RED BANK: LIVING SHORELINE HITS HARD STOP

WhatsGoingOnHererbpl bulkhead 061016 2The new Navesink River bulkhead at the Red Bank Public Library, as seen from the natural shoreline at Maple Cove. Below, a June, 1906 Red Bank Register article reported on Sigmund Eisner’s plans for the property, including the installation of a bulkhead. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
eisner bulkhead June 6, 1906

This month 110 years ago, the Navesink River site that would later become the home of the Red Bank Public Library was about to get its first bulkhead.

Over the ensuing century, such hard-stop bulkheads came to be regarded as a flawed means of protecting shorelines: less effective at blunting storm ravages than natural shores, and unfriendly to marine life. So when it authorized a controversial new bulkhead two years ago, the borough council relented to public pressure and asked that the replacement incorporate whatever elements possible to make it more like a so-called living shoreline.

In the end, however, the new bulkhead, completed this month. is pretty much the same as the old one.

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SEA BRIGHT: DOLPHIN STAY RAISES CONCERNS

Dolphin longfield Dec 2015 4A stand-up paddler got close to the dolphin in the Shrewsbury River between Sea Bright and Rumson last week. Marine experts say humans and boats should keep away from the animal.  (Photo by Scott Longfield. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Without much public notice, a lone bottlenose dolphin has been plying the Shrewsbury River for the past seven months, according to wildlife advocates who are growing concerned about its safety as temperatures drop and its food supply diminishes.

As it has in the past, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries unit regards the dolphin’s presence as a not unusual, and said the animal appears to be healthy.

But Bob Schoelkopf, founder and director of the independent Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, expressed frustration that NOAA hasn’t done anything to guide the dolphin northward through the strait that leads into Sandy Hook Bay, and that colder temperatures make such an effort more dangerous for humans.

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SHREWSBURY RIVER: BELUGA WHALES SIGHTED

shrews river 061712Recreational boats and a New York Water Taxi sharing the Shrewsbury River off Bahrs Landing in 2012. Below, the whales as seen in a photo posted on the Bahrs Marina Facebook page Monday. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

beluga whales 060115Three juvenile Beluga whales were seen in the Shrewsbury River Monday, according to multiple reports.

The Facebook page of Bahrs Marina in Highlands, six hours after first reporting the possible presence of dolphins, “confirmed” the presence of three whales just 50 feet off the marina’s dock shortly after 4 p.m.

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OTHER COUNCIL NEWS

maple-coversCarl Alderson chats with Gayle Horvath at borough hall Monday night. That’s Doreen Illis, left, and Cindy Burnham in the background.

A contingent of kayakers and others with an interest in river access turned out at Monday night’s Red Bank council meeting to again implore local officials to preserve, and maybe even install a sign at, the Maple Cove property.

Also at the bimonthly session: a nine-year-old girl sought help for pedestrians trying to get across Shrewsbury Avenue; a pair of state Department of Environmental Protection engineers gave a quick overview of the Marine Park bulkhead restoration project; and a resolution calling for the right of gays to marry was tabled.
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