New Jersey Friends of
September 10-11 2016
Brookdale Community College
765 Newman Springs Road
Larrison Hall Commons
Lincroft, NJ 07738
Directions to Location
11:00am - 7:00 pm Saturday & 10am - 5pm Sunday
FREE! TWO DAYS! FREE!
This Year's Theme:
Environmental Justice: Get The Lead Out!
Top Name Local & International Performers!
on Three Stages
Join Us at Clearwater Festival's
Environmental Justice Roundtable at 1PM
Children's Area with Arts & Crafts
Our Founder: A Long Exemplary Life
Bring Your Own Blankets and Chairs
Climate Change Hot Seat Program @ June 5th NJFC Monthly Meeting21 May 2016 by Ed Dlugosz
Members and Guests,
All are invited to join NJFC for its General Membership Meeting at 12 Noon followed by an interactive discussion about the Earth's greatest threat with noted climatologist, Dr Michael Schwebel for his presentation:
We always have a potluck lunch during the meetings, so bring something to share. After the meeting, if you really want to be entertained, stay for our monthly Circle of Song sing-along.
Circle of Song
Our Festured Leader-Performer for June 5 will be Rob Lincoln
Similar to the Circle of Song Stage at our NJ Friends of Clearwater Festivals, there will be opportunities for audience members to take a turn or two to play - or to sing along - please bring your instrument. But if you wish, just come and listen. We encourage songs about the environment and sing-along songs, but you can do or request others.
Ingrid Heldt and Isis Ra are our organizers. Our suggested donation of $3-$7 is still split between NJ Friends of Clearwater's free Annual Festival (our 41st in 2016) and Pastor Sony's work on behalf of the homeless and the hungry in Asbury Park.
Rob Lincoln is a singer-songwriter from southern New Jersey who, in 2014, released his debut 2-disk solo album "5 Cents A Song," the longest debut recording ever released by an artist, with 300 original songs spanning 30+ years of songwriting. Lincoln's lyrics tend to be from a variety of unusual perspectives and they can be funny or sad. His musical style ranges from finger-picking folk to psychedelia and garage rock. In the past few years, other performers have added his songs to their repertoire and recordings, and his political songs have been added to the international website www.antiwarsongs.org. Lincoln is also the founder of two long-running songwriter events: the Philadelphia Area Songwriters Alliance Summer Songfest and the PASA Houseconcert Series. He can be found at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/roblincoln .
Please check www.ingridmusic.com under Circle of Song or www.NJClearwater.org under Links/Circle of Song for this and other potential changes to planned Circle events or call 732-869-9276. Our Leader-Performer for July 3 will be announced.
New Jersey Friends of Clearwater and Festival Foundation Story08 Sep 2015 by As Told By Bob Killian
"As far as the founding...
After spending 6 months living at the Seeger place in Beacon, NY with Toshi and Pete, recording on the 1st Sloop Singer Album with Don McLean, Pete, Gordon Bock,, Lou Killen, etc., and learning how to run the 1st Shad Festival Sail/Sale from NYC to Croton, I was touring with a Hurdy Gurdy player from Brittany, France named Sonia Malkine. I played 5 string banjo and she played Hurdy Gurdy. We were doing benefit concerts for Clearwater.
Sonia set up a concert at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lincroft, NJ. We performed at the morning service and did a concert in the afternoon. The concert was well attended. After the concert the minister, Harold Dean, came up to me and said, "How come there isn't a Clearwater program here in Monmouth County? God knows the water needs attention." And I said, " Well. I guess it's because no one started one and was willing to keep it going until it caught on!" He looked into my eyes for a long time. Then he said, "Oh"! I went on to do other concerts for Çlearwater. But that "Oh" Harold Dean said kept playing on my mind.
I grew up in Union County (Exit 136) and bought a boat when I turned 16. My best friend Marty and I hauled that boat down to Keansburg whenever we could and had a grand time water skiing on Raritan Bay. [That is] until one day the water seemed to get thick and turn red, and we didn't want to go in it anymore. So, I had an idea what Harold Dean meant when he said the water needed attention.
I made some friends at that concert in Lincroft and started coming down from Woodstock, NY to visit them. I moved down to Little Silver where Judy Marlowe allowed me to rent her spare bedroom. I asked some of the friends I had met at the UU concert to come to a meeting at Judy's house. We talked about the possibility of starting a Clearwater group in Monmouth County. They were enthusiastic! We decided September was a good month for a festival.
I met a scientist at the UU congregation named Dr. Robert Tucker, who worked for the National Fisheries Department at Sandy Hook. He invited me to come out and tour the lab. At that time, no one could get out to Ft. Hancock at the end of Sandy Hook unless they worked there or had a pass. I had Dr. Tucker's name and they let me through. I explored the lab and understood the importance of the work he was doing...exploring the capability of blue crabs to adapt to the minimal levels of oxygen in Sandy Hook Bay due to the introduction of so many pollutants from industrial (IFF- National Lead, etc.) and military-(Earle Ammunition Depot, Ft Monmouth) polluting the rivers and dumping in the bay.
After I toured the lab, I decided to take advantage of being in the restricted area at the end of Sandy Hook and drove around. I drove down Officers' Row along Sandy Hook Bay and when I came to the end of the Officers' houses and saw the Chapel I stopped and took in the view. The chapel was on the edge of the water. To the west was Raritan Bay and the sunset! What a fantastic sight for a festival! What a magnificent vista for people to see and recognize that we must preserve and restore the environmental integrity of the gifts we've been given! I had a vision of 10,000 people enjoying the sunshine and music and peace in sharing the beauty.
A few days later I called Dr. Tucker and asked him if he thought we might be able to do a festival at Sandy Hook. He said he didn't know, but he was willing to introduce me to the Park Administrator to discuss it.I took him up on his offer. I met with the Park Administer who was an avid American Folk heritage advocate. He had been charged with finding a way to bring people out to the end of Sandy Hook in an organized, structured manner so that the public could see the value of the resource and apply political pressure to make the money available thru congress to develop Sandy Hook for public access.
It was a hand-in-glove relationship, although I did have to present the festival in a more "folk arts" idea than I intended. That festival was held the 3rd weekend in September, 1975. We had no sound system, no stage. I think there may have been a dozen people there who brought home made brownies and apple cider to share. We sat around the outside of the chapel and sang folk songs. At the end I asked if they wanted to do it again next year and they all said, "Yes!" So we did! And again. And again. And again. And.... here we are....40 years later!!!!
I know I get the credit for starting the festival. But, if it wasn't for the hard work and dedication of all the volunteers over the years that put their hearts and souls and sweat and...sometimes tears into keeping Pete's vision and mine alive, this could not have happened! I could name a hundred friends that worked to keep Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater and now continue working to keep New Jersey Friends of Clearwater going and I know I'd forget someone. So, you all know who you are. And from the bottom of my heart I thank you. If Pete were here I know he'd say "Keep on keepin' on!" And I do too!"
Clearwater Festival celebrates its roots in the life of Pete Seeger [Part 1]
05 Sep 2015
by Adam C. Uzialko, Atlanticville Staff Writ
By Adam C. Uzialko, Atlanticville Staff Writer
The 40th annual New Jersey Clearwater Festival will have at its heart a day of remembrance and celebration of the men who started it all - Pete Seeger and Bob Killian. Presented by the New Jersey Friends of Clearwater, the free Clearwater Festival will take place at Brookdale Community College on Sept. 12.
The next day a concert and celebration of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater founder, the late Pete Seeger, will take place at the nearby Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County in Lincroft. Seeger died last year at the age of 94.
The story of how Seeger's New York-based environmental nonprofit, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, expanded into New Jersey is rooted in the early 1970s, when the iconic folk-singer/songwriter was using his influence to defend the most precious natural resource the planet has to offer: water.
Killian was, by his own admission, something of a hippie - archetypal long hair, bushy beard and all - when he first met Seeger in 1973. Killian accepted an invitation to travel with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, sailing up and down the river in the boat the group was named for, selling pumpkins to raise money for the environmental group's endeavors, as well as to connect the nearby residents with the river itself. "It was the second pumpkin sale [the group held,]" Killian said in an interview. "We sold these pumpkins in towns along the river to get people to see it as a vital resource."
Killian signed on to sail for just one day, but was offered a longer-term spot by a volunteer who had to back out. He took it, perhaps altering the course of his life. One night during the trip, while Killian was on watch to make sure that no one cut the lines and set the boat adrift - he said there was much antipathy toward Seeger and the Clearwater crew back then - he began to write a song based on the sea shanties he heard during his travels with the group. "Once I got home I finished the song and sent it to Pete," Killian said, not sure if the folk singer would even respond. But sure enough he did, and it turned out Seeger loved the song so much that he invited Killian up to his home in Beacon, N. Y., to help work on an album.
"He lived in this log cabin he had built himself on eight acres right by Breakneck Ridge on the Hudson River," Killian said. "He grew up wealthy ... in a privileged household, but he had elected to live modestly and simply." Seeger and his wife, Toshi, allowed Killian to stay in a room attached to the barn. When the album was finished, Seeger had another proposition for Killian. "He wanted to start a Hudson River Shad Sale," Killian said.
Much like the pumpkin sale, it would be intended to raise money for the Clearwater group, as well as awareness of how important and viable a resource the river was. "I didn't know anything about [organizing] that sort of thing ... but this had been such a phenomenal experience ... that I decided to do it," Killian said. Using Seeger's files, Killian called up celebrities, musicians and media professionals to see if they would be interested in participating in such a festival. It all came together quickly when he explained to them it was Seeger's brainchild.
"The first festival was in Harlem, in front of the Apollo Theater," Killian said. "We marched from the Apollo to the Hudson, where the Clearwater was docked." Volunteers then sold fresh caught shad to the entourage that had followed them to the water's edge, a celebration that Killian called "an amazing experience." The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc. repeated this sort of procession again and again in New York towns along the Hudson River with great success. "[The roots of ]The Hudson River Clearwater Revival Festival was born," Killian said. Not long after, Killian left Seeger's home in Beacon and set out on a tour of his own, playing folk music all across the country.
[More, See Part 2 Below & Next]
Clearwater Festival celebrates its roots in the life of Pete Seeger [Part 2]
05 Sep 2015
by Adam C. Uzialko, Atlanticville Staff Writer
[Part 2, Continued]
Originally from Linden, it wasn't long before Killian ended up back in his home state for a benefit show at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lincroft. He would be staying with a friend who lived in Little Silver, with no idea that the town was near his family's former vacation spot of Ocean Grove. "I just felt like something was bringing me back here, and I didn't know what it was," Killian said.
Following the show, a local minister approached Killian, asking why nobody had bothered to start a Clearwater effort in Monmouth County. "Lord knows that water needs attention," Killian recalled the minister saying to him. It took him a while to get the hint, but eventually it hit him. "I thought, 'okay, I guess I'm supposed to do it,'" he said.
Killian found a job working at Brookdale Community College as an artist in residence to pay the bills. He kept going back to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, where he met a group of people dedicated to the values and ideals that Clearwater represented.
One of those members, Dr. Robert Turner, was working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook and invited Killian out to see his laboratory. "After that, I took a look around Fort Hancock ... and I had a vision of a festival right there in that spot along Officers' Row," Killian said. "The timing was perfect. [The administrator] had been told to find a way to bring the public out in an organized way, so they could see the resource that was available out there."
The group was then the host to an American crafts festival, which would form the bedrock of the New Jersey Clearwater Festival for years to come. That first year, Killian said only a dozen people showed up for an acoustic set, some food and companionship.
Then, the next year, they secured a stage and a sound system, attracting about 100 people. That number grew to about 500 the following year. Eventually, the festival was bringing in about 15,000 people, according to Killian. "Somebody just needed to start it and keep it going long enough for it to catch on," he said. "I just happened to be crazy enough to do it."
Today, the group is the host to educational programs for students, both in schools and on the boat, teaching them about the interconnectedness of the environment and waterways.
Killian moved to Florida in 1999, but is making his way up to his birth state for the festival. "I feel very proud of it," Killian said. "I also know how much it takes, and there are some very dedicated volunteers that make it happen. "People are so dedicated to the idea. I changed and augmented what I learned from Pete, but he dedicated his life to building a community where people would take active control in order to have a better life."
Brookdale Community College will serve as the host to the 40th annual New Jersey Clearwater Festival on Saturday, Sept. 12. The festival is free and open to the public. The event will include environmental exhibits, music in a range of styles, food vendors, crafts and children's activities.
The following day, Sept. 13, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1475 W. Front St., Killian and the Hudson River Sloop Singers will honor Pete Seeger. with a concert at 3 p.m. called "Pete's Gang" featuring an open mic. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. For more information visit http://www.mcclearwater.org/festival.php or UUCMC.org.
CLEARWATER FESTIVAL TIME!16 Aug 2015 by Ed Dlugosz
New Jersey Friends of
September 12 2015
Brookdale Community College
765 Newman Springs Road
Larrison Hall Commons
Lincroft, NJ 07738
Directions to Location
11:00am - 7:00 pm
FREE! ONE DAY! FREE!
This Year's Theme:
Celebrating Our 40th Festival & Our Founders
Pete Seeger and Bob Killian
Top Name Local & International Performers!
on Three Stages
GO TO NJFC FESTIVAL PAGE FOR DETAILS
CIRCLE OF SONG SINGERS: @40th Annual NJFC Clearwater Festival11 Aug 2015 by
Tommy and Abby Anton,
Circle 'Round the Sun, Jim Crawford,
Cosby Gibson, Ingrid Heldt, Dale Lakata,
Sharleen Leahey, Dennis MC Do No Ugh!,
Bob Mecklenburger, Sally Neal,
Isis Ra with Linda Phillips,
Rosemary Wright and others
THANK YOU ALL!16 Sep 2014 by Ed Dlugosz, President NJFC
39th Annual Clearwater Festival
Tribute to Pete Seeger
Thank You to Festival:
City of Long Branch
and especially our
Festival Musicians & Stage Managers
Pete Seeger Volunteer of the Year:
Our Youth Volunteer Awardees:
Tireless Festival Committee Members
NJFC Environmental Achievement Awardee:
Climatologist Dr. Jan W. Dash, PhD
for his unselfish dedication to our planet &
expert support to NJFC
People's Climate March 9/21/1427 Aug 2014 by Ed Dlugosz
With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we'll take a stand to bend the course of history. We'll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.
To change everything, we need everyone on board.
SIGN UP NOW or at the 39th Clearwater Festival
President's Message16 Sep 2014 by Ed Dlugosz
Tribute to Our Founder, Pete Seeger
I was truly saddened when I was informed of his death just before midnight on January 27. I will mourn the passing of this man--this giant, my friend--Pete Seeger. If ever there was a life well-lived and exemplary, it was Pete Seeger's. He was a true leader, a courageous activist, and steadfast friend. He was a mentor, source of support and inspiration to me and to so many people. However, it is not enough just to mourn Pete, we all need to embody his spirit and values in solving the challenges ahead of us.
Pete always thought of himself as modern day Johnny Appleseed. Instead of a sack of apple seeds, his brain had held thousands of ideas that he spread proverbially: spread them out to many, would watch for those that took root in fertile minds, and tended those with advice and care. Cleaning the River and the global environment, creating our Sloop Clearwater to be the symbol of that fight, and the creation of Sloop Clubs-NJFC among them-to embody his mantra of Think Globally, Act Locally are a significant but small number of his ideas that helped change the world.
Another of Pete's seeds was to combine finest in folk, rock, blues, gospel, and children's music with environmental education and activism to get the message across in a way no other media can. An annual tradition since 1975, the free Clearwater Festival is known for its mix of live music, arts and environmental education and advocacy in a family-friendly (late) summer party. NJ Clearwater has spent the last 40 years teaching the lessons of clean, clear water and stewardship of our waterways, hence our name. This year, our 30+ musical acts will pay Tribute by performing at least one of Pete's many songs in their own style on each of our 3 beachfront stages. Our location right on the Great Lawn is the perfect spot for NJFC's message of respect for natural resources.
The number one issue on our planet is Climate Change. It takes so many forms. Please visit our NJ Friends of Clearwater environmental educators, activists, and their displays to learn more about how you as an individual, group, town, and state can make a difference in the fight against human-caused climate change. This year we are spreading the word and helping organize the People's Climate March (PCM) to be held next week, Sunday September 21 in NYC. Tens of thousands of people from across the country will be arriving aboard trains, planes and automobiles. The PCM will unambiguously and emphatically inform the UN officials that the nation wants UN action to fight CC. We have invited fellow NJ PCM organizers to quickly speak from our stages and participate in an open public forum entitled the PCM Roundtable, located adjacent to the Clearwater displays. This Roundtable will follow our annual Environmental Justice Roundtable.
