On August 11, 2016, Clean Ocean Action organized the 2nd Rally for the Navesink Public Meeting at the First Presbyterian Church of Rumson to hear presentations about the status of pollution and jellyfish in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers. Nearly 100 attendees also heard from local groups about citizen-led water quality testing programs and how they are helping to track down pollution.
Dr. Bologna of Montclair State University updated the public on the status of Clinging Jellyfish, an invasive species with a powerful sting, found for the first time in New Jersey in the Shrewsbury River. Bob Schuster, Chief of the NJDEP Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring discussed the results of discussed the results of recent water quality testing during dry and wet weather while Zach Lees of Clean Ocean Action released the results of the “ship and sniff” testing, utilizing a partnership with Environmental Canine Services (ECS) and their scent-trained canines.
Dr. Nicole Fahrenfeld of Rutgers University School of Civil and Environmental Engineering explained results of DNA analysis on bacteria found in the Navesink.
Debbie Mans, Executive Director of NY/NJ Baykeeper, reported that the Royal Flush Pump Out Boat, which operates on Fridays and Saturdays until October 1, has successfully collected 6,500 gallons of waste and chemicals from boats in the watershed. Mans also referred to Baykeeper’s citizen-led water testing program in the Bayshore region designed to help identify and address problem areas. Joe Stark from the Oceanport Water Watch reviewed their successful local water quality testing programs, one of the longest-running in the state that may serve as a model for the Navesink River watershed.
All of these source tracking results generally indicate that there is a signature of human waste, as well as domestic animal and wildlife waste in the river. To wrap up the meeting, Clean Ocean Action announced that the Environmental Canine Services dogs are coming to NJ the week of September 19 to help track down human sources of pollution. COA presented a multi-faceted citizen action campaign to engage all seven communities in the Navesink River Watershed. Activities are coordinated on the Rally for the Navesink Facebook page and include shoreline cleanups, jellyfish spotters, storm drain detectives, educational restaurant placemats, multi-cultural outreach, and water quality testing.
In addition to Facebook, community members are also encouraged to access the Rally for the Navesink Google Drive Folder that contains important research documents, presentations and a fill-able form for volunteer interests. The link to this drive is located on the Facebook page, as well as on the home page of cleanoceanaction.org. For instant updates and constant connection to Clean Ocean Action and access to Rally for the Navesink download the free application for iPhone and android by texting “COA” to the number: 732-444-8885.
For more information, please call 732-872-0111, email info@CleanOceanAction.org or visit Facebook.com/RallyfortheNavesink to become involved.