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15th Anniversary Celebration and Dredging Kick-Off Party
Where: THE HEADLINER, NEPTUNE NJ
When: THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2016
6:00 PM-10:00 PM
What: BANDS, FOOD, GIFT AUCTION, ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED IN ALL AREAS FOR THE HEADLINER EVENT!!
PLEASE EMAIL US IF YOU CAN HELP US OUT!!
Our Shark River has been the focus of a long battle to maintain and preserve this valuable natural resource. It is used by local residents and summer visitors for boating, fishing, and other forms of recreation. Businesses along the river depend on a healthy river to maintain their livelihood. Landowners depend on the river to keep their home values stable. Wildlife depends on the river for survival.
Since 2001, the mission of the Shark River Cleanup Coalition Inc. has been to enhance the water quality of the Shark River Estuary and its fresh water tributaries, to improve and protect habitats important to the conservation of wildlife, to protect the recreational and commercial uses from degradation and pollution; thereby ensuring the ecological health and economic stability of this important watershed.
After over 15 years of urging the decision makers to develop and implement a dredging plan for the Shark River, we are excited that the first step is finally taking place, thanks to the efforts of some of our local politicians and “Save Shark River” advocates. Mobile Dredging, the contractor, started the process in late December and continued through the beginning of January. The dredging process will start up again on July 1- December 31, 2016. In order to celebrate this FIRSTSTEP, a fundraiser is being planned for June 30 at the Headliner, which will recognize and acknowledge the recent efforts to protect, preserve, and restore our estuary, the Shark River, and the many recreational sports and pastimes that take place on it.
However, we fear that this first step may be the only step that is taken. The current plan calls for the dredging of 101,494 cubic yards of sediment in the southern navigational channels of the Shark River. This plan leaves many shorelines along the Shark River clogged, silted in, and dying a slow death. Our voices need to be heard now, so that our politicians know that this struggle is not over. Help us to Save the Shark River Watershed by supporting our Headliner event.
Donations of food, gift auction items, etc. are welcome as well. Tickets for the event will be available at a later date. You can also make a tax-deductible donation at, http://sharkriver.org/donations/, or mail your contribution to SRCC, PO Box 2241, Neptune City, NJ. All donations will be used to continue our battle to preserve our river, and more than ever, we need your presence at this event to send a clear message to our legislators that we intend to continue our fight to keep the River alive.
On behalf of myself, the SRCC Board of Directors, and our members, we would like to thank you in advance for your help and support.
James McNamara, President William Sciarappa, Board Member
Arlene Sciarappa, Secretary John Brennan, Board Member
Jeffrey Hoffman, Treasurer Matthew Gregg, Board Member
John Dempsey, Board Member Toto Tasso, Board Member
The dredging officially ended on Monday, Jan. 11. The permit does not allow dredging to resume until July 1.
Over 60 people turned out to clean the banks of the Shark River on Saturday October 24th. Groups included environmental clubs from St. Rose High School, Neptune High School, members of the Neptune Lions club, the Neptune Rescue and Recover dive team, boat owners, families, and other SRCC supporters. Over 75 bags of garbage, including plastic bottles, aluminum cans, plastic ware, Styrofoam, plastic bags, food and candy wrappers, wood and logs, shoes, tires, fishing equipment, beach chairs, metal, construction material and other debris were collected. The biggest pollution offender by far was cigarette butts.
Neptune City Mayor Bob Brown addressed the volunteers about the upcoming dredging project and the importance of continuing to find funding to dredge and/or remediate other areas of the river such as Memorial Park beach and Campbell’s boatyard. Neptune City mayoral candidate Pamela Renee and Assembly candidate Joanne Downey also assisted/attended the river cleanup to show support for the Shark River. The cleanup was held in collaboration with the Clean Ocean Action statewide beach sweeps campaign.
After a kick-off breakfast at Memorial Park, cleanup volunteers returned for a noon time BBQ to report their finds and further discuss solutions to saving the Shark River.
Check out some of the pictures below!
