,” explained RBR science teacher and Environmental Club advisor David Hussey. “These students took the opportunity to give back to their local marine environment that they love so much.”

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ON THE GREEN: WHEELS ‘N REELS OUTDOORS

surf_fishing_110215Jeff DeMent of the American Littoral Society invites anglers of all ages and skillsets to a Surf Fishing Clinic, Saturday morning at the northern end of Sandy Hook.

The clocks may have just been turned back to early-dark doldrums (you did remember to reset that one above the oven, right?), but our recent spate of warmly welcome Fall weather should serve as reminder to not break out that re-gifted Snuggie just yet — not while the colorful wooded trails and beautiful beaches of the greater Red Bank Green beckon for one more weekend.

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SANDY HOOK: NUDISTS GET MORE SAND

Any Jersey Shore denizen knows that sand migrates, even as its being used to replenish storm-depleted beaches. But the biggest beneficiary of the millions of cubic yards of sand pumped onshore to Monmouth County beaches in the past two decades turns out to be New Jersey’s only nude beach, according to NJ.com reporter Brian Donohue.

In his latest video post, Donohue informs us replenishment sand has drifted north to clothing-optional Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook, which has expanded by more than 500 feet over the past two decades and “continues to grow and grow and grow.”

So “even if all that beach replenishment doesn’t offer much long term protection against storms and rising sea levels,” says Donohue, “it certainly makes it easier for timid New Jerseyans to find some space to shed their inhibitions.” (Video courtesy of NJ.com)

 

 

MIDDLETOWN: WRITTEN ON THE WIND

windsurf 092212 5The county Park System invites one and all to a first-ever Wind and Sea Festival on Saturday…while windsurfers of all skill levels return once more to Sandy Hook Bay this Sunday, for the annual summer’s-end Windsurfing and Watersports Fun Day. 

The “warm Summer Wind” of Sinatra’s song may be giving way to the Autumn Wind “raider” of NFL Films fame…but here on the cusp of the season’s change, a hardy lot of recreationally minded neighbors are inviting people of all ages and skillsets to fill their sails and their seining nets for one more dip in local bayside waters.

This Saturday, September 19, the folks at the Monmouth County Park System have something new in store: a first-ever Wind and Sea Festival, hosted at Bayshore Waterfront Park (Port Monmouth Road at Wilson Avenue in Middletown Township) between the hours of 11 am to 5 pm. It’s a celebration of the Bayshore area’s natural assets and recreational opportunities that includes stand-up paddling, kayaking, seining, fishing, crabbing, kite flying, sand casting, shelling, nature walks and more — and for those who haven’t visited this renovated county facility (next to Monmouth Cove Marina, and incorporating the historic Seabrook-Wilson House as well as views of NYC), it’s a great way to get acquainted with a site whose beach, nature center and fishing pier have come alive with activity in the seasons since Superstorm Sandy. Admission and parking are free (although a select few activities will feature a fee), but please note that the main parking lot will be closed for the duration of the event, with parking available at the nearby Belford Ferry Terminal (10 Harbor Way in Belford), and free shuttle bus transportation running to and from the terminal lot and the park. Call (732)787-3033 for house tour info and other details.

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SANDY HOOK: BACKERS HOPE TO SAVE HOUSE

sandlass house 070415 2The Sandlass House, at the entrance to Sandy Hook, is the subject of a campaign by a new preservation group, whose logo is shown below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
save sandlass logo

The last remnant of a Sandy Hook beach club that was the subject of a Fair Haven man’s nostalgic documentary earlier this year now has a support group.

Chris Brenner tells redbankgreen that his video gave rise to an effort to save the Sandlass House, which overlooks  the Shrewsbury River from the site of a long-demolished resort called Highland Beach and is slated for demolition.

Supporters plan to press their case for preserving the structure this Friday in Shrewsbury.
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SANDY HOOK: A BLITZ IN TIME

BioBlitzAmateur naturalists, students and other volunteers are invited to assist a team of scientists in a “BioBlitz” census of species on Sandy Hook, beginning September 18.