Also visit our guest PCM and all activists' booths for more information. Visit our Clearwater environmental displays, our sailboat, and join our great group at our membership booth. Enjoy the many talented performers on 3 stages. Join in at our open-mike Circle of Song. Visit our artist & crafter area. The goal of our festival is for every person attending to walk away with a greater understanding of, and commitment to, environmental stewardship. Thank you all for coming out and showing your support for a healthier environment.
President, New Jersey Friends of Clearwater
NJFC Memorial to Pete Seeger, Sunday February 2, 2014
03 Feb 2014
by Ed Dlugosz
For many years, our monthly Membership and/or Environmental Committee meetings were held at the Eatontown Community Center, (ECC) until recently. The NJFC monthly Circle of Song, in its last 2+ years of existence, has been on the first Sunday of the month at the Turnstile Cafe. COS was a victim of its own success with a conflict between the size of our audience and the size of the coffeehouse's own clientele We had to find a new venue. Last month we brought both of them back to the first Sunday to the same venue, the ECC. This was fortuitous and allowed for our rapid response to the passing of Pete and the setting up of the Memorial.
With few exceptions the large audience from the film, including many performers, stayed for the COS. Our featured act, Circle 'Round the Sun started off COS' day appropriately with The Hammer Song. Next month's featured act, Sharleen Leahey led Rainbow Race, after which NJFC's former sloop was named. Ingrid Heldt, organizer of COS, did The Water is Wide. The usual 20+ COS performers enjoyed the wonderful acoustics of the Presbyterian chapel mentioned earlier. Sharleen ended the day with a rousing We Shall Overcome. Ingrid said what we all felt at the end of the day, "This event went so well and was so needed. People needed to do something - to heal."
My Favorite Remembrance of Pete03 Feb 2014 by Ed Dlugosz
Pete always thought of himself as modern day Johnny Appleseed. In fact he has an album entitled Seeds: Songs of Pete Seeger. Instead of a sack of apple seeds, his sack was his brain which held thousands of ideas which he spread proverbally: he spread them out to many but would watched for those that took root in fertile minds and tended those with advice and care.
One such seed was handed over to me and it changed my life. He wanted to understand how environmental organizations who modeled themselves after his Clearwater organization adapted themselves to their local situation (Think globally, act locally), i.e., an organization that used a boat as a visible symbol and platform for environmental advocacy, education, and action.
Pete gave me the challenge of organizing and leading the conference entitled "Ships to Save the Waters" (StStW) back in 1998. We talked about it for years after he came up with the idea in the late 80s. Pete's dream was to bring all the clubs and organizations "back home"
We registered over 40 organizations including those from overseas: the Cousteau Society, Jeanie Johnston, Green Peace, Sebbe Als, and Picton Castle from France, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, and Fiji-Cook Islands/Lunenburg, NovaScotia, Canada, respectively. In fact, Madame Francine Cousteau (Jacque's wife) gave the Keynote Address at which she bestowed on MC Ed Dlugosz an iconic red watch cap that Jacque and the Calypso crew members wore. Way cool!!!! I was her escort and chauffeur for the conference weekend.
Among the US organizations were the 9 Clearwater Sloop Clubs, Schooners Black Pearl, Pioneer, Inland Seas, Argia, and Voyager. There were several ongoing shipbuilding projects that were in the process of building the schooners Sultana, Denis Sullivan, and Amistad. Other organizations included: ASTA, ALS, COA, Sierra, the Bay and River Keepers of NY/NJ, Raritan, Hudson, & Hackensack and many others. Almost every organization had a presentation to give. Mine was entitled "Merging Activism & Education: What's the Fit?". It still applies today (http://www.mcclearwater.org/docs/ED_activism_education.pdf).
StStW attracted hundreds of activists, both of the registered and non-registered organizations; thousands of the public who came purposely to the conference; to see the tall ships displayed at LSP or NYC docks; or, those who were just be on their way to NYC for the day via the ferry services. Great location.
I had the help of long-time Clearwater musicians who planned, scheduled and leveraged concerts which included a StStW Benefit on Friday night at Washington Irving HS with Pete, Paul Winter, & David Amram et al; musical entertainment both during and after each day of conferences; we we were invited to an Andrea Bocelli concert after the Parade of Sails (POS) on the 4th of July. Lastly, Pete and I were invited to a Jeanne Johnson Gala aboard the Irish Navy flagship where I, in turn, invited Clearwater musicians, e.g., Matt Turk, to join as entertainment along with the Irish elite stepdancers Riverdance.
Because the Sloop Clearwater was full, I was aboard the AJ Meerwald during the Parade of Sails and was dazzled by the line of tall ships including our Sloop. During that passage, the Meerwald captain called for a one gun salute to the aircraft carrier USS Kennedy with President Clinton aboard. We were swiftly admonished by the alphabet organizations to cease.
Just about the best week of my life!!!
PS. We held 3 additional StStW conferences in the early 2000s at New Bedford and New London; 2001, 2002, & 2004 (last of which also aligned with ASTA POS event on the Thames River).
PPS. The idea that Pete saw himself as Johnny Appleseed was not new but every time that Pete brings it up, it's usually with a new idea. During the planning of the event, we met with Pete in the Beacon Sloop Clubhouse on a cold, cold day in January of 2000. During that meeting, we did what we always did, talked and sang. This time was different. Andrea Spinelli, a NJFC Director and long-time member interviewed Pete on camera and captured us singing. During that time she was off screen asking Pete questions about StStW. During the actual event, she and her Studio 27 crew, captured the entire conference and music on film. The interview film was made available to NJFC and Fest goers. In her professional career, Andrea was the President of Studio 27 and now is a Partner in the MIGHTY CREATIVE GROUP, an apt name for her.
BOD Election Results and Congratulations19 Jan 2014 by
The Annual NJFC Board of Directors Electionwas held at the December's General Membership, according to NJFC BOD Bylaws.
We are pleased to announce and congratulate the following full slate of nominees that were elected unanimously. No write-in votes were elected:
- Ben Forest
- Jim Franchi
- Sue Goedkoop
- Ingrid Heldt
- Andrea Spinelli
- Ed Dlugosz
- Chrissie Goedkoop
- Lynn Humphrey
- Joellen Lundy
- Brian Ostering
- Isis Ra
Fort Monmouth News: Latest RAB meeting yields nothing, new19 Jan 2014 by Ed Dlugosz
The Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) met for the second time in two months, i.e., December 4, 2013 and January 9, 2014. More than two years after Fort Monmouth closed, RAB members were treated with first new test results of the 9 landfills and other contaminated property. The Fort was closed on September 15, 2011. Almost all support activity, including environmental remediation activity, was suspended at that time with no budget or personnel until recently--only essential personnel including NJ State Police were present. During that "down-time" buildings and property continued their demise that started with the original Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) announcement in 2005.
Since the closure we had a few minor weather events like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricanes Irene and Katia to add to the demise. The properties east of the Eatontown border with Oceanport were under water caused by the surges. Almost all the buildings east of Oceanport Avenue had been inundated with 4 feet of water and extensive damage to the infrastructure, buildings and their contents. Relevant RAB computer and paper files--located in the easternmost buildings of the DPW--were damaged or destroyed according to first reports. We also learned that previous 7 years worth of reports and data provided to RAB members and NJDEP were not in the correct format that the Army BRAC officials now required and that they needed to be rewritten to comply.
We had continually asked for the impacts of Irene and Sandy on the Fort's contaminated sites--most notably the 8 Main Post dumps, more politely landfills--and infrastructure. We were well aware of the impact small rain events had on the sewer and other infrastructure pollution pathways. We were kept in the dark for months. We asked for tours like in the early days but I guess they were gun-shy after earlier tours yielded problems they, in retrospect, didn't want us to see--dangerous erosion of landfill streambanks, missing fencing around landfills and other targeted sites, test well readings that were higher than advertised. But we were told all was well after Sandy and we should trust them.
Most of the RAB meetings since the closure were dull affairs with no new test results to review and critique. This lull allowed other important issues to come to the forefront, chief of which was the Clearwater's and Eatontown Environmental Commission's (EEC)* issue of the heavy metal contamination of Wampum Lake and the scary reality of a similar fate for the Shrewsbury River. As readers have learned in local news media, the town councils of Eatontown, Tinton Falls, and Oceanport--and the Community RAB members--unanimously supported us with formal Resolutions that our contention that Fort Monmouth was a major contributor of the Lake's contamination was true and further testing and remediation were the responsibility of the Army. This issue occupied the RAB for over a year and the Army still denies it.
Getting back to the present... The January 9th meeting featured a presentation of a former Pesticide Storage facility and the 2013 Baseline Groundwater Sampling Event. The former Pesticide briefing was a straightforward, professional report of a single site. The latter "event" gave limited results of the each site's selected test wells for the 24 contaminated groundwater sites. These sites included 9 landfills, several former oil and gasoline products (SVOCs) spills at former gas stations, soldier do-it-yourself automobile repair facility, and Army vehicle motor pool areas. Other sites included leaking aboveground and underground storage tanks (AST & UST). At the start of the presentation, we were introduced--after 7 years of testing using 2 standard methods, i.e., the "regular flow method" and a curiously-named method called Low Flow Purge Sampling (LFPS) which yielded more optimistic results than the regular flow--to a new and even more ominously optimistic method entitled Passive Diffusion Bag (PDB) sampling method which they admitted had to be tested against the LFPS to validate its results.
After 7 years of review, study, MOD FLOW investigation of groundwater flow, and terrible test results of these sites showing high levels of SVOCs, VOCs, lead, cadmium and other heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminant readings, we were treated to readings that showed almost no contamination. It was amazing. What accounted for the miracle? Two years of neglect? Two hurricanes and a Superstorm flushing out the groundwater contaminants on landfills that were neither capped nor correctly stabilized? New testing methodology? Or direction from above to get things moving??
* This author, Ed Dlugosz, is the President of the Clearwater and the Chairman of the EEC and the chief non-Army investigator and critic.
Assault on Common Sense19 Jan 2014 by Ed Dlugosz, President NJFC
For the past decade, both in my annual NJ Clearwater Festival President's Addresses and in my Clearwater presentations around the state, I've been warning the public concerning the tea party's, big business lobbyists', and irresponsible legislators'--at all levels of government--irrepressible assault on environmental protection agencies and the laws that we have come to rely on to protect our health, water, air, and soil.
For example, this year Clearwater had joined with NJEF to take action against NJ legislators anti-environment assaults by using a letter-writing campaign based on NJEF's 2010-2013 NJ Legislative Scorecard.
One of the latest and most egregious examples of this irrepressible assault was brought to my attention late on January 6 by our watchdog friends at Earthjustice and TCE. This heinous Act presented by a US House of Representatives cabal was entitled "Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013". There was almost no time for the public to react, ironically, because of its deadline and the the way in which it was introduced. I took it upon myself to act on my own behalf and on behalf of NJ Clearwater by signing onto the following urgent letter provided by Earthjustice to fight one such battle on the Federal level.
"January 7, 2014
Re: Opposition to the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013 (H.R. 2279)
The undersigned public interest groups urge you to oppose H.R. 2279, the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013, a package of three bills that threaten human health and the environment while protecting polluters from liability for the costs of toxic cleanups. The bill amends the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Superfund (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)) in a manner that substantially increases the potential for harm in communities across the United States. As one in four Americans live within three miles of a hazardous waste site, safe management and prompt cleanup of toxic waste sites are essential to our nation's health and economy. Because the majority of hazardous waste sites disproportionally harm communities of color and low income communities, Congress should afford great attention to protecting our nation's most vulnerable communities.
The three bills that comprise H.R. 2279 weaken the nation's hazardous waste laws and place American communities at increased risk of toxic exposure and financial liability in the following ways.
Title I- Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013 (H.R. 2279)
Title I will:
*Eliminate the requirement for EPA to ensure in a timely fashion that its hazardous waste regulations are current, relevant and effective to protect human health and the environment. The bill removes a requirement for periodic review of regulations under RCRA, making the timing of review wholly discretionary.
*Eviscerate the longstanding principle of the Superfund law that polluters must pay for cleanup of hazardous waste releases by allowing insufficient existing requirements to block Superfund obligations, thereby leaving communities unprotected and taxpayers at risk of funding expensive cleanups.
*Fail to ensure full liability for toxic waste cleanup, thus endangering the health of communities, causing significant delays in remediation, and placing a great burden on taxpayers to cover the shortfall, which is often substantial, particularly at hardrock mine sites and large chemical facilities.
*Place burdensome and unnecessary roadblocks to delay establishment of financial assurance requirements to ensure polluters have bonds or other insurance in place to cover the nation's most costly and high risk Superfund cleanups.
Title II- The Federal and State Partnership for Environmental Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2226):
Title II will:
*Cause delays in emergency Superfund cleanups by requiring unnecessary consultation prior to initiating urgent, time-sensitive removal actions.
*Allow states to reduce their cost share for cleanup, thereby decreasing the funds available for additional cleanup efforts.
*Establish roadblocks to listing new toxic waste sites on the National Priority List (NPL) by giving states the power to veto such listings. The NPL is the list of the most dangerous toxic waste sites in the nation, and the listing of a site is often a prerequisite to its cleanup.
Title III- Federal Facility Accountability Act of 2013 (H.R.2318)
Title III will:
*Potentially increase costs and delay cleanups at hazardous waste sites owned by federal facilities, some of the largest and most dangerous Superfund sites in the nation.
*Increase litigation at federal Superfund sites without necessarily speeding or improving cleanup. Federal facilities would be liable for attorney's fees and oversight costs incurred by others.
In summary, we oppose amendments to RCRA and CERCLA contained in H.R.2279 because these three bills place the health of our communities and our environment in great danger and increase the cost of hazardous waste cleanup for U.S. taxpayers.
Edward J. Dlugosz
I'm sure you'll agree the passing of the legislation would be disastrous at so many levels as to defy any and all common and uncommon sense.
NJ Clearwater 2013-2014 Voter Action Plan19 Jan 2014 by Ed Dlugosz
"Like all pollution we encounter, the cause is human and so is the solution."
NJFC has praised the methodology and thoroughness of the monumental NJEF 2010-2013 NJ Legislative Scorecard and looks forward to working with NJEF to help educate the public on using this timely tool. Making use of the 2010-2013 NJ Legislative Scorecard, NJFC will implement the strategy to hold each and every legislator and leader accountable for their voting record by praising those legislators, in detail, who have stood up for public health and the environment during 2010-2013 period or seek an explanation for each of their voting actions from those who voted the wrong way and call on them to Vote Environment now and in the future.
Using the media and detailed letters, NJFC will contact targeted legislators and publicly question them whose voting actions are counterintuitive to their constituents interests. NJFC will use the vetted data made public on NJEF website at: www.CleanWaterAction.org/NJScorecard.
NJFC is now actively seeking volunteers--both members and readers of this plea--to answer this challenge. Please open the Scorecard link above and choose a legislative district and or the legislators that you'll be targeting and let us know by emailing us at one or both email addresses. Be sure to ask, if you have any questions. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
27 February 2014 Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club Event
14 Jan 2014
by George Moffatt
The Healthy Forests Act, which was passed by the legislature last year and conditionally vetoed by Gov. Christie, is controversial to some environmental organizations because they fear that political influence will force the state Department of Environmental Protection to water down regulations designed to control private logging companies. They argue that the DEP often yields to special interest groups, to the detriment of scientific management and environmental protections. Supporters of the plan are more optimistic, claiming that selective logging will improve the health of forests and animal habitat, while reducing the threat of forest fires by removing dead undergrowth.
One opponent, the New Jersey Sierra Club, fears the effects logging will have on park access for recreation and the possibility that fees paid by logging companies would be diverted to the general fund and not used on forestry issues. The bill "does not include adequate protections for natural resources and has a plan without any rules or enforcement," said Jeff Tittel, director of the NJ Sierra Club. However, NJ Audubon's Cecil argued last year that the DEP "can and should move forward. It doesn't need legislation if it does the right thing in forest stewardship."
Christie conditionally vetoed the bill because it required the DEP to adhere to the standards and oversight of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a third-party organization.
The presentation is hosted by Brookdale's Environmental Club to encourage students to be involved in statewide and national debates on important environmental issues. At the Lincroft meeting, a pizza and subs buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
To get to Brookdale's Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC) and parking lot 7, where the meeting will be in the SLC Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf.
Annual Holiday Party & Meeting!10 Dec 2013 by Ed Dlugosz
Sunday, December 8, 2013
1:00 PM--4:30 PM
Eatontown Community Center
72 Broad Street, Eatontown.
Dr. Jan Dash
Climate Statement Chair: UN NGO Committee Sustainable Development
Visiting Scholar, Fordham U
Adjunct Prof, Courant Institute, NYU
"Sea Level Rise, Risk Management, Science, and What We Can Do"
Traditional Clearwater Potluck Luncheon
Good Food! Good Conversation! Great Action!
Approximately 2:15 PM
Bring enough for yourself and a little to share.
We will also have food donated by local establishments to add to the variety.
