It has been an incredibly busy and productive six months in the Navesink River Watershed. In June of 2016, COA released its in-depth report documenting the state of water quality in the Navesink River. This was done at what was the first of five well-attended public Rally for the Navesink meetings, which provided the public an opportunity to learn more about issues ranging from pathogen pollution and water quality, clinging jellyfish, stormwater infrastructure, river-friendly living and native plants, living shorelines, and much more.
In the following weeks, COA solidified the Rally for the Navesink campaign, undertook outreach efforts to community groups, schools, and businesses, worked with elected and government officials, and combined strengths with numerous organizations working in the watershed to tackle the daunting pollution problems facing the Navesink. In mid-September, COA received funding from several sources to bring Environmental Canine Services (ECS) (the human sewage-smelling dogs) to the Navesink River area to perform a week-long intensive source-tracking investigation. Concurrently, representatives from municipalities, NJDEP, Monmouth County, Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority, and USEPA worked alongside COA and ECS to investigate infrastructure, observe the dogs in action, and perform side by side lab sampling.
After several weeks of efforts the ECS report documenting this week-long investigation was released at the Rally for the Navesink public meeting on November 30 – the last public meeting of 2016. These results were also given to NJDEP, each municipality, and Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority in order to assist everyone’s efforts in identifying and fixing any failing infrastructure in the area. COA will continue to work with these partners in improving the water quality in the Navesink, through source-tracking and infrastructure repair, education and outreach, and stormwater reduction actions.