Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Local Surfing Community Unites for an Epic Day at the COA Open

Great surf conditions, offshore wind, gorgeous warm weather, soldout event, and hundreds of fans combined to create an epic day on Sunday, October 7 for the Clean Ocean Action Open Surf Contest at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park in Long Branch, NJ. Surfers in eight divisions included a wide-range of ages and skill levels, from four-year old grom Kevin Flaherty to men 60+ years of age. Some of the best professional surfers in NJ and NY, including Mike Gleason, Sam Hammer, Tom Ihnken, Tom Petriken, Jon Smyth, and Brendan Tighe competed in the event. Sam Hammer,
owner and coach at Hammer Surf School and star of the acclaimed surf film, “Under the Arctic Sky”, took 1st Place in the Pro Division. Sam decided to generously donate his $1,000 winner-take-all prize to COA.

Kyle Hopfensperger, chef and co-owner of North Sea Bright, NJ-based restaurant, 2nd Jetty Seafood (left); Scott Thompson, founder of the first COA Open in 1987 and one of this year’s contest organizers; Cindy Zipf, Executive Director, Clean Ocean Action; Jack Murphy, Manager of 2nd Jetty Seafood; and Danny Ciambrone chef and co-owner of 2nd Jetty Seafood, enjoying the surf contest from the beach.
Surfers and spectators enjoyed perfect weather, great waves and free Coffee Surf Co throughout the day-long contest. Buddy Pendergast, Store Manager at Patagonia Bowery traveled from New York City to support Clean Ocean Action. COA is grateful to be one of Patagonia’s partners.

Sam Hammer, 1st Place Winner of the Men’s Pro Division
at the COA Open, donated his $1000 winnings back to Clean Ocean Action. Robert Siliato Photography
The day long contest was followed by a short Beach Sweep and an After-Party presented by 2nd Jetty Seafood in north Sea Bright where the award ceremony took place. See COA’s blog for the full list of
winners and visit COA’s Facebook page to view the photos.

Surf Contestant with young grom, Joe Descenza, demonstrating the spirit of the local community and the need to protect the ocean for the next generation to enjoy. Dano Descenza Photography
Up-cycled trophies, donated by Scott Thompson, founder of the original COA Open in 1987, were presented to contest winner at the after party hosted by 2nd Jetty Seafood in north Sea Bright, NJ
The after party included free beer from Asbury Park Brewery and Belford Brewery, wine donated by Court Liquors, and vodka donated by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Partygoers enjoyed live music from Anthony Lee Loops Trio and Friends, plus a five-star local food spread from Lusty Lobster, GiGi’s
Pizza, Anjelica’s, Tommy’s Tavern+Tap, and Woody’s Ocean Grille!

Anthony Lee Loops Trio at the 2nd Jetty After Party

Thousands of Citizens Fall for Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweeps

Over 3000 volunteers gathered on Saturday, October 20 from 9:00AM–12:30PM at over 60 New Jersey beaches and waterways to clean harmful debris at Clean Ocean Action’s 33rd Annual Fall Beach Sweeps. Cloudy morning skies didn’t deter enthusiastic volunteers from spending the day cleaning, collecting and tabulating debris that they removed from shorelines from Essex to Cape May
Counties. The data produced from this event is combined with the data from the Spring Beach Sweeps that was held on April 21, 2018 and publicized in an annual report that provides a deeper
exploration into the pollution issues throughout the Jersey Shore. The 2018 Annual Beach Sweeps Report will be released in April 2019, prior to the 34th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps. To view data presented in the 2017 Annual Report, visit COA’s website.

Leah from Brownie Troop 1407 listens to and then helps save her ocean at the Sandy Hook Beach

Beach Sweeps help reduce water pollution from beaches to stop debris from entering waterways, where they become harmful and even lethal to aquatic life. The data from the Beach Sweeps turns a one-day event into a legacy of information to improve public awareness, change wasteful habits, enforce litter laws and improve policies to reduce sources of marine debris.

Hamlet the Mini Pig at the Ortley Beach Sweep site
Preliminary results from Sandy Hook, including the top five items:
(1) – 8,890 plastic pieces
(2) – 6,413 caps/lids
(3) – 5,046 straws/stirrers
(4) – 4,203 food/candy wrappers
(5) – 1,475 foam pieces

COA’s Beach Captains are there to the direct to the hub of volunteers and individual participates at each site. These Captains lead the cleanup effort and are an indispensable part to which we owe the overall success of the program.

Group hauling a tire at the Sandy Hook, Kingham Mills Beach Sweep site

With gratitude, Clean Ocean Action thanks: AVEDA, Bank of America, Comcast and ShopRite for their 2018 Beach Sweeps Statewide Sponsorships.

Volunteer filling out a data card at the North Wildwood Beach Sweep site
 2018 County Sponsors:
Montecalvo Material Recovery facility, Enterprise, Hackensack Meridian Health

2018 Site Sponsors: Atlantic City Electric, ComcastCares, Can’D Aid Foundation, Jersey Central Power & Light and NuStar Energy, SERVPro of Eatontown and Long Branch, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and Aquarium, Baine Contracting

2018 Supporting Businesses: Water Witch Coffee, D’Alessio’s Bagel Express, MPX New Jersey, Atlantic Bagel Co.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Soggy Student Summit Didn’t Dampen Environmental Spirit

This year Clean Ocean Action celebrates 30 years of educating 5th – 8th graders at our exciting Student Summits. After all these years of mostly great weather, Mother Nature is showing us who’s the boss by raining on all three Summit dates so far in 2018! We are thrilled to say that over 300 brave students and teachers showed up ready to be “scientists for the day” at the Fall Student Summit on October 11th on beautiful Island Beach State Park.

Middle Schoolers settle into under the Pavilion
With some modifications, students were able to get up close and personal with sea critters and local naturalists.  All participants enjoyed the table mini-lessons thanks to the Ocean County MATES presenters led by their instructor, David Werner.   
MATES High School students show the middle school students local invertebrates so they can record data about them

In addition to our partners at MATES, COA would like to thank the Island Beach State Park staff, The Friends of Island Beach State Park, Jenkinson’s Aquarium, Project Terrapin and all the field presenters for their contributions to another memorable Summit.  
Baby Terrapins are always a hit at the Summit! Thank you Project Terrapin for your efforts to protect this important New Jersey inhabitant.
Horseshoe Crab expert, Kathleen Gasienica, wows the crowd with amazing facts about this prehistoric and endangered New Jersey critter.

The rain let up for the Snack Break, but started up again soon after!


NJ’s Water Citizen Scientist Programs Convene to Collaborate

US EPA Region 2 partnered with NJDEP and conducted a Citizen Science Forum at the Watershed
Institute in New Jersey on October 23. Volunteer monitoring groups from across the state participated
and shared their experiences through case studies and featured presentations that highlighted different
projects being conducted throughout the state.

Clean Ocean Action was invited to showcase the ongoing Rally for the Navesink ambient source
track down project in partnership with NJDEP as an example for successful case studies focusing on
partnerships in monitoring. COA’s Executive Director Cindy Zipf highlighted the importance of successful partnerships and collaborations with various groups including citizen volunteers, organizations, local elected representatives, and businesses. Other featured presentations included community monitoring in New Jersey (NJDEP); Delaware River Watershed Initiative (Academy of Natural Sciences), National water monitoring initiatives (Izaak Walton League of America). There were different roundtable discussions that focused on various issues pertaining to volunteer water
quality monitoring such as project design, developing and maintaining quality, new methods, emerging contaminants, and others.