Ingrid Heldt &
Circle of Song Singers
from our Annual Clearwater Festival will be there throughout the meeting to entertain and lead the audience in Song in Auditorium.
The Clearwater Holiday Party Is Open to Friends & Colleagues! Clearwater especially welcomes our partners, Jersey Shore Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Amy Goldsmith Presents NJ Environmental Legislative Scorecard 2010-201327 Oct 2013 by Ed Dlugosz
Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club October Event
On Monday, October 28 at Brookdale CC Amy Goldsmith, Executive Director New Jersey Environmental Federation (NJEF), will present the methodology and results of a year-long examination of the environmental voting and leadership habits of our representatives in Trenton. The Scorecard give the voters of the NJ a clear understanding of "what their reps do" as opposed to "what they may say" about the awful condition of the environment in NJ.
The NJEF's Legislative Scorecard 2010-13 represents a permanent record that scores every NJ state legislator on votes, action and leadership on significant environmental bills between 2010 and 2013. Ms. Goldsmith recently spoke briefly about the Scorecard at the NJFC Clearwater Festival and agreed with the Presidents Address about the need to use the vote as a weapon for change on many environmental issues.
TAKE ACTION! ELECTION DAY IS TUESDAY NOVEMBER 5!
NJEF encourages everyone to praise those legislators who stood up for public health and the environment or seek an explanation from those who voted the wrong way and call on them to Vote Environment now and in the future. Contact your legislators by visiting NJEF website at: www.CleanWaterAction.org/NJScorecard. NJFC praises the methodology and thoroughness of the Scorecard and looks forward to working with NJEF to help educate the public on using this timely tool.
The presentation will commence at 6:30 p.m., Monday, October 28 at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. The event will be hosted by the BCC's Environmental Club and members of the NJ Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club, is open to the public. Refreshments will be available starting at 6pm.
Federal Shutdown Cancels RAB and FMERA Meetings26 Oct 2013 by Ed Dlugosz
The October 3 quarterly Restoration Advisory Board and the Monthly October 7 FMERA Environmental Advisory Board Meetings have both been happily cancelled due to the Federal Shutdown. This Shutdown has affected similarly important environmental and health-oriented meetings and actions by EPA and FDA throughout the Nation to the delight of the far right conservatives who've, as usual, have not carefully examined the consequences to the wonderful people of the US by their petty and hurtful actions.
President's Address To 38th Annual NJFC Festival26 Oct 2013 by Ed Dlugosz, President NJFC
An annual tradition since 1975, the free Clearwater Festival is known for its mix of live music and song, arts and environmental education and advocacy in a family-friendly (late) summer party. Clearwater has spent the last 40 years teaching the lessons of clean, clear water and stewardship of our waterways, hence our name.
This year's annual theme is "Superstorms, Droughts, Melting Ice Caps-Fight Climate Change!" It has been not quite a year-October 29, 2012-since Superstorm Sandy directly hit the NJ Coast near Atlantic City and devastated all NJ and the nation both in terms of dollar damage (NJ: $30B; US: $78B) and human suffering. We, especially NJ, are still paying that price. Any storm, even superstorms like Sandy, don't prove climate change but it is one additional piece in an overwhelming body of evidence-along with concurrent droughts, melting ice caps, sea level rise, acidification of our water, to name a few-that has changed the minds of many and convinced non-scientists, doubters, and deniers that humans and their actions are a major cause of climate change. Since human behavior has caused these changes, it is up to all of us-not just the aware here today-to change that behavior. Until the U.S., its people and its politicians, join the majority of the aware and actively climate change-fighting nations, we can sadly look forward to changing our beloved way of life here at the shore and around the globe.
Please visit our NJ Friends of Clearwater Environmental teachers, activists, sailors, and their displays to learn more about how you as an individual, group, town, and state can make a difference in the fight against human-caused climate change. Please visit our guest environmental activists' booths and displays for other pieces of the puzzle. Revered environmental laws, like the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, are being "Waived", diluted or nullified by lobbyists and their pet legislators. Protective and conservationist federal and state public watchdogs like the EPA, NJDEP, FDA, and National Parks are being underfunded, dismantled or neutered.
Like almost all years, it is another critical election year-Representatives, Senators, Governors, Legislators, and local government. One weapon we have to fight climate change is the vote. We can help give you guidance and resources on that vote. NJFC is a member of many coalitions and organizations-NJEF, Sierra Club, and others-that are professionally staffed who've researched and ready to provide the details that you need to make an informed choice.
We are again delighted to see the major signs of recovery from Sandy everywhere in our host city. So, welcome to all of you! Visit our Clearwater environmental displays, our sailboat, and join our great group at our membership booth. Enjoy the many talented performers-four stages. Join in at our open-mike Circle of Song. Visit our artist & crafter area. The goal of our festival is for every person attending to walk away with a greater understanding of, and commitment to, environmental stewardship. Thank you all for coming out showing your support for a healthy environment.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
PETE SEEGER'S SPIRIT IN FULL FORCE AT NJFC CLEARWATER FESTIVAL
26 Oct 2013
by Elliott Stephen Cohen
"Dear friends; all of you good folks at today's festival; I'm sorry I cannot be with you today," read Clearwater [Hospitality co-]chairperson Dr. Barbara Fleischer onstage in Long Branch, from a letter sent by the iconic music legend.
"I'm aged ninety-four, and I cannot do what I once did. I hope all of you will sing..and the voices of The New Jersey Friends of Clearwater will resound in the skies! Love to you all- Old Pete Seeger."
With perfect weather and a truly spectacular beach and ocean in the background, there was plenty of great music and food at the eight hour event. While many environmenal concerns have been the backbone of the Clearwater organization made famous by Seeger through his diligent efforts to clean up his beloved Hudson River, this year's theme was "Superstorms, Droughts, Melting Ice Caps- Fight Climate Change."
Four stages featured such talented singer-songwriters as James Durst, Ingrid Heldt, Spook Handy, Tommy and Abby Anton, and Jan Christensen who was making his 32nd consecutive New Jersey Clearwater appearance.
Reprinted from Article in Examiner.com, Written by Elliott Stephen Cohen, September 25, 2013. Photos courtesy of Elliot Stephen Cohen. Copyright 2013.
Editors Note: Pete's wife Toshi Seeger passed on Tuesday, July 9th. For more info see our August 2013 NJFC Solutions eNewsletter. The COS Player sang Toshi's updated version of Pete's iconic song Turn, Turn, Turn!
NJ Friends of Clearwater Meet & Greet
23 Aug 2013
by Ed Dlugosz
NJ FRIENDS OF CLEARWATER MEET & GREET
Tonight, Friday, August 23
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The Draft House
100 Brighton Avenue, Long Branch
NJ Friends of Clearwater, njclearwater.org invites YOU
to come join us at The Draft House, www.thedrafthousenj.com
for 3 fun filled hours of getting to know us.
Come and Learn more about our 38th Annual Festival to be
held in Long Branch on September 15th.
There will be 1 hour of passed hors d'oeurves and great drink specials.
We will have T-shirts and water bottles on sale
Come sign up to volunteer, be a vendor,
become a member or just come to enjoy
and have a great time
23 Aug 2013
by Ed Dlugosz
Folk Legend, James Durst Joins June's COS
05 Jun 2013
by Ingrid Heldt and Ed Dlugosz
On Sunday, June 2, our monthly Circle of Song welcomed Folk Music legend, James Durst. Ingrid became a huge fan of James Durst's in the '70s when he came to the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago which Ingrid attended. Among other things, he founded the group Work of the Weavers, a fantastic Weavers cover band that does the early songs of Pete Seeger and his group, the Weavers. They also tell its story, and what a story it is! Pete himself started them out, a few years ago.
As always, the TURNSTILE COFFEE BAR, 1607 Highway 71, Belmar, NJ, 732-894-9012 hosted the COS event on the first Sunday of the Month from 1:30 - 3:30 pm.
This month the COS followed the Environmental Committee Meeting and the NJFC General Membership Meeting which commenced at 11:30 am. Long Branch's Great Lawn tent and sign restrictions and how they affected the committee's Festival environmental displays and what our sister environmental partners were contemplating to align with our Festival's theme were among topics discussed.
TEF to Entertain/Educate Congregation05 Jun 2013 by Ed Dlugosz
NJFC's premiere environmental education program, the Traveling Environmental Festival (TEF), will be presented to the Unity Church by the Shore congregation's children at on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 2:00pm at the Church hall after its service. TEF is a portable environmental classroom with interactive stations that teach the students to understand water's importance. The students learn about how clean, clear water allows all life to thrive in the world's food chain. The students learn about the lowest form of life, plankton supports all the rest of nature's creatures. They learn how pollution disturbs the food chain and how to fight contamination starting right at home.
For more information on the program, click:
A Benefit Concert for the NJFC's Annual Festival will follow directly afterwards.
Festival Fundraiser @ Unity Church by the Shore05 Jun 2013 by Ed Dlugosz
Saturday, June 8, 3:30 PM-7:30 PM
at The Unity Church by the Shore,
3508 Asbury Avenue, Neptune, NJ
Admission: $5.00 at the Door
NJ Friends of Clearwater
38th Annual Clearwater Festival
At the Long Branch Great Lawn
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Please join these dedicated environmentalists disguised as musicians as they play rock, jazz, blues, folk, and soul to support Mother Earth and your children in the fight for a cleaner environment and brighter future: www.njclearwater.org
|Richard Deans |
|Kevin John Allen |
|Ingrid Heldt |
| Xenia Sky|
|O'Neill & Martin |
To Learn More about the Congregation and their Wonderful Program, please click: unitybytheshore.org/.
Location: 3508 Asbury Ave, Neptune Township, NJ 07753, (732) 918-3395.
From the North: Garden State Parkway South to Exit 102, turn right onto Asbury Avenue and go straight approximately one mile. Church is on right.
From the South: Garden State Parkway North to Exit 100A. Go to first light, turn left onto Jumping Brook Road and follow to end. Turn right onto Asbury Avenue. The church is approx. one-half mile down road on right.
CLEARWATER FESTIVAL MOVES TO LONG BRANCH
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2013
For Immediate Release
New Jersey Friends of Clearwater (NJFC) and The City of Long Branch today, May 10, 2013, announced that the state's oldest and largest celebration of the environment--the NJFC Clearwater Festival--is coming to the oceanfront Great Lawn in Long Branch on Sunday, September 15 2013. An annual tradition since 1975, the free Clearwater Festival is known for its mix of live music and song, arts and environmental education and advocacy in a family-friendly summer party.
"We are pleased to welcome the Clearwater Festival to Long Branch," said Mayor Adam Schneider. "Our Great Lawn, right on the boardwalk north of Pier Village, is the perfect spot for NJFC's message of respect for natural resources."
"We are excited about having our 38th Festival in Long Branch," said Ed Dlugosz, President of NJFC. "The Festival has never been this close to the ocean a we hope beachgoers and "boardwalkers" will join environmentalists and music lovers from all over the tri-state region in celebrating the wonders of earth's resources and to learn how to be better custodians of this gift."
Established after a visit to Monmouth County from the legendary folksinger and activist Pete Seeger in the early 1970s and named after his Sloop Clearwater, NJFC is dedicated to promoting awareness of our natural resources and their protection. Its environmental education and advocacy programs extend throughout the year and bringing a traveling eco-classroom to local schools and our sponsorship of Sea Scout "Ship" which uses our sailboat. The Festival originated at Sandy Hook and was later held in Asbury Park before this year's move to Long Branch.
The Clearwater Festival offers fare music from rock and soul to jazz and gospel by national and local music performers, a Children's Area with songs and storytelling, and environmental exhibits ranging from energy-saving and recycling tips to watershed protection and clean air advocacy.
Clearwater: Ed Dlugosz, email@example.com; call 732-859-5752.
Long Branch: Beth Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org; call 732-923-2044/43
Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider (second from left) seals the partnership with a handshake with Ed Dlugosz, President of NJ Friends of Clearwater, and join NJFC Members Lynn Humphrey (left) with granddaughter Sonrisa Scott, and Joellen Lundy (right) on a tour of the oceanfront Great Lawn.
Panorama of Clearwater Festival Site with Tentative Placement of Stages.
http://www.njclearwater.org/festival.php for calls for volunteers and forthcoming announcements of musical and children's performers, guest speakers, and additional Festival events like our Environmental Justice Roundtable. We are dedicating the Festival to the victims and lessons-learned of SuperStorm Sandy.
For late breaking news, also visit our NJFC Facebook page at:
Monthly Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club Meeting18 May 2013 by
Members: Note this joint meeting is on the THIRD Monday, May 20 (not the traditional fourth Monday) and its LOCATION will be at Brookdale CC's Main Academic South Building, Room 001 (MAS 001), Lincroft campus. Details below.
Anthony Mauro, chairman of the NJ Outdoor Alliance, an umbrella organization of many of the state's outdoor sports, hunting, and fishing organizations, will argue at Brookdale Community College on Monday, May 20, that deer hunting policies must be based on science, not emotion, to safely control the state's expanding deer population while sustaining healthy forests. He takes the contrarian view of many conservationists who oppose deer hunting in dealing with New Jersey's growing deer population, once described by Princeton writer John McPhee as rats with antlers.
Mr. Mauro's organization promotes the sustainable use of NJ's natural resources, which includes hunting to maintain an ecological balance of species that are being confined to smaller and smaller habitat areas dues to expanding human populations. He believes hunting is primarily a cultural issue that also can be a positive environmental solution when deer, regarded by many as a critical keystone species, adversely affect the health of the state's forests through over-population. Mr. Mauro is a proponent of science-based animal and forest management programs.
In recent years, deer have become a topic of concern of homeowners in many suburban and even urban areas, as they find themselves living with deer "up close and personal," to the detriment of their landscaped properties. One dramatic example of the problem is when a deer crashed through the plate glass window of a restaurant in urban Red Bank several years ago, just a block from the train station.
Mr. Mauro will be speaking to the joint membership meeting of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater, the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club, and Brookdale Community College's Environmental Club, at 6:30 pm May 20 at BCC. BCC describes the presentations as the college's "Science Monday."
The BCC joint meeting has changed from its usual location at Twin Lights Room to the Main Academic South Building, Room 001 (MAS 001), Lincroft campus. The presentation is hosted by BCC's Environmental Club to encourage students to be involved in statewide and national debates on the importance of strong environmental protections. A cash buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and the speakers begin about 6:45 p.m.
To get to Brookdale's Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Main Academic South (MAS) Building and parking lot 6, where the meeting will be in MAS, Room 001. Use parking lot 6. As you walk northward, the MAS building is directly ahead. If lot 6 is full, use parking lot 7. From that lot, the MAS building is across the main walkway from the Warner Student Life Building. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf.
Festival Fundraiser on 4-28-2013
27 Apr 2013
by Ed Dlugosz
January's Circle of Song is Great Success21 Jan 2013 by Ed Dlugosz
Pan with Cursor the Panoramic View of Circle of Song Performers Listening to Cliff Bloodgood. Pictured left to right in the panorama are Circle of Song artists: Isis Ra, Rosemary Wright, Bill Doerge, Jerzy Jung, Michael Askin, Johanna Henry, Cliff Bloodgood, Don Lee, Bob Mecklenburger, Jim Crawford, Kevin John Allen, David Seres, Ingrid Heldt, and Ed Dlugosz.
Since the gig lasts an hour and a half, every performer gets to lead several times. As in the past, the air was filled with old and new tunes and the chance to meet new performers and audition for the Annual NJ Friends of Clearwater Festival held in August. All monies collected goes to charity. For more pictures and videos, please goto NJFC Website's News. http://www.mcclearwater.org/news.php
Next Month's--Sunday, February 3--leader-performer is Rosemary Wright, a wonderful local story teller. The Circle of Song is held at the TURNSTILE COFFEE BAR, 1607 Highway 71, Belmar, NJ, 732-894-9012. 1:30 - 3:30 pm - come any time. The Turnstile is a world class cafe and it's Handicap Accessible.
Starting with our February 3rd date, we will precede the COS at 12 Noon with an hour-long NJFC Membership Meeting at the Turnstile Cafe. There is no requirement to attend both events altho' there'll be a half hour buffer for COS setup. We are trying to recapture some of our fun-filled meetings of yore.
Google Directions from Your Location to Monthly Circle of Song & Membership Meeting
FMERA Environmental Advisory Committee Resumes Meetings17 Jan 2013 by Ed Dlugosz
The poor reasons were: 1) to quell reaction to the controversial FMERA decision to place the Monmouth County Department of Public Works (MCDPW) Road Crew facility next to a residential area of Eatontown on a piece of FM property originally planned for Open Space; and, 2) the controversial reallocation of EAC members to disenfranchise long-time members and replace them with representatives from the real estate, developer/contractor, and county spheres of interest who, we felt, were already represented more that enough on the other committees and changed the balance of power. (Both of these issues were earlier reported in this eNewsletter and the local press).