After almost 40 years some of the river channels are scheduled and funded to be dredged. The DOT awarded a contract to Mobile Dredging and Pumping Company in the amount of $7,649,817.50 dollars to dredging the navigational channels in Shark River. 101,494 cubic yards of sediment will be removed to create boat channels that will be 10 feet wide by 6 feet deep.
We would like to thank some of the people who helped make this happen. Special thanks to the Save Shark River group, a division of the Shark River Cleanup Coalition, founded by John Dempsey, president of the Shark River Boat and Yacht Club. Spearheading the effort to secure the funding for this project were Senator Jennifer Beck, Freeholder Thomas Arnone, and Neptune Township Committeman Randy Bishop. Their persistence was vital to achieving this milestone. In addition, special thanks to Mayor Matt Doherty of Belmar and Mayor Robert Brown of Neptune City for their full cooperation in offering dredge sites in their towns. Thanks also to all the citizens who made their voices known that our valuable asset must be protected and maintained. It is important for all to remain vigilant, as this is only the first step that must be taken to restore the health of our river, as SRCC has been advocating for over 15 years.
Besides, the navigational boat channels, further funding is needed to dredge other sites along the river, including Memorial Park beach in Neptune City, Musquatch Cove and South Riverside Drive beach in Neptune. In addition, municipalities that surround the river need to monitor upstream development and storm runoff to minimize siltation.
More importantly, the Wall Committee needs to work with all the surrounding towns to protect and save the Shark River. Wall has been contributing to the ongoing sedimentation in the river for over 70 years without a plan to help remove it. The residents of Wall Township can benefit if the town works with the Monmouth County Freeholders and National Marine Fisheries to provide a dredge site at Camp Evans, which can be converted into parkland with hiking trails, a wildlife sanctuary, sailing, restoration of historic sites, and educational and environmental programs. Once the dewatering of the dredge material is completed, the ecosystem and the Monmouth County community will benefit both environmentally and economically.
Imagine if ALL our elected officials worked together for us!
A letter written by SRCC Secretary, Arlene Sciarappa to the Asbury Park Press on July 7th, 2015 that discusses the realities of dredging the Shark River.
Jim Keady and Randy Bishop wrote letters to the Press addressing political influences on dredging the Shark River.
Politics getting in way of Shark River dredging
Here is a letter to the Asbury Park Press by Jim Keady, New Jersey Assembly candidate, 30th District regarding political influences on dredging the Shark River.
Excerpt: “Many involved in the fight to dredge the Shark River ask that politics not get in the way. But the unfortunate reality is that politics have gotten in the way. The two former mayors of Wall have led the charge against using the Camp Evans Area to dry the dredging materials — a classic case of “not in my backyard.”
Don’t let politics hinder dredging project
Here is a letter to the Asbury Park Press by Randy Bishop, Committeeman, Neptune Township discussing that dredging the Shark River is not a political issue, but a quality of life, economic and environmental issue.
Excerpt: “I was disheartened when I saw the press release from state Sen. Jennifer Beck’s office concerning the current status of the Shark River dredging project. What dismayed me was not the status, though many think it is slow (and I would agree), we are farther along with a greater probability of the channel dredging becoming a reality than we ever have been.”
Neptune residents living on Seaview Island in the Shark River packed this week’s Township Committee meeting seeking more information about a proposal to use vacant property there to dewater dredge materials from the river.
On June 23rd, it was announced that the DEP has NOT APPROVED any of the sites offered in Neptune City. It was also announced that no other sites in Neptune will be approved except for the small site on Seaview Island.
You can view copies of the plan either from the Neptune Township Website – http://www.neptunetownship.org/sites/default/files/documents/PublicNotice/Permit%20Application%20to%20dredge%20Shark%20River%20channels.pdf , or by downloading a copy of the .PDF by clicking here: Dredging Permit Application
Here is a segment that aired on June 12th, 2015 on NJTV that covered how the Shark River Cleanup Coalition is frustrated the Shark River hasn’t been dredged yet. The state Department of Transportation says it has applied for the necessary dredging permits, but advocates say the scope of the project doesn’t go far enough.