With the basement meeting room already full, an overflow crowd gathered on the library’s main floor hoping to be allowed in Wednesday night. Below, the sanctuary would include Sandy Hook Bay, the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and their tributaries. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The main proponent of a “marine sanctuary” that would include some 12,500 acres of northeastern Monmouth County waters found himself pounded by wave after wave of criticism Wednesday night.
With 75 or so commercial and recreational fishermen, clammers, hunters and others packed into a basement meeting room at the Red Bank Public Library, and a comparable number turned away due to crowding, maritime historian Rik Van Hemmen got a cold reception for his proposal for a Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which he hopes will win federal approval.
“We’ve got enough layers of bureaucracy,” Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, told Van Hemmen. “This is going down. We’re going to fight it.”