The EAC meeting itself was mainly an introductory session for the new representatives. The FMERA Executive Director gave a "Virtual Tour and Overview" of the redevelopment process and property. The meet and greet was pleasant but reserved. The new EAC membership consisted of:
- Ken Kloo: EAC Chairman and NJDEP Board Representative
- Linda Range: NJDEP Case Manager
- Edward Dlugosz: Eatontown Representative
- Jon Cohen: Tinton Falls Representative
- Richard Gruskos: Oceanport Representative
- Jennifer DeLorenzo: MC Representative
- Ben Forest: National Advocacy Group Representative
- Dr. Diane Phillips: Brookdale CC Representative
- Mark Mauriello: Developer/Contractor Representative (Edgewood Properties)
- Leah Yasenchak: Real Estate Broker Representative (Brownfield Redevelopment Solutions, Inc.)
Continued Vigilance in the Wake of Sandy17 Jan 2013 by
There are widespread reports by our coalition members, health departments, and NJDEP of problems caused by Sandy from failed waste treatement plants, flooding of railroad tunnels, and superfund sites. Our partner COA has reported the following:
COA is concerned about the toxins that were released into the environment through the impacts of Sandy. The largest spill in a decade occurred in the Arthur Kill with the release of 380,000 gallons of diesel fuel that affected many marshes in the area. Sheens were visible throughout the waterway and seepage from contaminated land areas were also evident. There were numerous boats and fuel tanks that were set adrift or marooned along the shoreline or in coastal waters. Cars were flooded and oils that accumulated in tunnels and subways were pumped into the Hudson Estuary. COA is seeking more government assessments about where contamination likely occurred and more monitoring to identify polluted areas where possible. Although very different than the BP disaster, Sandy's storm surge did result in the release of fossil fuels from many sources.
Whale Pond Brook Cleanup17 Jan 2013 by
Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club January Meeting17 Jan 2013 by
Faith is a founder and co-chair of the Whale Pond Brook Watershed (WPBW) Association. The WPBW stretches from Tinton Falls to the Atlantic Ocean and passes through 5 towns which, along with Clearwater, are represented in the Association. Joe is chairman of the Bayshore Regional Watershed Council, which since 2000 has focused on the Raritan River and Bay from Sayreville to Sandy Hook. Both speakers will relate how they helped start the two watershed groups, the problems they had to overcome, their successes to date, and their organizations' future plans. Both watersheds have been devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
There are 2,857 watersheds in the United States. By focusing on specific watershed basins, hydrologists, geologists, engineers, environmentalists, government officials, and concerned citizens can systematically study a complex variety of water issues - including preserving water supplies and controlling land and water pollution, storm water runoff, soil erosion, and wastewater management. Watershed-based activities provide an organizational structure for programs that can range from simple anti-litter campaigns and stream cleanups to coordinating sophisticated programs to, for example, manage water resources, expand parkland, preserve wildlife habitat, increase fish production, and control pollution.
The watershed presentations by the Whale Pond and Bayshore groups are hosted by Brookdale's Environmental Club to encourage students to be involved in statewide and national debates on the importance of strong environmental regulations. At the Lincroft meeting, a cash buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
Google Directions from Your Location to Monthly Meeting @ Student Life Center, Brookdale
Congratulations to NJFC Board of Directors and Officers
13 Jan 2013
Congratulations are in order for the 2013 Board of directors and the committees that they lead:
- Ed Dlugosz--Environmental Action
- Jim Franchi--Environmental Sail Program
- Ben Forest--Environmental Policy
- Chrissie Goedkoop
- Ingrid Heldt--Monthly and Annual Circle of Song
- Lynn Humprey--Membership and Volunteers
- Marylin Johnson
- Tim Johnson
- Joellen Lundy--Festival
- George Moffatt--TEF Coordinator
- Brian Ostering--Entertainment
- Isis Ra--Fundraising
- Andrea Spinelli--Sponsorships and Grants
President: Ed Dlugosz
Vice President: Jim Franchi
Treasurer: Joellen Lundy
Secretary: Lynn Humphrey
Continued Vigilance in the Wake of the Election and Sandy28 Nov 2012 by Ed Dlugosz
The victory of President Obama in this election year is a positive outcome for environmentalists. However, eco-friendly laws and institutions are still on the endangered species list, being hunted down by big oil, pharmaceuticals, and the tea party at all levels of government.
Our precious Clean Water & Air Acts and the EPA are still the targets on the national level. In NJ, the NJDEP is being dismantled by the Waiver Rule and outsourcing regulations enforcement to environmental contractors, known as LSRPs.
We urge citizens to heed the call by environmental groups like Clearwater to rally against the never-ending assaults and threats--by big-energy and developers--like fracking, processing fracking waste, unregulated sprawl, toxic waste disposal, etc.
SuperStorm Sandy is also leaving a legacy of problems to clean water, soil, and air. Be on the lookout for poorly handled/disposal of the debris, waste, and equipment. In our haste to clean up, let's assure that it's done correctly. Report unacceptable practices including fraud and price-gouging.
WHALE POND BROOK CLEANUP--December 8
28 Nov 2012
by Ed Dlugosz
What?: WHALE POND BROOK CLEANUP
When?: December 8 2012, 9:30AM Registration until NOON
Where?: Back lot of Ocean Twsp Hess Gas Station, northbound, east side of Rt 35
Why?: This Cleanup is part of the effort to restore/renew Whale Pond Brook Watershed to its pre-sprawl beauty and natural fish spawning activities. Sandy accelerated need to re-clean this area in preparation for creating an end-to-end Greenway from Eatontown to the Ocean.
How?: Physical Activity; teams will be formed & assigned in locations on south side of Whalepond adjacent to Hess
Parking: Sheraton Hotel south parking lot (walk south to Hess)
Equipment: Gloves & bags provided; Bring sturdy boots, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats & other clothing.
Monthly Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club Meeting:26 Nov 2012 by (edit author)
Noted nature and wildlife photographer Herb Segars, who specializes in marine subjects, will describe some of the many photographs he has taken of the underappreciated aquatic world off the New Jersey coast at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 26 at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. The joint meeting of the college's Environmental Club, and members of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club, is open to the public.
He has spent hundreds of hours scuba diving beneath the nutrient-rich Atlantic Ocean photographing fish, invertebrates, turtles, whales, seahorses, seals and birds. He has just published a book of underwater photographs, "Beneath the Garden State -- Exploring Aquatic New Jersey," the result of his 30 years of photography.
He explained, "My passion is photographing everything underwater in the Atlantic waters off my home state of New Jersey. It is not the easiest place to photograph but I can't seem to get enough of it." His book will be available at the meeting. His website is at http://www.gotosnapshot.com/.
The Joint Meeting of NJFC-Sierra and presentation are hosted by BCC's Environmental Club to encourage BCC students to be involved in statewide and national debates on the importance of strong environmental regulations. A cash buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and Mr. Segars' presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
To get to Brookdale's Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner SLC, where the meeting will be in the Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf
FMERA Disdains Official Reuse Plan28 Nov 2012 by Ed Dlugosz
In its quest to show progress, FMERA has won a hollow victory by blatantly ignoring the official FMERPA Reuse Plan signed off by the Army, the State, and the local governments. The "victory" served as a wake-up call not only to the 3 directly affected communities, but show the people of the county and state that the planning was a waste of time and that FMERA can now do anything it wants--pitting county or town versus town.
Most recently, FMERA strong-armed Eatontown by placing Monmouth County DPW road crew--which was rejected by the Plan--next to a current Eatontown residential neighborhood in an area designated as open space these past 4 years. Not only are the residents upset at having active diesel trucks operating at all hours, the manner in which it came to light was less than transparent and threatening the town with worse scenarios--pay $3M or accept commercial truckers--if they didn't accept new proposal.
This County DPW "scenario" doesn't even follow its own Finding of Suitability to Lease (FOSL) document's plan. By "clever" environmental gerrymandering, it eliminated two buildings (1122/1124) of the Motor Pool whose contaminants readings were so high that the area would be found unsuitable to transfer much less lease. The placement of the microwave 911 communications Tower also ignored the FOSL and common sense. The original site was next to Landfill M-3 where there were no adjacent residences. The county is also in line to acquire the former Military Police lot and facilities for a similar function, where the Tower would have been a natural component of that function and away from residences. There are more surprises to come.
The only bright spot for the Fort Monmouth property is that Governor Christie has ordered FMERA, after FMERA's hemming and hawing, to make former residences available to displaced victims of SuperStorm Sandy.
Eatontown Residents Angered Over County Motor Pool Lease19 Oct 2012 by Shannon K. Winning, Patch Reporter
Even as some residents remain angry, county and local officials are holding up a recent negotiation over a former Fort Monmouth property as an example of collaboration verses parochialism.
On Wednesday the board of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority approved a resolution to lease the former Fort Monmouth motor pool as the new home of the county's department of public works.
About a dozen Eatontown residents came to voice their anger over what they see as a quality of life issue in their backyards. Despite the opposition, a resolution to award a lease of the property to the county was approved by all members of the board, except Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo, who abstained pending environmental concerns raised by residents at the meeting.
College Avenue resident Rosalie Steed, who has lived in her home for 35 years, told the board that she was angry and disappointed about the lease. "The trucks, diesel fumes, pumps, the tower, are all too close to our homes," she told the FMERA board. " You're downgrading our properties for future sale. Maybe many of you don't live here but we do."
The matter was first introduced at the board's August meeting. After Eatontown's mayor and a council member spoke out against the proposed lease, the county met with the town officials on three occasions to hammer out an arrangement that would better suit the borough, but still give the county access to the site, which the county DPW Director John Tobia told Patch would save the county $15 million in its work to serve this portion of the county.
The meetings between county and Eatontown officials resulted in the following changes to the plan:
- Bermed landscape buffers along the boundary with residential block and side yards;
- Deed restrict boundary lines to preclude any additional streets or pass-throughs;
- Remove and transform specific currently asphalted areas to green space (Tiros Avenue);
- Direct county vehicle traffic away from the Nicodemus Avenue neighborhood;
- Set aside additional green spaces;
- Not allow commercial truck washes or sharing of facilities with other entities (except other local municipalities);
- Move the 911 tower's proposed location to the northeast corner of the property away from residents;
- Normal business hours will be from 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., except in emergencies;
- A vacant lot on Rose Court will be deed restricted to open space.
In his comments to the board, Dlugosz stated that years of contamination by the Army at M-2 landfill and Building 1122 Classification Exception Area (CEA) sites (adjacent to the motor pool site) have lead to the contamination of the underground groundwater plume that has traveled into residential neighborhoods. He alleged that this may have lead to health problems to those neighbors and that the truck traffic that the DPW center poses would be a further undue burden for those neighbors.
Freeholder Lillian Burry asked FMERA board Chairman James V. Gorman to allow county DPW director Tobia, who was at the meeting prepared to speak, to address residents' concerns about the site, but he demurred saying that environmental concerns would be considered outside of the lease.
This angered Eatontown Council President Anthony Talerico, who was in the audience. In his comments to the board following the vote, Talarico acknowledged that county had been "very accommodating" to Eatontown's concerns, though he was not happy with the lease moving forward. He saved his sharpest criticism for the board, which he felt should have allowed for the county's presentation of revisions to the plan. He said the board had made "a grave mistake and hopefully not a precedent in denying something that was offered by a board member... The public is desperate for information. We'll sit here for 10 more minutes to get it."
After the meeting Gorman told Patch that there was "ample opportunity" for a county presentation to have been put on the evening's agenda and that he didn't move to allow Tobia to make a full presentation because the matter being discussed was environmental and not logistics of the site.
Following the meeting Tobia remained to talk with residents about the county's plans for the site and to explain a map of the site. Tobia told Patch that at all of its facilities the county endeavors to be a good neighbor and has never received resident complaints.
NJ Friends of Clearwater Urges You to Vote for the Environment19 Oct 2012 by
At our Clearwater Festival this year, Ed Dlugosz urged the very large audience, "In this pivotal Presidential election year, eco-friendly representatives and laws are on the endangered species list hunted down by big oil and the tea party at all levels of government", Our precious Clean Water & Air Acts and the EPA are the targets on the national level. In NJ, the NJDEP is being dismantled by the Waiver Rule and outsourcing regulations enforcement to environmental contractors, known as LSRPs, who may advise the polluters and have serious conflicts of interest. We urge voters to vote for the Environment by opposing candidates who have poor eco-records and are indebted to big business." For lists of eco-friendly candidates go to: National Eco-Friendly Candidates and NJ Endorsements.
NJFC Members Join In a Day of Celebration19 Oct 2012 by Joellen Lundy & Ed Dlugosz
NJFC members Joellen Lundy, Ed Dlugosz, Ingrid Heldt, and Barbara Fleischer attended the Sloop Club Congress, the Annual Gathering, and Barn Raising event of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater on Saturday, September 15th.
As did all clubs, Joellen and Ed reported on NJFC initiatives and the NJFC Festival at the Sloop Club Congress. We received our Sloop Club Charter. We attended the Annual Gatheringand witnessed the induction of new and re-elected members of the HRSC BOD.We participated in a bright sunny day of barn raising and musical celebration for the much anticipated Kingston Home Port and Education Center. Clearwater shares the site with the Hudson River Maritime Museum. The Clearwater Sloop now has a permanent home and workshop in an accessible, safe dock on the Rondout Creek right off the Hudson River. The workshop was erected by Amish builders in the traditional barn raising manner which included the "carrying of the beams" by the donors, dignitaries, and the staff.
When Pete Seeger showed up, and since Joellen had never personally met him, she took the opportunity to introduce herself when he came into the tent. "Pete was having a bite to eat, sitting with his wife Toshi", Joellen related, "He was sitting there all by himself, a rare event, so I decided to go say hello and let him know I was the President of NJFC. I introduced myself and Pete said, 'Oh, all you guys down on the Atlantic Ocean! Has Bruce Springsteen done any benefits for you?'
"I like a man who thinks like me" Joellen said, "I told him Bruce and Patti gave us a generous donation three years ago and he was impressed. I described our festival this year for Pete and he really enjoyed it. Pete looked great, participated in "carrying of the beams" to the barn, and played his banjo and led the song 'If I Had a Hammer.' It was a beautiful day and a memorable event."
Critics slam FMERA's new committee criteria07 Oct 2012 by Nicole Antonucci, Staff Writer, Atlan
TINTON FALLS - New membership criteria adopted by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) that cuts local representation on advisory committees drew criticism at the authority's last meeting. The new criteria adopted by FMERA allows for one local representative from each host town on the environmental, historical preservation, veterans and housing committees, and adds professionals including college or university faculty, contractors or developers, real estate professionals, and representatives of national advocacy groups.
Heather Saffert, a representative of Clean Ocean Action, read a statement at the Sept. 19 meeting by Executive Director Cindy Zipf asking the board to reconsider approving the criteria.In the letter, Zipf warns against conflicts of interest among the committee members and asks that the committee meetings, now closed, be open to the public. "The board should not approve the criteria as it is presented, as it limits public participation in the committees, sets an unacceptable precedent, and undermines the democratic process," Saffert read. "It is critical that there is a clear policy and criteria regarding conflicts of interest to ensure the integrity during the redevelopment process."
Bruce Steadman, executive director of FMERA, said in an interview that professionals would provide a broader perspective on the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth. "Right now, membership is wide open and we [FMERA] didn't feel that it was a justifiable way of doing it in terms of transparency, in terms of being uniform and consistent," he said in an interview. "We are just trying to make it uniform and consistent."
However, Ed Dlugosz, chairman of the Eatontown Environmental Commission and member of the FMERA environmental advisory committee, argued that the new criteria is a way to exclude certain members of the public who have been critical of FMERA. "The criteria now is not really criteria but allocation of positions among different types of people and different types of organizations," Dlugosz said. "The criteria is a way to get rid of a member of our committee, and that is Tom Mahedy. We know that Tom has a reputation, but he has also been an advocate for the environment." Dlugosz also questioned what role professionals, rather than local environmental advocates, could play on the environmental committee.
According to the committee mission statement, members will review and discuss environmental issues related to the closing of Fort Monmouth and will recommend how to move forward within the context of their area of expertise. "We deal with the environment all the time and we know the impacts on real estate and developers, and I don't know what the use of a professor on that would be."
According to the resolution, unanimously adopted at the Sept. 19 meeting, a FMERA board member will serve as chairperson of each staff advisory committee. Committee membership will now include one representative from each host municipality of Eatontown, Oceanport, and Tinton Falls as well as one representative from Monmouth County.
Additional members would include a college or university professor, a contractor or developer, a real estate professional, and a representative of a national advocacy group.
[Now] Each of the committee seats has a one year term, renewing at FMERA's annual meeting in September. Steadman explained that previously, mayors of the host municipalities made recommendations for committee members. Throughout the past year, he said, FMERA staff has been working on the membership criteria. "We had so much to do to get off the ground, to get things started, that this was just low on the list," Steadman said. "We have been thinking about it for several months and the chairman said that the perfect time to do it was at the annual meeting."
