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Save our Waters

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Save our Waters

Sally S Bruno

 "Water. Its found everywhere on Earth, from the polar ice caps to steamy geysers. And wherever water flows on this planet, you can be sure to find life."[1]

Bald Eagle

New Jersey's waterways and surrounding environs are home to over 200 rare species, including the noble Bald Eagle.[2]  It is our priority at Flow Paddle Yoga to secure the future of these animals, and the enjoyment of the waterways for ourselves and generations to come.

Join us for the second Rally for the Navesink meeting to be held Thursday October 20 at 7 pm (details below). This meeting is a gathering of local communities and organizations vested in the cleanup of our waterways.  The first meeting was held on Thursday September 21st and included presentations from Clean Ocean Action, NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the Navesink River Municipalities Committee.  While the exact source of the elevated contaminants is still under investigation, the group reviewed clear Actions we can all take to help clean up our waterways, including:

-       Clean up after your animals’ waste

-       Use organic fertilizers

-       Eliminate improper disposal of oils, detergents (from washing cars, homes, etc.) and other contaminants

-       Upgrade private & public storm drains

Reports show that the geo-mean for the Navesink area is still safe for swimming.  It is only after heavy rainfall that we see a high spike in contaminants, which is a common occurrence.  Some NJ officials going as far as to advise against swimming in any ocean, river, lake or bay within the 24-48 period immediately after a heavy rainfall.[3]

A canine pathogen tracking system has been initiated in the Navesink watershed area and potential sources for contamination include:

-       Animal waste runoff (from both domestic animals and livestock),

-       Improper waste disposal,

-       Illicit and degraded pipe connections,

-       Outdated storm drains,

-       Increased pavement and blacktop (leading to more runoff and less absorption)

-       And more. 

The Navesink contamination is part of a greater trend.  This past summer at least 2 NJ Ocean beaches, 4 bay beaches and 6 river beaches were temporarily closed due to elevated bacteria counts.[4]  In Monmouth and Ocean County alone, 19 oceanfront beaches were under advisory due to elevated counts.  In 2015, 2 ocean beaches and 18 bay and river beaches were closed.[5] All beaches eventually reopened for bathing.  New Jersey has a long history of struggling with water and environmental contamination, not just from bacteria but from chemical dumping as well.  It is estimated that NJ experiences an average of 8.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals dumped into its waterways yearly, making it the 12th worst in the country.[6]  Luckily, there are actions we can take to help improve our water quality, which is important not only for our safe enjoyment but also for the health of our wildlife and environment.

The next Rally for the Navesink meeting is coming up Thursday October 20 at 7 pm at the Knollwood School (224 Hance Road) in Fair Haven. 

There will be presentations and discussions on:

-        Storm water management practices

-        Mitigating soil run off

-        Proper fertilizer application

-        Organic gardening,

-        And more

Come out and be a part of the solution!

 

[1] Tia Ghose, “Why is Water so Essential for Life?” www.livescience.com, (September 29, 2015)

[2] “New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide”, www.conservewildlifenj.org, (October 12, 2016)

[3] Dan Alexander, “Blame it on the Rain and the Bacteria”, www.nj1015.com, (July 27, 2016)

[4] Kala Kachmar, “3 Things to Know About Beach Closures”, www.app.com,  (August 4, 2016)

[5] “Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program”, www.njbeaches.org, (May 2016)

[6] Megan Fitzpatrick, “8.5 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Dumped into New Jersey’s Waterways”, http://www.environmentnewjersey.org, (April 4, 2012)

 

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