Neptune City, NJ – Despite the predicted forecast of rain, over 80 people volunteered at the biannual Shark River cleanup held at Memorial Park on Saturday, October 1, according to Shark River Cleanup Coalition event organizer Arlene Sciarappa of Neptune City. Teams of volunteers headed out to various sites around the Shark River in Neptune City, Neptune, and Wall Township.

Approximately 50 students from Rutgers University arrived by bus to assist in the cleanup as part of their Scarlet Day of Service. “It was so great to see so many young people come out on such a dreary Saturday to take part in the cleanup effort, said Shark River Cleanup Coalition President, Jim McNamara, of Neptune Township.

The coalition began holding two annual cleanups, one in the fall and one in the spring, in 2001. The amount of trash collected, which includes plastic, tires, cigarette butts and driftwood, remains consistent, he said. The cleanup netted over 75 bags of litter, in addition to piles of wood, metal, and plastic.

In addition to the Rutgers volunteers, over 30 residents from Neptune Township, Wall, Neptune City, and other surrounding towns came out to help. Neptune Township supplied the group with trash bags, vests, gloves, and pickers, and provided a dumpster as part of their Clean Communities funding. Neptune City Public Works donated gloves, and Wall Township assisted with the trash collection as well.
Coalition board member John Dempsey, Ocean Township, said the coalition has more than 500 members and business sponsors. Dempsey said that in addition to keeping the shoreline free of litter, we need to continue to work toward preserving the Shark River, and restoring it through much needed dredging.

Speaking to volunteers Saturday afternoon, Monmouth County Freehold Tom Arnone discussed the current dredging project, and efforts to ramp up the amount of material that still needed to be dredged. He stated that a clarifier will be arriving next week that should double the amount of output each day from 750 cubic yards to 1500 cubic yards. Although the project was scheduled to begin July 1, startup was delayed until September 6, or over 2 months. ” I have been committed to protecting the Shark River from the time I was Mayor of Neptune City. We all share this beautiful natural resource, and I’m sure all of the surrounding towns will benefit from what you do today,” he said.
Dr. Bill Sciarappa, SRCC technical advisor and John Brennan, Esq., SRCC legal consultant, seized the opportunity to educate the Rutgers students, many of them who had never been to the Jersey shore, of the importance of protecting our watershed, and enforcing stormwater regulations.

Volunteers are welcome to help and can contact (732) 988-SRCC (7722) for more information. Visit their facebook page, Save Shark River, or website, www.sharkriver.org. The SRCC is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that works to protect the Shark River Watershed through water monitoring, river cleanups, advocacy, educational outreach, and community events.

PHONE: 732-988-SRCC (7722) For Immediate Release

E-MAIL: sharkrivercleanupcoalition@hotmail.com October 4, 2016

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