Steadman explained that professionals would have a background in the respective committee's field of expertise. "Lets take the environmental committee, for example. There are lots of developers that build next to wetlands or in redeveloped contaminated areas or have some experience with the environment but still have the construction experience," he said.
"It makes perfect sense to grab someone that has that kind of experience and put them on that committee. That is like having six environmentalists, if you will." A professor would have some type of experience in the environmental field, he said, and would provide an academic framework. "It's meant to broaden the perspective. It may help the strictly environmental people to look at it in a different way," he said. "It makes for a better mix of ideas and opinions."
Editor's Note: This move is not FMERA's Steadman's and board's first attempt to eliminate transparency and stack the deck to inhibit the public from hearing the Environmental and other Advisory Committee's criticisms and warnings. Whereas its predecessor FMERPA had meetings open to the public and official minutes IAW the Sunshine Laws, Steadman's first order of business was to rename them Staff Advisory Committees and have us sign blanket Non-Disclosure Agreements in their successful attempt to make the meetings private and quell any dissent from reaching the public's collective cognizance. They are ignoring that FMERA is a state authority, created by a law and manned by the state agency Economic Development Agency (EDA). Another more egregious successful attempt at secrecy was revealed at an Eatontown Borough Council Meeting where the Council was asked to vote to agree to FMERA's Draft Fort Monmouth Land Use Regulations and Development and Design Guidelines without having permission to read the document. When the Council members balked at this, they were told by the Mayor, a FMERA Board member that it was forbidden but got a minor concession that two contractors, the Borough Planner and Engineer, would be allowed to read it and give their input to FMERA. OUTRAGEOUS!
Monthly Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club Meeting: Monday Oct. 22 @ BCC07 Oct 2012 by George Moffatt
Doug O'Malley of ENJ Discusses the State's Water Pollution Problems
O'Malley will explain how the state legislature's actions has contributed to the pollution and what regulatory actions should be taken to reverse this deterioration. In particular, O'Malley will discuss Raritan River and Bay, the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers, and Barnegat Bay. Only one creek, originating in a state park, is pollution-free. All of the state's other bodies of water are polluted.
In the past few years, the state legislature has loosened a number of Department of Environmental regulations on water quality and pollution controls. In opposition, environmentalists argue that, given the state's pollution problems, controls should be stricter. DEP's commissioner, Bob Martin, has said he will include economic considerations in addition to environmental rules when assessing developers' applications. Last month, Gov. Christie vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have blocked the transport and treatment of controversial gas "fracking" waste water generated from both in-state and out-of-state gas exploration.
O'Malley's presentation is hosted by BCC's Environmental Club to encourage BCC students to be involved in statewide and national debates on the importance of strong environmental regulations. At the Lincroft meeting, a cash buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and Mr. O'Malley's presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
To get to BCC's Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC), where the meeting will be in the Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf .
Monthly Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club Meeting: Monday Sept. 24 @ BCC11 Sep 2012 by
Pete Bacinski, a staff director of the N.J. Audubon Society, will explain the results of a state-of-the-birds study he conducted on the health and habitat of native and migratory birds along the Raritan Bay estuary. He will speak at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 24 at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. The meeting is open to the public, the college's students, and members of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club.
Mr. Bacinski's work evaluates the effects of pollution, habitat destruction, and other detrimental factors along the Bay, whose ecology is important for both resident and migratory birds. New Jersey, on the Atlantic Flyway, is a bird watcher's paradise as birds migrate north to their breeding grounds each spring and then south in the fall to winter over in warmer climes. Last year, about 380 species of birds were reported in New Jersey, according to statistics on Cornell University's "ebird.com" web site, maintained by the school's ornithology laboratory.
However, the world of birds is growing grimmer. A study by Stanford University biologists in 2004 predicted that worldwide 10 percent of all bird species are likely to disappear by the year 2100, and another 15 percent could be on the brink of extinction. The study cited several reasons for the expected decline in bird populations, including habitat loss, disease, climate change, competition from non-native (intrusive) species, and exploitation for food or the pet trade.
While New Jersey offers many excellent bird-watching locations, including Cape May, the Forsyth Wildlife Preserve, Sandy Hook and the Great Swamp, many other open-space habitats that migrating and native birds rely on are disappearing because of development. Mr. Bacinski's talk will address these concerns.
The N.J. Audubon Society, founded in 1897, promotes environmental awareness and a conservation ethic among New Jersey's citizens; protects New Jersey's birds, animals, and plants, especially endangered and threatened species; promotes preserving New Jersey's valuable natural habitats, and manages 11 bird sanctuaries.
Mr. Bacinski's presentation is hosted by Brookdale Community College Environmental Club to encourage BCC students to be involved in statewide and national debates on the importance of strong environmental regulations. At the Lincroft meeting, a cash buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and Mr. Bacinski's presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
To get to Brookdale's Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC), where the meeting will be in the Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at
Clearwater Sponsors Whale Pond Brook Cleanup
26 Nov 2012
by Ed Dlugosz
What?: WHALE POND BROOK CLEANUP
When?: December 8 2012, 9:30AM Registration until NOON
Where?: Back lot of Ocean Twsp Hess Gas Station, northbound, east side of Rt 35
Why?: Because we like you (or some other Mic-Key Mouse reason)
How?: Physical Activity; teams will be formed & assigned in locations on south side of Whalepond adjacent to Hess
Parking: Sheraton Hotel south parking lot (walk south to Hess)
Equipment: Gloves & bags provided; Bring sturdy boots, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats & other clothing
Clearwater Festival Shines Through in Rainy Weather02 Sep 2012 by Ed Dlugosz
The 37th Annual NJ Friends of Clearwater Festival continued a remarkable Clearwater tradition despite the rainy weather and continued stormy financial climate that threatened it. Clearwater was able to overcome the hurdles through the gift of song by its many entertainers, a few stalwart sponsors, and the efforts of diehard volunteers.
The one-day 2012 Clearwater Festival was held on August 11 between intermittent downpours in Sunset Park. This was the twelfth year of the festival in Asbury and we'd like to take some credit for city's renaissance-we've believed in it early. Almost every genre of music was represented on our 3 stages from gospel and rock to Blues and R&B to Jazz and Folk.
As always, the Clearwater Festival's purpose is to educate the public to take active ownership of the Earth's environment. Active ownership means doing the small individual things to maintain and conserve our natural resources as well as to take part in fighting the negative policies and practices of polluting businesses and our government. Our Festival theme this year illustrates those issues: Watch Over Our Mother Earth!
In this pivotal Presidential election year, eco-friendly representatives and laws are on the endangered species list hunted down by big oil and the tea party at all levels of government. Our precious Clean Water & Air Acts and the EPA are the targets on the national level. In NJ, the NJDEP is being dismantled by the Waiver Rule and outsourcing the enforcement of its regulations to environmental firms, known as LSRPs, who advise the polluters and have serious conflicts of interest. We urge voters to vote for the environment by opposing candidates who have poor eco-records and are indebted to big business. For lists of eco-friendly candidates go to Eco-Friendly Candidates:
National Endorsements and NJ Endorsements.
Three other Clearwater campaigns were also highlighted at the festival: Fight Fort Monmouth Contamination, Wampum and Whale Pond Watershed Restoration, and Environmental Justice. For more information on these and other issues, see our website at: www.mcclearwater.org/news.php.
Restoration Advisory Board Seeks Funding for Independent Testing of Wampum Lake26 Aug 2012 by Nicole Antonucci, Atlanticville Staff Write
Environmental advisory group wants study of heavy metal contamination
Members of the Fort Monmouth Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) voted to support Eatontown's effort to seek funding for an independent study to determine the source of contamination at Wampum Lake.
Members of RAB voted 6-1, with one abstention, to support the study following a presentation by Ed Dlugosz, chairman of the Eatontown Environmental Commission, during the July 12 meeting held in Oceanport. Barricelli cast the only dissenting vote on a motion to pursue funding for additional testing, and RAB member Diane Crilly abstained.
"This is important, and there seems to be some basis, some criteria for this," said James Allen, chairman of RAB. The source of the contamination of Wampum Lake has been the topic of discussion at several past meetings.
During the presentation, Dlugosz countered arguments that there is no evidence that one source is responsible for the contamination of the lake and that additional testing is needed to find the source. "We are looking for the source of that contamination, looking for the people responsible. If it is Eatontown's problem, so be it. If it's Metallurgical Industries, so be it. If it's Fort Monmouth, then that has to be considered as well," Dlugosz said. "We want to find out who is responsible and help clean it up."
However, RAB member Frank Barricelli has maintained that motor vehicle runoff and the borough's history as an industrial hub likely generated the contamination. Barricelli also has referenced a study done by the Monmouth County Health Department of local lakes that showed the contaminants are not uncommon and were found in the Swimming River Reservoir and Shadow Lake.
Citing the same county study, Dlugosz told the RAB committee the levels of heavy metals in Wampum Lake exceed those in the other water bodies.
Barricelli countered that Shadow Lake and the Swimming River Reservoir are larger bodies of water. "When you look at the contamination levels in a 560-acre reservoir, you realize that there is a lot of stuff in those lakes," he said. "Yes, the contamination levels in Wampum is higher, but when you look at the total amount of lead or zinc on weight volume, there are the same levels getting in those lakes."
Dlugosz also cited a study done by Dr. Donald Dorfman of Monmouth University, which revealed that heavy metals were detected in several fish in Wampum Lake, including chromium, copper, mercury, lead and zinc. "It is affecting the wildlife, affecting health. Two-thirds of the metals are … putting animals and humans at risk," Dlugosz said, presenting a chart with potential health impacts from each metal.
He added that possible contamination sources include the laboratories and landfills at Fort Monmouth, which show evidence of materials that produce the same heavy metals that are contaminating the lake. "Many of the items on the list are battery components, and the Army is famous for communication. The Army is a mobile unit, and communication is made possible by the batteries installed," he said.
According to Brian Charnik, of the Eatontown Sewage Authority, the fort's sanitary sewage pipes are deteriorating and could be another contributing source. "Waste is going through the pipes, causing additional contamination," Charnik said. "That is just one area that is worsening." Linda Range, case manager for the Department of Environmental Protection, replied that if the sewage pipes were leaking, monitoring wells that are placed throughout the fort would have detected the leakage.
Jonathon Cohen, Tinton Falls representative on RAB, asked how many times the monitoring wells have been checked. "If the pipes are cracked and getting worse, if those wells haven't been checked, how do we know?" he asked. Wanda Green, environmental coordinator for the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission, said there would have been evidence from previous reports. "We have 15 years of data, so if they deteriorated, we would know," she said. Charnik argued that the infrastructure could have deteriorated further since the last analysis.
In the presentation, Dlugosz mentioned the detection of a third unnamed stream that runs through the fort property and empties into the Shrewsbury Brook, the northern branch of Wampum Brook. Using current photographs, Dlugosz showed the presence of the stream after significant rainfall.
He said that although there have been claims that Eatontown properties such as industrial operations may have caused the pollution, there is no evidence to substantiate the claims. "We looked at our own properties to look for active and non-active sources, looked at the tax maps to find any industries. There was only a sheet metal place."
Further testing is needed, he said, to find the source of the contamination. "We want to go upstream and look for other places further up and look at the area in between to see if there is any indication," Dlugosz said, adding that one location of interest is the lake at the Suneagles Golf Course. Attempts by the Eatontown Environmental Commission to obtain funding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state DEP and other organizations, have been unsuccessful, he said.
The next meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Clearwater Runs Deep: 37th annual Clearwater Festival returns to Asbury Park02 Sep 2012 by Tom Chesek, Asbury Park Press, posted 4
Its guest performers, featured speakers and casual drop-ins have included Boss Springsteen, Glen Burtnik, Levon Helm, federal Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson, and spiritual mentor Pete Seeger, and yet, nearly four decades from its inaugural outing, the NJ Clearwater Festival remains something of a "best kept secret" among summer's Shoreside pleasures.
Back for its 37th annual edition on Saturday, August 11, the dog-day dose of food, folk (and more) music, fun activities, frank discussions and other free stuff is being presented once again by the grass-roots environmental organization New Jersey (formerly Monmouth County) Friends of Clearwater. Established in the early 1970s by local folksinger Bob Killian, the event and its year-round volunteer group were inspired by the efforts of the original Hudson River Clearwater coalition, its namesake sloop, and its founding father Seeger, a folk music legend and activist icon described by Ed Dlugosz as "an amazing man, a Johnny Appleseed sort of figure, sowing the seeds of ideas."
According to Dlugosz, a resident of Eatontown and a 22-year executive committee member of the NJFC (one of nine regional "Sloop Club" branches of the Hudson River group), the 92-year- old Seeger's scheduled Aug. 18 appearance at Rickey's Barn in Vernon prompted the 2012 festival's move from its traditional "third weekend in August" berth to this coming Saturday.
Relocated over a decade ago from its former grounds at the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook, the free rain-or-shine festival has settled into a comfortable and conveniently situated home in Asbury Park's Sunset Park, the shade-cooled, lakefront strip that stretches from the city's boardwalk to the busy downtown.
"We all appreciate the shade on a warm day in August," says Dlugosz, adding that the event's transition to an "in town" sort of setting has been instrumental in "bringing more urban people into the fold, we were interested in attracting a more diverse crowd to the festival, and to our group in general."
Much about the music
While the speeches, roundtables and illuminating educational displays remain a big part of what sets this "seriously fun" event apart from other outdoor happenings, it's still very much about the music and good times on a summer Saturday afternoon.
Spread out across three separate stages, the Clearwater Fest's famous musical menu includes Main Stage performances by ace singer-songwriter Arlan Feiles and veteran jam master Poppa John Bug, along with Acoustic Stage sets by Spook Handy, Asbury favorites The Sunday Blues, and local-treasure storyteller Lorraine Stone.
The Circle of Song Stage hosts a hootenanny boasting the participation of unplugged popsters (Jerzy Jung, Sheli Aarden-Monacchio), dedicated keepers of the folkie flame (Carl Croce, Ingrid Heldt) and more, while the sonic smorgasbord is augmented by kid-friendly activities, an eclectic sampling of food vendors and green-friendly merchants.
"All of the performers are giving more than they've ever done before, even paying their own costs to get there," says Dlugosz, giving a special call-out to The Wag, the ever-energetic Middletown-based powerpop band that provided much of the sound system for the event, and assisted in organizing a recent Clearwater benefit at the Asbury nightclub Chico's House of Jazz.
Eatontown Farmer's Market: Green & Local07 Aug 2012 by Patricia Hart Zackman, Reporter, Word o
Last Sunday, the first week of business, more than 200 shoppers visited the market. The anchor of the market, Dennis Krowicky, didn't even have time to set up his tables, he was selling produce out of the back of his truck, while patrons lined up to make purchases. Cream Ridge Farms sold out and Breadsmith finished the day with a few loaves of handmade bread that they donated to the food pantry at St. Dorethea's Church.
There are 5 vendors who sell products that they grow or make themselves. The idea is to grow the market slowly and for it to become self supporting. Pamela Caputo, Owner of I Deserve, a fitness and wellness studio for women, is part of the Green Team that brought the market to town; she serves as the market manager.
There is something for everyone. Dennis and Christine Krowicky from New Egypt bring their organic and natural produce. Kathy Vastola of Breadsmith makes the trip south from Cranford with handmade freshly baked breads. Dianna Scarpa and Stephanie Redding from Recreation out of Ocean Grove add handcrafted and restored decor as well as pottery and glass work. Cream Ridge Farms from Bensalem, PA is a family operation with grass fed organic beef and cheese products for sale. Vito Lombardo, High Mountain Foods provides a selection of frozen pasta, artisan bread and seafood. [It is expected that the Farmers Market will grow by one vendor per week during the remainder of its season.]
The DBA sponsored a poster contest for school kids in Eatontown, the objective was to make local residents aware of the market. On August 26th around 2pm, the top 10 winners will be recognized and the best 2 posters will be awarded prizes, movie passes provided by the NY Film Academy.
The market is open for business on Sundays, at Wampum Park through November from 9am to 3pm. Free parking is available on Throckmorton, Broad and Lewis Streets.
[Editor's Note: Our Green Team's Downtown Farmers Market had its origins as a concept of turning the open space in Husky Brook Park--originally 3 local farms--into model organic farm where students from local schools and residents could learn health and sustainability lessons (e.g., smaller carbon footprint by growing buying locally rather than shipping it in from across the country or overseas) while providing a service to the community and points from Sustainable Jersey. The concept also included community garden for the many low income apartment dwellers just across the highway. While that concept's still a goal, our Downtown Farmers Market is serving not only provides immediate sustainable benefits and but also fills a hole where Eatontown no longer has a supermarket or bakery (Pathmark and Guttenplans are gone) in town. --Ed Dlugosz, Green Team Chairman]
Barrels of Fun!12 Dec 2012 by Patricia Hart Zackman, Reporter, NJ
Local residents gathered at the Eatontown Community Center to do their part in conserving water by building a rain barrel on Tuesday evening, July 31. The Eatontown Environmental Commission sponsored the workshop, with staff from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program on hand to help out. Ed Dlugosz and Sara Breslow, members of the Eatontown Environmental Commission were thrilled with the number of residents who showed up to participate in the workshop.
