50 Years Of Environmental Action And What Lies Ahead

In 1970 there were no osprey on the Monmouth County Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers. While few actually realized it at the time the rivers were seriously polluted with sewage, pesticides and oil. Now the ospreys are back, together with eagles, dolphins, seals and many other species that had nearly disappeared. Today there is open winter clamming and the water quality is better than in hundreds of years.

The NJ Friends of Clearwater (NJFC) along with the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association (NMHA) want to remind us of how far we’ve come, and also what more can be done at an open public meeting Sunday, May 19 at 1 pm at the Eatontown Community Center, 72 Broad Street in Eatontown.

Rik van Hemmen, a marine engineer, President of NMHA, and lifetime member of NJFC, will discuss the conditions in the 70’s, compare them to today, and provide focus on the future.
“While there is still much room for improvement, it is a good time to give ourselves a hearty pat on the back for the progress we have made in the last 50 some years,” said van Hemmen. “Often things may appear bad, but we should never forget how truly bad things were in the 1970’s.”

Garvey sail

“We especially want to invite young people -high school and college age – who may not be as familiar with these conditions and origins of the environmental movement,” said Chrissie Goedkoop, President of NJFC. “We have made major strides in protecting Mother Earth and we need all ages to be involved to continue that progress.”

Light refreshments will be served. NJFC will also present its 49 th NJ Clearwater Festival Labor Weekend in Asbury Park, a celebration of the environment in music and song with information from environmental groups. And this summer, NMHA will be providing rides on Pete’s Banjo, NJFC’s Barnegat Bay Garvey, and run its River Rangers program for kids on the Navesink River.

For information about these organizations go to www.njclearwater.org and www.navesinkmaritime.org

Photo captions (Credit Rik van Hemmen):
1. The return of the Osprey
2. The NJ Friends of Clearwater Garvey, built by Navesink Maritime
Heritage Association.


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