Press release from National Parks Service

For 24 hours beginning Friday, September 18, citizen scientists will perform a “BioBlitz” operation, swarming the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area and counting as many species as possible. At the same time, free fun and educational activities will take families and individuals into the coves and trails of this seven-mile peninsula on the New Jersey coast.

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SEA BRIGHT: SKIM, SWIM INTO LOCAL SUMMER

skimbashThe annual September edition of Skimbash brings top Skim USA Pro/Am Tour action to Sea Bright this Saturday — and the Athleta Iron Girl Triathlon hits the Hook on Sunday — as Local Summer continues apace. 

Jersey Shore Tri GalsIn case you haven’t gotten the memo, it’s Local Summer — the sun is still riding high in the sky and the evenings are still long and languid as you allow them to be; even as the beach-badge booths are shuttered and the “Bennys Go Home” banners are lovingly folded and stored away in vac-seal bags for another season.

Veteran locals can tell you that September on the greater Green is a busy interlude of family-friendly festivals, recreational opportunities and yearly ritual tournaments — and this weekend, two genuine signifiers of Local Summer return to nearby beaches, with the re-appearances of SkimBash in Sea Bright, and the Athleta Iron Girl Women’s Triathlon on Sandy Hook.

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LATE SUMMER FUNRAISING, ‘ROUND THE GREEN

View of the BayBayside tables await guests at last year’s End of Summer Party on Sandy Hook. The annual fundraiser hosted by the Sandy Hook Foundation returns to the North Beach area of the peninsula this Friday evening, as one of several events of interest in the coming days.

An earlybird kickstarter for the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day celebration…a late-summer sendoff out on Sandy Hook…and a no-time-like-the-present “Shop and Sip” socializer on behalf of the Middletown Library…all dedicated to raising funds for year-round fun on the greater Green, and all on tap in the September days and nights to come.

This Friday morning, September 11, sees the first in a series of special events keyed to the annual Rumson Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on March 13, 2016, as Rumson Country Club hosts an “Erin Open” golf outing that commences with a “shambles format” shotgun start at 8 am. On-site registration begins at 7 am, and there’s an invitation to convene at the club’s River House for a post-Open  cocktail reception and barbeque luncheon (featuring awards ceremony, auction and door prizes) that begins at 12:30 pm. Tickets for the reception and luncheon are $75, and information on event registration and sponsorship opportunities can be had by emailing info@rumsonstpatricksdayparade.org — while more community get-togethers in a “Done Good” vein await, after the break.

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SANDY HOOK: SUNKEN VESSEL LOCATED

just_in1

Authorities searching for a 40-foot boat reported to have sunk off Sandy Hook Tuesday afternoon have found a sunken vessel, the New Jersey State Police reported Wednesday morning.

But they haven’t confirmed if it’s the “Jefe,” which was reported missing, according to a statement issued by the agency.

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SANDY HOOK: SEARCH ON FOR SUNKEN BOAT

sheriff boat 082215The Monmouth County Sheriff’s boat Marine 1, seen here in the Navesink on Saturday, is involved in the search. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

Authorities launched a massive search for a 40-foot boat reported to have sunk off Sandy Hook Tuesday afternoon, according to news reports.

The search, involving Coast Guard and police vessels, divers and helicopters, began with a 4:30 p.m. report of a 40-foot vessel sinking in the Sandy Hook Channel, abc7ny.com reported.

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SANDY HOOK: RED BANK MAN’S BODY FOUND

just_in1The body of a swimmer who went missing off Sandy Hook at dusk Wednesday was found by a fisherman early Friday, according to a news report.

The victim was positively identified as 25-year-old Andros Vega-Pena of Red Bank, according to National Park Service spokeswoman Daphne Yun.

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SANDY HOOK: CREWS SEARCH FOR SWIMMER

sandy hook 070415 3Sandy Hook as seen from the Azzolina Bridge footbridge last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

just_in1Searchers resumed their hunt Thursday morning for a swimmer who went missing off Sandy Hook at dusk Wednesday, a National Park Service spokeswoman tells redbankgreen.