Harvested rain water should be tested if you plan to use it to water a vegetable garden or in a Koi pond, it should never be used for drinking. It was a true community event where residents helped one another out with retrofitting the olive barrels used on Tuesday night.
[Editor's note: Sponsoring a Rain Barrel Workshop is a low impact effort with high impact results]
Festival Benefit Concert13 Jul 2012 by
Monthly Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club Meeting: Monday July 30 @ BCC02 Sep 2012 by
Rep. Rush Holt to Analyze Political Opposition to Controlling Pollution
July 30 - Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.) will explain the major hurdles facing environmental protections in Congress at 6:30 p.m., Monday, July 30 at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. The presentation, hosted by the college as "Science Monday" and open to the public, will include the college's students and members of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club.
Holt, who has a 100 percent environmental voting record, will share his insights on environmental challenges ahead as conservation organizations increasingly see their role shifting from a never-ending battle to preserve nature and protect it from mankind, to insisting on science-based decisions to protect nature for the health and well-being of mankind. Holt, a physicist, for example, is a founding member and co-chair of the Children's Environmental Health Caucus, which aims to raise awareness in Congress of environmental issues that affect health, particularly that of children.
Holt serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, helping to develop a long-term strategy to decrease our nation's dependence on fossil fuels and protect our environment for future generations.ï¿½ From 2007 to 2010, Holt was the Chairman of the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, which worked to strengthen oversight of the intelligence community by ensuring that policymakers receive accurate assessments, civil liberties are safeguarded, and the intelligence community is protecting Americans.
In the environmental area, he helped secure more than $700 million in new federal funding for science and technology research, helped pass an amendment to the Land and Water Conservation Fund providing millions in funding for protecting open space, and was instrumental in adding the lower Delaware River to the National Wild and Scenic River program.
His presentation will complement Rep. Frank Pallone's (D- 6th Dist.) April talk about Congressional opponents to the environment and a January talk by Jeff Tittel, director of the N.J. Sierra Club, on anti-environmental decisions in Trenton.
Circle of Song June 21, 2012
13 Jun 2012
by Ingrid Heldt
Please join us for our Monthly Sing-Along
Turnstile Coffee Bar
1607 Highway 71, Belmar, NJ 07719
June 21, 2012 6:30-8:30 pm
We encourage songs about the environment and sing-along songs, but you can do or request others. The suggested donation of $3-$7 is still split between NJ Friends of Clearwater and Pastor Sonny's work on behalf of the homeless and the hungry in Asbury Park.
Tony DeSantis is a songwriting performer who, befitting his influences, sounds like John Gorka, writes like a whimsical Stan Rogers and displays solid guitar work reminiscent of Ralph McTell. He admits that his major interests in songwriting are trains, resurrection and Canada. Tell him about some strange place or obscure event, and it may end up in one of his songs. He brings an encyclopedic knowledge to his songs, which are warm and whimsical, with an insightful eye. He can be reached at email@example.com.
We'll have Tommy and Abby Anton at our monthly Circle on July 19.
Please check www.ingridmusic.com under Circle of Song or www.mcclearwater.org under Links/Circle of Song for any potential changes to planned events or call 732-869-9276.
37th Annual NJ Friends of Clearwater Festival Flyer
13 Jun 2012
Monthly Joint Clearwater-Sierra Club Meeting: Speaker Debbie Mans
13 Jun 2012
by George Moffatt
N.Y/N.J. Baykeeper Discusses Pollution Control Programs in Hudson-Raritan Watershed
June 25 - Debbie Mans, Executive Director of the N.Y/N.J. Baykeeper headquartered in Keyport, will report on the health of New Jersey and New York bays, especially Raritan Bay, at 6:30 p.m., Monday, June 25 at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. The presentation, open to the public, will include the college's students and the members of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club.
Mans also will discuss the ups and downs of her organization's disputes with the NJDEP over Baykeeper's attempt to determine if ecologically important oysters, whose beds were decimated by overharvesting and pollution, can be repopulated in Raritan Bay. The DEP, having been criticized by the USEPA, shut down the Baykeeper's effort to reintroduce the oyster. The DEP claimed that if poachers illegally took the oysters from the bay's polluted waters, the contaminated oysters could make people ill and jeopardize the state's entire shellfish industry. The U.S. Navy came to Debbie's rescue, which she shall relate in full. Debbie's presentation will complement a recent presentation on the health of marine estuaries by Clyde Mackenzie, senior researcher at the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory (NMFS/NOAA) at Sandy Hook.
Raritan Bay had been an extremely rich and productive marine habitat until land-based pollution and habitat destruction in the latter half of the 20th Century contaminated its pristine waters and harmed or killed many marine species. State and federal pollution controls have improved the bay's water quality, but the state recommends not eating fish caught in its waters and prohibits harvesting all shellfish.
The Baykeeper organization was formed in 1989 to work with state officials and citizens' groups to end pollution in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary watershed, improve public access, conserve and restore public lands, restore aquatic habitats, discourage inappropriate development, and carry out public education. Its programs aren't limited to the shorelines but extend inland throughout the Hudson-Raritan watershed, including a recent purchase of several wooded areas of wetlands along the Third River in Bloomfield.
At the Lincroft meeting, a cash buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and Mans' presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
To get to the meeting at Brookdale, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC), where the meeting will be in the Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf .
Fort Sewage Pipes May Be Tied to Wampum Pollution22 Apr 2012 by Nicole Antonucci, Staff Writer
EATONTOWN — Federal and local officials are trying to determine whether broken sewage pipes throughout Fort Monmouth could be a contributing factor in the pollution of Wampum Lake. According to Brian Charnick, chairman of the Eatontown Sewerage Authority and member of the Fort Monmouth Restoration Authority Board (RAB), recent monitoring reports have shown an increase in sewage flow in Fort Monmouth infrastructure. "We are trying to get some grant money or somebody to analyze if the [fort's] deteriorated sanitary sewer lines could have contributed to the contamination in heavy metal pollution of that lake," Charnick said in an interview on March 22.
He explained that monthly reports from the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority have shown that the sewage flow on Fort Monmouth has gone up since the base closed. Most of the increase occurs when it rains, he said. "This is generally a sign that there is infiltration into the pipes. Rainwater is getting in there and they are processing rain water instead of sewage," Charnick said. "As rain water goes into the ground, into these pipes, it could flush out poisons and things that are in that sewer pipe and end up in the lake."
He explained that the pipes, which run underground to a sewage treatment facility in Monmouth Beach, normally don't have a long life, and if the pipes are not maintained or replaced, they start to disintegrate. "Apparently the [fort] has had a lot of deteriorating underground pipes, and now when it rains, the rainwater goes down into the pipes and washes stuff in the pipe out someplace else into the soil," Charnick said, adding that the matter was brought up at the last RAB public meeting. "I questioned the Army about their sewer flow going up when nobody is there, which means the pipes are severely broken and contaminated. The Department of Environmental Protection was at this meeting and they took note of this also," Charnick said. "The Army said they would look into it." The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) has also expressed concern about the deteriorated underground sanitary sewer lines on the fort property and is looking into how to have the lines repaired as soon as possible, he said. FMERA officials could not be reached for a statement.
The pollution of Wampum Lake has been a cause for concern for several local municipalities. On Feb. 2 the Oceanport Borough Council passed a resolution authorizing the borough's Environmental Commission to partner with the Eatontown Environmental Commission to apply for grants and funds for further investigation of the pollution of Wampum Lake. According to Ed Dlugosz, chairman of the Eatontown Environmental Commission, the independent study would prove Fort Monmouth is [among] the causes of the pollution.
"We have been attempting to make Fort Monmouth [and any other responsible party] to take responsibility for the pollution of the lake. It's [0.2 of] a mile from the border of Fort Monmouth," he said during an environmental commission meeting on March 15, adding that three streams run through the fort and empty into the lake. "In two out of the three streams that run through the fort and run into the lake, two of them are solely on Fort Monmouth, so contamination could not come from anywhere else."
Dlugosz said there is evidence that the third unnamed stream is also a leading pathway for carrying contaminants toward the lake. "Eatontown and New Jersey Friends of Clearwater also provided evidence that the Army had not acknowledged the existence of a third, unnamed stream that serves as another pathway for carrying contaminants toward the lake," Dlugosz said. "The rush of that unnamed stream has been captured in photos and video supplemented by GPS-defined locations."
He explained that in 1990 the Monmouth County Health Department did a study of 20 lakes in Monmouth County, testing for the presence of 13 heavy metals. He also outlined a second study by former Monmouth University professor Donald Dorfman. [Mr. Dlugosz presented charts to the councils that featured] a chart of the heavy metals present in the lake, including arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver and zinc along with the potential health repercussions. "We have found each of those streams carries the same exact contaminants that were measured on the fort property," Dlugosz said.
According to the FMERA website, Michele Siekerka, chairwoman of the Environmental Staff Advisory Committee, said on Feb. 15 that the DEP did discuss the concerns of the committee and the host municipalities regarding Wampum Lake. She stated that should the DEP find a link between the contamination in Wampum Lake and the fort property, it will be recorded and will be brought to the attention of the committee and the host municipalities. According to the website, Siekerka said the Army would be responsible to clean up any contaminated areas within the fort footprint and outside of the footprint if the Army caused the contamination.
Dlugosz said he plans to perform testing on the streams in three different locations: at the same sites of the previous studies, downstream and upstream. The studies will be done in two phases: the first phase is projected to cost approximately $50,000; the second phase, including downstream waterways, would cost at least $100,000, he said. After each phase, there would be a remediation design and engineering and legal strategy phase to determine a cost and liability impact to those responsible for damages, he said, adding that the last phase would be oversight and testing during actual remediation.
"I see that cost in millions because there probably would be dredging, depending on the remediation design," Dlugosz said.
Source of Wampum Lake Pollution in Dispute
21 Apr 2012
by Nicole Antonucci, Atlanticville Staff Write
Using the same 20-lake study by the county health department, Ed Dlugosz, chairman of the Eatontown Environmental Commission and a member of RAB, said the metal levels in the lake do not compare to those present in the other two water bodies Barricelli cited. "[Contamination in] Swimming River and Shadow Lake are less than a quarter of the intensity of Wampum Lake," he said. According to Dlugosz, three streams pass through Fort Monmouth and empty into Wampum Lake. All three streams show contamination of heavy metals including beryllium, cadmium, zinc, lead, arsenic, nickel, and chromium [and 8 additional metals and other contaminants], Dlugosz told the environmental commission on March 15.
Bill Simmons, environmental health coordinator for the Monmouth County Health 19 Department, explained to the board that the Fort Monmouth sewer plant is another point source. "In addition, the second largest source of metals is sewer," he said. The contamination of Wampum Lake has been an ongoing concern for local environmental groups who are now seeking funds to conduct an independent study of the lake located in Wampum Park on West Street and Route 35.
To get to the bottom of the contamination issue, members of RAB voted to apply to the U.S. Army for a grant last year. Wanda Green, environmental coordinator for the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission, said the $25,000 grant would pay for an independent professional to come in and explain Army reports and whether any operations on the fort impacted Wampum Lake. To date, the application is still undergoing review, she said.
Members of the board asked that if the grant is awarded, the Army provide a professional who has no connection to Fort Monmouth. "We want an independent person that has no involvement ... that could come in, look at all of the studies and all the information and can say this is what the information is," Jonathon Cohen, of the Tinton Falls Environmental Commission, said. "That is what we are asking for this money to pay for."
Barricelli argued the grant is not needed. In his presentation, he explained that the same metals present in Wampum Lake were also found in Shadow Lake and the Swimming River Reservoir and that research has shown most of the metals are found in motor oil and runoff from roadways. "The tire surface that hits the road isn't pure rubber, it's rubber with zinc or copper and other metals. Your tires have to wear, and all that tire wear ends up on the roads and in the gutters and the lakes and streams," Barricelli said. "Your brakes and brake pads are metallic. Every time you tap your brakes they wear and brake dust falls on the road and into the lakes and streams." He added that some metals such as arsenic are found in many agricultural pesticides. [Barricelli did not even acknowledge the Fort could be a contributor at all, which Board members and audience say hurt his credibility.]
During a brief history of Eatontown and the Fort Monmouth area, Barricelli explained that the area was a crossing point for railroads, which stimulated residential, commercial and industrial growth. "Intensive steam-powered railroad operations began in 1861 in the near vicinity of Wampum Lake and continued in the 20th century," he said. There was open coal storage adjacent to the rail line and there was open disposal of ashes from commercial and domestic uses, he said, adding that coal contains some of the metals detected in the lake sediment. "The long urban history in the vicinity of Wampum Lake, as well as its small size, contribute to ... metal contamination levels. The sediments in the streams as they leave Fort Monmouth don't have those high levels of total metals that are found in the lake sediment," Barricelli said.
While Dlugosz acknowledged that the metals could be found in other runoff, he said the metals are also found [in greater in more severe levels on FM] in batteries and electronics, which were a major component of the fort operations. Brian Charnick, of the Eatontown Sewage Authority, asked if there is any information regarding the sewage pipes throughout Fort Monmouth, which he said are broken. "The pipes in the ground are broken," he said. "If rainwater is coming in, it is washing out sanitary waste."
Green argued that there is no evidence that the pipes are compromised. "You're making a lot of assumptions. You can assume the pipes that are leading from the Meyers Center are broken. You can assume all these things, but we don't have anything that shows that. FMERA [Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority] has the study of the actual sewer line." She explained that the Army did an analysis of the system, and samples taken at the sewage treatment plant did not show metals in the sewage system. "Whether there is water going in or out, what this is saying is that we do not believe that there is any contamination in the sewer lines," she said. "If there is piping that is broken and there is contamination coming out, it would have been identified." When asked about the reports of increased sewage flow now that the fort is unoccupied, Green said that she has not received any such reports. "We get a bill, that is all we get," she said.
Chartnick argued that reports from the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority show that the sewage flow has increased after the base closed, specifically during rainfalls.
Members of the public at the meeting argued that Barricelli's presentation could not be used as a viable source of evidence because it lacks scientific data.
"I am really offended by this Wampum Lake report," said Sara Breslow, a member of the Eatontown Environmental Commission. "It is the most unscientific presentation. I don't understand how anyone could put that up, since it is practically opinion versus proper testing and scientific testing."
Anthony Talerico Jr., president of the Eatontown Borough Council, added his own concerns. "I think some people may say that this study is not scientific. My concern as a member of the governing body, I would like to see some indication that there is more upstream testing," Talerico said. "If there is more testing, please be a little bit more open and share the information. I have advocated at the local level to have ... a lot more people involved to present this information."
The RAB members agreed to allow Dlugosz to make a presentation on Wampum Lake at the next meeting in July.
Press Release: Pallone tells "How Pro-Pollution Advocates Risk Our Health"15 Apr 2012 by George Moffatt
Rep. Pallone Outlining on Monday, April 23, 2012
How Pro-Pollution Advocates Risk Our Health
George Moffatt, Program chairman
NJF Clearwater and (Monmouth) Sierra
Dennis Anderson, Sierra Group President,
Joellen Lundy, NJF Clearwater President
On April 23, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) will discuss the efforts by Republicans in Congress to dismantle decades of environmental regulations that protect our health and safety. The Congressman will speak at 6:30 pm, Monday, April 23 at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. The meeting, open to the general public, will include college students and members of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club.
Conservationists initially preserved wilderness tracts for passive recreation and to protect wildlife flora and fauna. As development ate up more open spaces and increased pollution, the scope of environmentalism evolved and now includes protecting the health and well-being of humans as well. "Now-a-days, when anti-environmental politicians and lobbyists try to increase corporate profits by watering down or eliminating regulations protecting our land, air and water, they are directly endangering our health and safety," according to Joellen Lundy, Clearwater's president. "Pollution causes thousands of premature deaths every year."
In addition, Dennis Anderson, president of the Sierra group, said "We must emphasize conserving energy and developing reusable energy sources, instead of destroying our environment by hydrofraking for gas, drilling for oil in environmentally fragile areas, and strip mining for coal. Healthy nations grow; polluted nations decay."
Both clubs also are opposed to off-shore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, supposedly designed to import LNG. However, many critics believe these terminals actually will be used to export hydrofracked American gas, which is causing major pollution problems, to higher-priced European and Asian markets, thus driving American natural gas prices higher.
Rep. Pallone will explain how polluters mask their extreme tactics by claiming "job killing" environmental regulations caused the recent recession and current unemployment, blaming the rise in gasoline prices on environmental regulations, and tacking anti-environmental amendments onto "must-pass" bills that traditionally receive bipartisan support.
In the 112th Congress, Rep. Pallone continues to serve as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to energy, environment, health care, commerce and telecommunications.
Pallone is on the Committee's Subcommittee on Health, which has sole jurisdiction over Medicaid, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and shares jurisdiction of Medicare with the Ways and Means Committee. The Health Subcommittee oversees public health, biomedical programs, food and drug safety, mental health and research, hospital construction and all health care homeland security-related issues.
The general meetings of NJF Clearwater and Sierra are hosted by the college's Science Field Station at Sandy Hook. The two clubs meet at the Lincroft campus to share speakers and involve environmentally concerned college students. A cash buffet will be available for college students and adults at 6:00 p.m. Contributions from non-students are requested to defray the costs. The general meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.
To get to Brookdale, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to parking lot 7 and the Warner Student Life Center (SLC), where the meeting will be in the Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7. As you walk towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf .
Fracking Waste is Being Shipped to New Jersey10 Mar 2012 by Fracking Waste is Being Shipped to New
Fracking's threat to NJ is closer than we thought. We have recently learned that Lorco Petroleum, based in Elizabeth, New Jersey, has accepted at least two shipments of fracking waste. There is likely more fracking waste on the way to this facility or other facilities across the state unless our legislators act now. Take action to keep more fracking waste from coming to New Jersey.
Fracking waste has been shown to contain radioactive elements and known carcinogens, which could be discharged into NJ drinking water supplies even if we never frack a single well in the state. Federal exemptions from hazardous waste standards make fracking waste even more dangerous because facilities that accept the waste may not take necessary steps to treat this waste, leading to harmful impacts on NJ waterways and drinking water sources.
Senator Gordon, Assemblywoman Wagner and Assemblyman Gusciora have introduced legislation that will help protect New Jersey's drinking water from the dangers of fracking waste by preventing the treatment, disposal, discharge or storage of fracking waste in NJ. As a strong show of support for this legislation, Franklin Township passed a resolution calling on the NJ legislature to pass a ban on fracking waste.
To Learn More & Take Action
Eatontown EC's & NJFC's Wampum Lake Campaign Achieving Critical Mass18 Feb 2012 by Ed Dlugosz
The Army has never taken responsibility for these toxins in the 22 years since the first tests were made. It's only in the past 6 years, since the revelation by the Fort Monmouth RAB of its extensive contamination, that we've been able to see the unequivocal correlation clearly. With the most recent revelations we've gained a critical mass of evidence that has convinced the local governments of Eatontown and Oceanport, and the Tinton Falls' EC to support Eatontown's and NJFC's call for independent testing and analysis with strongly worded resolutions and the authority to partner and seek grants to pay for the independent testing.
The latest evidence of the momentum is that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection representative and Environmental Chairman has vowed--first at the recent closed FMERA Environmental Advisory Committee meeting and then at the open public FMERA Board-that the NJDEP is looking into our claim and will discuss the studies that needed to be done. The Eatontown Mayor's representative, Anthony Talerico, and Oceanport Mayor Mahon both had strong, supportive, and precautionary words to say on how serious they are on this subject. The public concurred with their statements.
The latest tipping point seems to be our documented evidence that the Army's Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) was found to be lacking rationale for eliminating almost 30% of the documented contaminated sites to achieve their BEE NFA proposal. Eatontown and NJFC also provided evidence that the Army had not acknowledged the existence of a third, un-named stream that serves as another pathway for carrying contaminants toward the Lake. The rush of that un-named stream has been captured in photos and video supplemented by GPS-defined locations. In other words, two of the three tributaries to the Lake pass exclusively within the Fort's Charles Wood Area property nullifying the claim that other non-Army sources were responsible for the pollution. The NJDEP had already agreed with NJFC and had minimized or nullified the claim that Metallurgical Industries were the prime culprit.
In addition to blackwater (human waste), these sewer pipes have also carried lethal rather than benign greywater with a wide variety of contaminants including Heavy Metals, VOCs, SVOCs, POLs, B/N, and others mixed in--resulting from Command & Control R&D and production--that were flushed down the lab sinks counter to laboratory best practices, going back forever. Despite our calls for wider testing, the sewage pipeline was analyzed for only one toxin, Mercury, by the Army
Eatontown Sewer Authority reported a seemingly strange situation: i.e., Fort Monmouth complained that their sewage treatment fees were significantly higher after the base closure than before. The ESA cited higher flow of effluent and concluded that surface and groundwater had infiltrated the infrastructure from corroded FM sewage pipes. ESA suggested conversely, that the same widespread corrosion of pipes could contribute the high levels of contaminants into the environment in groundwater, soils, and possibly surface waters.
Ultimate Recycler Joins Whale Pond Brook Watershed Discovery Hike18 Feb 2012 by Ed Dlugosz
NJFC's TEF Reached 2,500 Students in Fall 2011!!18 Feb 2012 by George Moffat, TEF Director
The Traveling Environmental Fair (TEF), a centerpiece of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater's environmental education and advocacy program, reached about 500 grammar school students in three schools this Spring semester, plus about 2,000 youngsters at the "Ocean Fun Day" at Sandy Hook.
The TEF program, a series of one-hour presentations that were held at Cove Avenue School in Hazlet, Memorial School in Union Beach, and the Center School in Keyport, includes an introduction to New Jersey's land, air and water problems; the critical role plankton play in the food chain; the ocean's role in maintaining the atmosphere's oxygen levels through photosynthesis and generating fresh water through the "water cycle;" and the adverse impact unnecessary land-based nutrients have on New Jersey's coastal waters.
Students then were cycled through three hands-on, interactive stations. One deals with the pollution threats to a wide variety of marine life in Raritan Bay and other estuaries, featuring a fish tank with live killies, crabs, snails, and a grumpy puffer fish. It also includes a generous supply of less-than-live crab, clam, and mussel shells, egg casing, coral, and other beachcombing artifacts. Another station discusses how non-source (or multi-source pollution) can flow from streams, rivers, bays into oceans. The third station provides a study of live, fresh-water plankton under a microscope.
TEF was invited to five schools, but one failed to get back to us with proposed dates, and the other canceled because of insurance requirements. The teachers and administrators at the other schools had nothing but praise for the program. We hope to visit four to five schools during the Fall semester.
We benefited from several experienced instructors: Jodi Vergilio, an instructor at Brookdale Community College's Ocean Institute, a community outreach marine program based at Sandy Hook; Patrick Vansaghi, a student at BCC's Science Field Station at Sandy Hook who has taught TEF for several semesters; Paula Phillips, who has a degree in biology and recently concluded a teaching project at Kean College; and TEF director George Moffatt. Special thanks to Jack Charlton, who raises the zooplankton for the program, and Bob Macaluso, manager of the BCC Science Field Station at Sandy Hook, who helps provide instructors, storage space, and live marine specimens. (Alas, we owe him a starfish that was devoured by the puffer.)
The second phase of TEF's outreach was a tabling event at "Ocean Fun Day," an all-day outdoor exhibit of educational, environmental, and governmental organizations, plus "green" vendors, overlooking Raritan Bay at Sandy Hook. "Fun Day" usually attracts about 2,500 people, mostly youngsters, but this year, despite threatening weather, the event drew about 6,000 people - according to the event's sponsors-- at least half of who were students. Visitors to our TEF "Raritan Bay" exhibit sometimes stood several rows deep to view our fish tank full of live killies, crabs, snails, and that "killer" puffer fish, as well as our display of crab, clam, and mussel shells and other marine artifacts.
NJF Clearwater representatives President Joellen Lundy and George Moffat were augmented by stalwart semi-retired members Barbara and Jack Charlton, who publicized the Festival, and member emeritus Ray Cann.
"Fun Day," an established event run for years by the NJ Marine Sciences Consortium (now renamed the NJ Sea Grant Consortium), provides a great opportunity for NJF Clearwater to reach with little effort large numbers of children and their parents to instill the conservation ethic in our next generation of citizen leaders. This year's attendance figures indicate it is an exceptional program to educate youngsters, and we should plan now to take full advantage of it next year, as well.
Eatontown seeking money for study on Wampum Lake18 Dec 2011 by Nicole Antonucci, Atlanticville Sta
Study to determine contaminants in lake; Extent of pollution
EATONTOWN - The Borough Council passed a resolution authorizing a grant application to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) to fund a study of contaminants in Wampum Lake.
The study would be based on a presentation by Ed Dlugosz, chairman of the borough's Environmental Commission, given at the council's Nov. 9 workshop meeting.
After a brief debate, council members unanimously voted to go forward with the application. The funding, if approved, would go toward an investigative study and testing of Wampum Lake to determine the source of the pollution of the lake and whether the U.S. Army operations at the fort were a source of the contaminants.
"If we can establish through some kind of a study that the source of the pollution was Fort Monmouth and we have evidence, good sound evidence, of that fact, then the military is obligated to clean Wampum Lake," Mayor Gerald Tarantolo said during the discussion.
Dlugosz's presentation outlined studies conducted at Wampum Lake and said operations at Fort Monmouth could be the source of the pollution of Wampum Lake.
He told the council that in 1990 the Monmouth County Health Department did a study of 20 lakes in Monmouth County, testing for the presence of 13 heavy metals.
"Wampum Lake not only tested positive for all the contaminants, 10 of the 13 [metals] exceeded the severe effects levels. That is the harshest level, where there are the severest repercussions of ingesting, breathing, etc." Dlugosz said at the time.
He also outlined a second study by Donald Dorfman, that featured a chart of the heavy metals present in the lake, including arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver, and zinc along with the potential health repercussions.
Councilman Dennis Connelly said the study would be a waste of time and argued that more proactive measures need to be taken. "We keep spending money to keep doing studies to find it is polluted. Well, we know it is polluted," Connelly said. "The concentration should be [on] cleaning it up, getting it ready and then after that's done, if there is any new pollution then we would know where it came from."
Councilwoman Jennifer Piazza argued that the study was important to find how extensive the pollution is. "We can clean up the lake but 50 feet, 100 meters upstream can still be a huge portion of pollution that will come down the stream again," she said. In order to determine the type of remediation required, it is important to identify the types of contaminants in the lake, Piazza said.
Councilman Kevin Gonzalez agreed that a study is needed but argued that it could not stop there. "My concern is if another study is performed and nothing is done another five, 10 years from now they are going to be looking for another study and another," he said. "Once we find out the results of this study we need action."
Editor's Note: Ed Dlugosz is also Environmental Action Director of New Jersey Friends of Clearwater. He represents both NJFC and the EEC on the Restoration Advisory Board and the FMERA Environmental Advisory Committee for the past 6 years.
NJ Friends of Clearwater End Year with a WAG18 Dec 2011 by Jack Kearns
Eatontown: The NJ Friends of Clearwater End of Year party was warm, homey, among friends and with home spun music- hoe down, gentle and medium velocity rock, carols and original county at the Eatontown Community Center on Sunday.
The main vocalist was Alicia Van Sant whose voice reminds one of Karen Carpenter in texture and range. Her rendition of "O' Holy Night "drew special applause from the Clearwater group. For more about WAGS go on line to www.thewagband.com.
NJ Friends of Clearwater is a non-profit grassroots environmental group run by volunteers and dedicated to a cleaner environment. It is active in trying to control water pollution throughout the state to promote human and ecological health.
Its beginning goes back to Pete Seeger and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater group of the 70's. Seeger and friends built a 19th century style sloop and sailed from town to town on the Hudson River to build awareness about pollution. Today, the NJFC is over 8000 strong and has a record of successful lawsuits against polluters as well as many educational programs for children and adults.
June 2012 NJ Clearwater Circle of Song
13 Jun 2012
by Ingrid Held
Please join us for our Monthly Sing-Along
Turnstile Coffee Bar,
1607 Highway 71, Belmar, NJ 07719
We encourage songs about the environment and sing-along songs, but you can do or request others. The suggested donation of $3-$7 is still split between NJ Friends of Clearwater and Pastor Sonny's work on behalf of the homeless and the hungry in Asbury Park.
Tony DeSantis is a songwriting performer who, befitting his influences, sounds like John Gorka, writes like a whimsical Stan Rogers and displays solid guitar work reminiscent of Ralph McTell. He admits that his major interests in songwriting are trains, resurrection and Canada. Tell him about some strange place or obscure event, and it may end up in one of his songs. He brings an encyclopedic knowledge to his songs, which are warm and whimsical, with an insightful eye. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please check www.ingridmusic.com under Circle of Song or www.mcclearwater.org under Links/Circle of Song for any potential changes to planned events or call 732-869-9276.
Wampum Lake Pollution Study Resolution
11 Dec 2011
by Nicole Antonucci, Atlanticville Staff Write
Eatontown Looks For Source Of Wampum Lake Pollution:
Studies reveal heavy metal contamination
November 23, 2011: Despite the U.S. Army's claims that it is not responsible for the pollution of Wampum Lake, the Eatontown Borough Council is supporting an analysis by Ed Dlugosz, of the Environmental Commission, that claims otherwise. During the Nov. 9 workshop meeting, members of the council decided to draft a resolution addressing the issue of pollution at Wampum Lake to forward to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority.
"I don't think it's inappropriate to let it be known that Eatontown wants to protect its interests and is looking into this," Anthony Talerico Jr., council president, said. Mayor Gerald Tarantolo explained that it needs to be proven beyond a doubt that Fort Monmouth is the source of the pollution. "If you can identify that the federal government is the culprit in the contamination of Wampum Lake, then federal law says that the federal government is obligated to clean the contamination." Tarantolo said. "It is our responsibility to determine whether or not it was Fort Monmouth's operation that contributed to the contamination."
According to Lawrence Hajna, a spokesman for the N..J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Army did a study of potential impacts of facilities on streams in the area. The study is known as a Baseline Ecological Evaluation Report (BEE). "They concluded that their operations did not impact the sediments of those streams," Hajna said. "These studies did not look at Wampum Lake." Hajna said that the local environmental commission is looking into a grant to evaluate the lake sediments.
According to a Sept. 23 letter from Matthew Turner, of the DEP's Bureau of Case Management, to the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC), the DEP raises nine concerns with several sections of the report; one section regards Wampum Brook and other streams. "The report should provide an analysis and justification for the background samples collected along Mill Creek since this creek is located downstream from two surface water bodies on the Charles Woods Area [of Fort Monmouth] identified as Parkers Creek and Wampum Brook," Turner said in the letter. Turner also concludes that the DEP cannot concur with the conclusion that "additional ecological assessments at [Fort Monmouth] are not warranted or recommended" until the issues are addressed.
The Borough Council decided to take action after listening to a presentation by Dlugosz, environmental commission chairman, in which he outlined studies conducted of Wampum Lake and how Fort Monmouth could be the source of pollution of the lake. He told the council that in 1990 the Monmouth County Health Department did a study of 20 lakes in Monmouth County, testing for the presence of 13 heavy metals. "Wampum Lake not only tested positive for all the contaminants, 10 of the 13 [metals] exceeded the severe effects levels. That is the harshest level, where there are the severest repercussions of ingesting, breathing, etc.," Dlugosz said.
Donald Dorfman, of Monmouth University, did a second study, which was based on the work done by the county, he said. According to that study, not only were the same metals present but fish in the lake were being affected. "Each of the fish ingested different materials, different heavy metals, and they had different reactions to them," Dlugosz said.
His presentation featured a chart with each of the heavy metals listed, including arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver, and zinc along with the potential health repercussions. "Every one of these contaminants listed are part of the everyday sediments on Fort Monmouth," Dlugosz said.
Various buildings on Fort Monmouth produced several of the heavy metals identified, he said. Fort Monmouth was the communications electronics capital of the Army. They are known far and wide for their radar and every component, every computer, every system they have had batteries," Dlugosz said.
Underground water flow maps, he said, showed water flowing from streams near Fort Monmouth directly into Wampum Lake. "Just like on the surface, it flows from high point to low, and the same things happen underground," Dlugosz said. The stream that flows into Wampum Lake is only a few hundred feet from several of the buildings on the fort, which deal with the same metals, he said.
After presenting his findings, Dlugosz refuted the explanations offered by Army officials. "One of the things the Army has done is make excuses that they aren't the bad guy, that somebody else did it, and one of the things they always bring up is something called Metallurgical Industries," Dlugosz said. However, research has shown that the only contaminant from the Metallurgical building, located on Pinebrook Road off the fort grounds, was chromium, he said. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxic release inventory report of Metallurgical Industries found negative results for contributing to pollution of Wampum Lake, he said.
"We have looked at our tax records, looked at other possible organizations [that could have contributed to the pollution], all came out negative," Dlugosz said. The Army has been very hesitant to conduct a full-stream sediment test, he said. "If we get the funding, I want to revisit past test sites, go downstream where there should be a buildup of sediment and then go upstream," he said.