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IRON COWBOY NAILS 50-50-50 RECORD

iron cowboy 070415 8HOT-TOPIC_03Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence, seen above in Sea Bright on July 4, successfully completed his 50-50-50 campaign to do a record 50 triathlon-length workouts in 50 states in 50 days Saturday, according to news reports. He wrapped up his effort, aimed at calling attention to childhood obesity, in his home state of Utah.

Lawrence’s 29th day began at Sandy Hook and ended more than 15 hours later in Sea Bright. Click here to read redbankgreen’s coverage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

SANDY HOOK: CALLING ALL BIO-BLITZERS

bio-blitzPart public science project, part beat-the-clock fun competition, the second annual Bio-Blitz invites all members of the community to help take a snapshot of the diversity of plant and animal life on Sandy Hook.

Press release from American Littoral Society

It’s part contest (racing against the 24-hour clock), part educational event, part scientific endeavor, and all fun — it’s the second annual Bio-Blitz, and starting right now the American Littoral Society is inviting the public to take part in a major undertaking on September 18 and 19, designed to “create a snapshot” of Sandy Hook’s biodiversity.

By identifying as many species as possible during that 24-hour period, the Littoral Society can paint a picture of 2015 Sandy Hook, and the breathtaking array of plants, fish, birds, bugs, reptiles and furry creatures who make their summer home on the peninsula. Collected over time, this data can lead to valuable information about the effects of climate change and habitat degradation on the species that utilize this area. This will also be a unique opportunity to teach the public about the biodiversity that exists along New Jersey’s coast — particularly the unique mix of species that’s found only within the Gateway National Recreation Area.

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SEA BRIGHT: IRON COWBOY WRAPS 29TH TRI

iron cowboy 070415 7iron cowboy 070415 9Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence, who’s on a 50-day campaign to do 50 triathlon-length workouts in 50 states to call attention to the obesity epidemic, completed his 29th on Saturday, arriving at the Beachwalk motel in Sea Bright at 10:18 p.m, more than 15 hours after his day began.

“He’s like a machine,” said borough Councilman Charlie Rooney, who escorted Lawrence by boat as the Utah man began his day with a 2.4-mile swim in Sandy Hook Bay. Rooney and other cyclists also accompanied Lawrence on a 112.29-mile bike ride. The day ended with a 26.2-mile marathon-length run for Lawrence and members of the Sandy Hookers Tri Club.

Is he nuts? “I’m very aware of my mind and my body,” Lawrence told redbankgreen. “This is very purposeful.”

 See redbankgreen’s story from earlier this week for full details and information on how to help the cause. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

SANDY HOOK: IRON COWBOY MOTORS ON

iron cowboy 070415 1iron cowboy 070415 2Continuing his quest to complete 50 triathlon distances in 50 states in 50 days, a groggy “Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence got ready to enter Sandy Hook Bay with members of the Sandy Hookers Tri Club Saturday morning, the 29th day of his journey. “Every day, they wake me up, drag me out and throw me in a body of water,” he joked. “This is the worst case of Groundhog Day I’ve ever seen.”

The Utah man, who holds the Guinness Book records for most half- and full tri distances in a year 22 and 30, respectively – is seeking another one to raise awareness about the perils of obesity.

His Independence Day agenda included a 1.2-mile swim, a 112.29-mile bike ride and a total 26.2 miles of running, ending with a jog into downtown Sea Bright at about 7 p.m. See redbankgreen’s story from earlier this week for full details.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

SEA BRIGHT: IRON “INSANITY” ON THE GREEN

Now almost halfway through a push to complete 50 triathlon distances in 50 states in 50 days, James Lawrence discusses his aims in the above video.

HOT-TOPIC_03James Lawrence, a record-smashing triathlete who bills himself as the Iron Cowboy, plans to bring his campaign to complete 50 Ironman-distance triathlons in 50 states in 50 days to the Greater Red Bank Green on Saturday, July 4.

Yes, you read that correctly: 50 tris in 50 days in 50 states. Insane, right?

“Yeah, pretty much,” says Doug Rice, founder of the Sandy Hookers Tri Club, which is coordinating the Jersey leg of Lawrence’s epic endurance effort.

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LINCROFT: FORT HANCOCK ON AGENDA

ft hancock 4 070113The first of four  public meetings on the preservation and repurposing of Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook, including the bayside Officers’ Row, above, will be held Friday in Lincroft.

ft hancock 1 070113For more than 70 years, it stood at the ready, protecting lower New York Harbor and the northern Jersey Shore from invasion by sea. Between its founding in 1898 and its decommissioning in 1974, the United States Army base at Fort Hancock was a center of activity at the northern tip of Sandy Hook — and today its landmark buildings await decisions on their preservation and ultimate repurposing.

This Friday, June 26, members of the public are welcome to attend the first in a series of four meetings of the Fort Hancock 21st Century Federal Advisory Committee, hosted inside the Visitors Center at Thompson Park, Newman Springs Road in Lincroft. Committee members will be joined by representatives of Gateway National Recreation Area, the federal Landmark District that includes the entire Sandy Hook peninsula. Scheduled to commence at 9 am, the meeting will include a regularly scheduled public comment period that begins at 11:30.

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SANDY HOOK: TRUCK IT HERE FOR LUNCH

imageDavid and Rose Rivera of Elizabeth have the right idea: stopping for a bit of barbecue after a bike ride at Sandy Hook. Below, a map showing food truck locations in the park. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Sh truck mapThe food concessions at Sandy Hook have remained closed since being wiped out by Hurricane Sandy. But food trucks have been filling the void, and the stomachs of park visitors.

A recent Facebook post by Gateway Nation Recreation Area touts 10 food trucks at the national park, peddling everything from brain-freezing ice-cream to “naked empanadas” at the clothing-optional Gunnison Beach, naturally.

Parking Lot D, the largest on the hook, is home to four of these trucks. PieHole stopped by to check out the menus.

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SANDY HOOK: BEACH BLANKET FREEBIES

kirk jirks 072013 3Brian Kirk and the Jirks head back to the beach when the free concert series on Sandy Hook returns Wednesday evening. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Grab those beach chairs from the garage and shine up your best dancing flip flops: the season of free outdoor summer concerts is upon us, with the local action keynoted as always by the Sandy Hook Beach Concert Series.

Presented at 6 pm each Wednesday by the Sandy Hook Foundation at Beach Area E, the long-running slate of all-ages, all-welcome celebrations comes equipped with sandy seating, natural A/C and complimentary sunsets. It all begins anew on Wednesday with a season starter starring Brian Kirk and the Jirks.

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SANDY HOOK: A GALA START TO SUMMER

brian kirk 061612The tents will be pitched, the dress will be casual, and Brian Kirk will sound the season’s keynote, at the annual Jersey Shore Partnership Summer Celebration this Monday evening at Fort Hancock.

They call themselves The Sand on the Beach People — a privately funded initiative dedicated to “raising the awareness of state and federal officials and the general public to the need for safeguarding the shoreline through beach restoration and other shore protection methods.”

Born out of the devastating coastal storms of the early 1990s — and with a resolve strengthened all the more by Superstorm Sandy — the Jersey Shore Partnership is serious about its mission. None of which is going to stop the JSP from having its share of seasonal fun, as the big tent is pitched for the annual host “friend raising/fundraising” Summer Celebration this Monday evening, June 8.

Going on between 5:30 and 9:30 pm (and with a rain date of Tuesday, June 9), the gala affair assembles a collection of local dignitaries, public/private sector VIPs and philanthropic-minded individuals in a scenic Fort Hancock setting overlooking Sandy Hook Bay. But leave the tux and gown at home — the dress is casual, and the overall vibe is beachy, thanks in large part to veteran beach-bar entertainers Brian Kirk and the Jirks.

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