Talerico commented on the Army's involvement. "FMERA likes to say everything is warm and fuzzy when talking about the environment side of this. It's not a glamorous subject to talk about, I will admit. It's more fun to talk about bringing in business and development and making it a thriving economy for the area, but all that is going to be stymied if we can't do it right from the beginning," Talerico said.
Editor's Note: Mr. Dlugosz obtained a portion of his long-awaited OPRA request on Metallurgical Industries after publication of his presentation and this article. Although more evidence of contamination was available, a NJDEP representative who assisted obtaining the material said that the "review of the file didn't reveal any indication that the Lake was impacted from the Metalurgical site."
Another Successful Whale Pond Brook Watershed Cleanup11 Dec 2011 by
WPBWA members (pictured above right to left) Faith Teitelbaum, Jeff King, Laura Bagwell, Laurel VonGerichten, and Ed Dlugosz; Tom Thorsen (Watershed Ambassador), and friend Chris worked for over 3.5 hours, wearing chest waders, mostly "waist deep in the small muddy" freeing the Whale Pond by cutting overarching domes of vine before we could remove the log and branch dams, plastics, car doors and mufflers, and other manmade garbage.
Whale Pond Brook Watershed Cleanup December 10, 201111 Dec 2011 by
Who?: Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association in cooperation with the Monmouth U. and sponsored by NJ Friends of Clearwater
What?: We will clean debris and invasive plants from both the Ross Island and the Takanassee Lake shoreline.
When?: December 10, 9:30am Registration until 12:30pm
Where?: Lakeside edge of Red Oakes Drive horseshoe, Elberon, Long Branch 07740. See map.
Why?: To restore one of the most beautiful assets on Whale Pond Brook Watershed. The Ross Island historic stone house will be a WPBWA's showcase and symbol of our commitment to the Takanassee Lake restoration.
How: Hard work in a beautiful, seldom seen setting. John boats and hipboots. Gloves & bags provided; wear sturdy shoes/pants and bring clippers hand saws, pruners, loppers, eye protection, etc.
Contacts: Faith Teitelbaum: email@example.com; Ed Dlugosz: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resident Pushes for Study of Wampum Lake11 Nov 2011 by Shannon K. Winning, Eatontown-Tinton Fall
Previous studies say that Wampum Lake is the most polluted in the county, but so far no one has proved how it got that way.
Eatontown resident Ed Dlugosz believes the Army is responsible for the pollution of Wampum Lake and wants to launch a study to prove it.
Dlugosz, a member of the Resident Advisory Board (RAB) for Fort Monmouth's redevelopment and the Environmental Advisory Committee of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), addressed the Borough Council on the topic Wednesday after a Patch story revealed that one member of the RAB has the intention of proving the Army has no responsibility for Wampum Lake's pollution.
Federal law requires that the Army clean up any environmental messes it makes. Dlugosz, chairman of the Eatontown Environmental Commission, said if Eatontown wants the Army to clean up Wampum Lake it's going to have to prove the Army polluted the lake, which lies just outside Fort Monmouth property.
"It's more fun to talk about bringing in business ... but all that is going to be stymied if this isn't taken care of," Council President Anthony Talerico said.
According to Dlugosz, who has been working on the issue for the past five years, the pollution of Wampum Lake is well documented. Dlugosz said that in 1990 the Monmouth County Health Department did a survey of 20 lakes, Wampum being one of them. Their study, which was not aimed at assessing the cause of pollution, found that the lake contained all 13 heavy metals it tested for, 10 of them exceeding the severe effects level. Wampum Lake's cumulative score for contaminants made it the most polluted lake in the county.
That study was followed by another independent study done by Dr. Donald Dorfman of then Monmouth College. Dorfman sampled tissue from lake fish and found 13 carcinogenic heavy metals, Dlugosz said. It was after these studies that Eatontown put signs up at the lake warning against eating fish caught there.
More study is needed, Dlugosz said, to show how the contaminants got into the lake and he is hoping to team up with a university to conduct independent tests in the lake and the two brooks which feed it.
Once that data is analyzed, Dlugosz hopes to be able to point the finger at a specific polluter and force it to clean the lake. He estimates the cost of such a study at $50,000.
Dlugosz said the key aspect of the study will be tracing metal contaminants to their specific uses.
According to Dlugosz, the Army has in the past blamed the lake's pollution on a company called Metallurgical Industries, which is now out of business. But according to documents from the Environmental Protection Agency, which Dlugosz cited, Metallurgical Industries was found to have only dumped into the public sewage treatment system and never into local waters.
Dlugosz and Sara Breslow, who lives on Lake Drive next to Wampum Lake, have been searching tax records and reading local history to see if there was ever another business located in the area that could have been responsible for this kind of heavy metal pollution. So far, Dlugosz said they haven't found one.
"If the irrefutable proof points to someone other than the fort, I'll be surprised," Dlugosz said. "But that would be OK. After all, I'm a scientist."
Joint NJFC-Sierra Club Membership Meeting 11-28-1111 Nov 2011 by
Nov. 28 -- NJ Friends of Clearwater (NJFC) and the Sierra Club will present "When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey, with Brookdale Community College hosting the event.
Dr. William B. Gallagher, retired researcher and registrar of natural history at the N.J. State Museum and visiting lecturer at both Rutgers University and Rider University, will discuss dinosaurs and other creatures of the Cretaceous Period that lived and died in New Jersey. He also has authored a book, "When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey," which explains how the study of these remarkable creatures was spurred by early fossils found in New Jersey. He also is expected to explain why some scientists believe dinosaurs really aren't extinct. His book will be available for purchase.
The general meeting will be at a NEW TIME and LOCATION: 6:00 p.m. at Brookdale Community College. The general meeting will be at a NEW TIME and LOCATION: 6:00 p.m. at Brookdale Community College. NJFC is holding a joint meeting with the BCC's Science Field Station at Sandy Hook and the Jersey Shore Group of the Sierra Club as an experiment to allow our speakers to reach a greater audience. A buffet will be available for the college students and Sierra and NJFC members at 6:00 p.m. Contributions from Sierra and NJFC members accepted. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. There will be a brief NJFC Membership meeting to discuss internal matters after the presentation.
To get to Brookdale, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC), where the meeting will be in the Twin Lights 1 Room. Use parking lot 7. As you walk towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf .
Whale Pond Brook Watershed Cleanup—November 5, 201102 Nov 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Who?: Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association sponsored by NJ Friends of Clearwater
What?: Whale Pond Brook Cleanup. See map below.
When?: November 5, 9:30AM Registration. Cleanup 9:30am until 12:30pm
Where?: Intersection Branch and Peach Tree Roads, Ocean, NJ 07712
Why?: Constant flooding of neighborhood caused by overdevelopment and poor floodplain planning and execution. Hurricanes Irene & Lee and 3rd wettest year on record exacerbate already bad situation.
How: Physical Activity; Gloves & bags provided; Bring boots and sturdy clothing. Tom Thorsen, our watershed ambassador, and the Mosquito Commission have been and will be helping us.
Fort Monmouth Environmental Contamination: The Army Just Doesn't Get It!
18 Jul 2011
by Ed Dlugosz, Director, NJFC Environmental Ac
For over three years Clearwater and our activist colleagues were told that the BEE would continue the testing and provide a triage strategy to remediate the problems posed by terrible results provided in the Phase 2 Environmental Condition of the Property (ECP2). The ECP2 detailed an additional 27 contaminated parcels, up from the original 43 sites. We weren't provided a rationale for studying only 23 sites. Much like the 2009 FM Environmental Assessment (EA) the BEE did not address the many human health issues that activists had demanded from this study, i.e., extensive downstream sediment heavy metal testing (after over 60 years of pollution) including Wampum Lake, more vapor intrusion testing, historical human health impacts to soldiers and civilians, etc.
Review of the BEE prior to the July 7th presentation brought a myriad of questions including a whole new vocabulary that included terms like COPEC and ESC. We were introduced to a new set of equations which allowed mitigation of impact by averaging and looking at background in similar types of soils and conditions. Because of this confusion, I sent a copy of my questions to the Army for explanation. I was told that I would that the concepts would be explained during the meeting. Nothing in the text of the BEE prepared me for the meeting's revelation that:
• "Human Health-based criteria was not used"
• "Chronic criteria [was] used instead of acute criteria"
• "Lowest Effects Levels (Effects Range Low) used instead of Probable or Severe Effect Levels (Effects Range Median)"
Clearwater will continue to review and comment upon the BEE Report in light of these revelations and provide comments to the Army. The report has not yet been approved by the NJDEP, who at a subsequent meeting of the FMERA, agreed to review our written comments for possible inclusion in their prior to issuing their judgment.
In other RAB discussions, we learned that Wanda Green will probably remain as the lead Army POC and that others will be named for the continuation of the RAB mission beyond the closing of FM on 15 September 2011.
Is the Legislature Playing "Pretend" in Banning Hydrofracking Shale Deposits for Oil?18 Jul 2011 by
We hope this is the case, but we're not sure. Gov. Christie, who has become increasingly hostile to the state's environmental problems, has yet to sign the bill. If he does, it will be a watershed event. But will he? Sen. Joseph M. Kyrollis Jr. did not vote on the bill but offered an amendment -- rejected by the Senate -- to ban hydrofracking for five years. But why would Kyrollis delay hydrofracking?
There is growing public anger over hydrofracking, which requires enormous amounts of water and a number of toxic chemicals that the frackers are not required by law to report. Vice President Dick Cheney accomplished this dodge while in office. These undisclosed chemicals pollute both underground and surface water supplies. This debacle is very hard for politicians to support, so we may be seeing a "pretend" vote where pro-development politicians duck citizens' ire by voting against hydrofracking, knowing that the governor will use his veto power to avoid an out-right ban and force environmentally responsible politicians to accept Kyrollis' "compromise" that opens the door in five years.
The state of New Jersey deserves better. Until hydrofracking is absolutely safe, it must be banned. The first step would be to require complete disclosure of the chemicals they plan on indirectly pumping into our water supply.
Joellen Lundy, President
N.J Friends of Clearwater
Dennis Anderson, Chair
Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club
Sailboat "Adam Hyler" Sailing Status: About to Launch
31 May 2011
by Jim Franchi
We hope to launch next weekend, June 4.
We dock at the Irwin's Yacht Works yard #2 (west of Monmouth Boat Club) in Red Bank, NJ. We will be sailing Tuesdays and gathering around 6pm with plans to shove off by 6:30pm. If it is raining on Tuesday night, we will probably try to have a sail Wednesday or Thursday depending on crew availability, so feel free to call or Email, myself, Tom, Shannon or John to see if we are having a makeup sail. Sail Information
Maintenance Completed on the Garvey:
--We have finished the last piece of the repair last week and as we were doing the spring fit out at the same time we are nearly ready.
--Shannon built two new Oak thole pin blocks for the forwards oars and I have two coats of Cetol (preservative and finish) on them. I will be installing them later this week.
--The sticks are reassembled with brand new Oak Cleats.
--The seams were touched up or repairs by John yesterday.
--The white paint touch up was finished during the week last week as was the Cetol on the boat.
What is left:
--Blue bottom paint touch-up
--Linseed oiling of the deck.
--Attaching the Thole Pin blocks.
--Greasing the trailer and pumping up the tires.
--Get the new locks combo out to the crew.
--Finally loading the boat with lines, life preserving, bumpers, thole pins and etc. (The sails will be in a car instead.)
NJ Friends of Clearwater fully supports NJEF's call for the defeat of the "Waiver Rule"23 Apr 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
New Jersey Friends of Clearwater fully supports the following NJEF call for the defeat of the "Waiver Rule". NJFC considers the Rule the worst possible insult to common sense and the environment.
DEP's Proposed Waiver Rules Waive Environmental Protections
Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Environmental Federation (NJEF), [NJ Clearwater is a founding member] reiterated today its opposition to the Christie Administration's proposed waiver rules, the subject of a NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hearing Thursday April 17, and called for the proposal to be withdrawn if not rewritten to provide adequate safeguards.
"We share the concerns of our environmental colleagues and for that matter the regulated community that this proposal leaves too much discretion to the DEP, makes permit decisions ripe for abuse, and should be withdrawn unless and until it's rewritten with clear and more protective standards," said David Pringle, NJEF's Campaign Director. "It's the DEP's job to protect the environment not waive environmental protections," said Pringle. "Under this proposal, only time will tell how much the environment, public health and safety are undermined but even DEP acknowledges it's not a matter of if but how much."
Pringle noted the DEP proposal acknowledges it will weaken protections and contradicts itself:
'The rules would … allow some activities to proceed that would otherwise not be allowed, with corresponding negative environmental impacts' (http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/030711b.pdf, pg 12)
'According to Executive Order No. 2, an agency can only waive the strict compliance with a regulation if the waiver would not be inconsistent with the core missions of the agency' (http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/030711b.pdf, pg 4)
[DEP's core missions are]'protecting the air, waters, land, and natural and historic resources of the State to ensure continued public benefit … to be advanced through effective and balanced implementation and enforcement of environmental rules to protect these resources and the health and safety of New Jersey's residents and visitors' (http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/030711b.pdf, pg 3).
"As proposed, the rules encourage every applicant to seek waivers, adding red tape and reducing predictability, and defeating the suggested intended purpose of the rules," Pringle added. "If adopted, it will increase the role of politics and decrease the role of science in decision-making." Pringle cited the definitions for 'unduly burdensome' and 'net environmental benefit', 2 of the conditions where waivers could be granted, as "wide enough to drive a truck through," the public notice requirement could be after the fact and the lack of a public comment requirement. Pringle also disputed DEP's release announcing the proposal as misleading at best by suggesting environmentalists support it and it would result in a 'net environmental gain', and by promoting economic growth over DEP's core mission to protect human health and the environment.
Clearwater Sponsors April Whale Pond Watershed Cleanups21 Apr 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Continuing with our "Protect Our Watersheds" theme, NJ Friends of Clearwater sponsored two cleanups of the Whale Pond Brook Watershed in April with other members of the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association. Our first cleanup in December 2010 was a resounding success. Members of the WPBWA performed its second cleanup on April 2, 2011 on the southern streambank near the Hess gas station on east side Route 35 in Ocean. The Whale Pond floodplain (shown below, right of Rt 35) was clogged with construction debris, 55-gallon drums, signs, garbage, recyclables, and packaging.
WPBWA members Laura, Lisa, & Mom Rosemary Bagwell, Jeff King, Ray Pogwiest, Faith Teitelbaum, Susan DiGiacomo, Ceil Mancini, Tim Johnson, and Ed Dlugosz; and Kayla Connor (Watershed Ambassador) worked for over 3.5 hours freeing the Whale Pond of unnatural dams, plastic bottle flotillas and scum, as well as the aforementioned pollution which allowed the free flow of the brook.
We plan to have Cleanup #3 on April 23 on the west side of Route 35 in Eatontown side of the stream near the confluence of the Whale Pond and Cranberry Brooks. The Eatontown meeting spot and access point will be at 99 Corbett Way (at red star) off of Industrial Way West. It is next to the Surgery Center at 97. As usual, Clearwater will supply gloves, waders, pickup, and coffee.
Clearwater is a founding member of WPBWA, which includes the Environmental Commissions of Eatontown, Ocean Township, Tinton Falls, West Long Branch, and Long Branch. Our previous cleanup (Cleanup #1) in December was a resounding success (see January's NJFC Newsletter or earlier articles on this webpage.)
Clearwater Takes Initiative on Contaminated Wampum Lake21 Apr 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Clearwater has recently submitted a proposal to the EPA for an Environmental Justice Small Grant (EJSG) to independently re-analyze the sediments and surface water that has contaminated Wampum Pond and upstream tributaries for over 50 years and to determine its exact source.
As has been reported in this newsletter and local newspapers, Fort Monmouth has disclosed that dozens of toxic substances including over 20 heavy metals, VOCs, and POLs are present in the surface water, its sediments, groundwater, and soil. While the Army generally takes responsibility for those toxins within the border of the post, it defiantly refuses to take responsibility for any of those same contaminants just downstream or outside its borders for fear of setting a precedent.
The ultimate purpose of NJ Friends of Clearwater's (NJFC) EJ Project is to have those toxins remediated in the sediments and surface waters of the lakes, streams, and wetlands directly downstream from the Fort and restock the watershed. We cited the many subsistence fishermen, crabbers, and clammers that can be seen plying the waters, banks and bridges despite warnings. The first phase will resample/re-analyze Wampum Lake heavy metals and take upstream samples to determine precise sources. Wampum lake lies only 2/10 mile downstream from the western post's border. NJFC will seek additional EJSG funding for future phases for sampling, analysis, and remediation of streams exiting from the eastern post's border and directly entering the Shrewsbury River, which affects a wider population and environment.
Clearwater has sought, and is still seeking, independent partners, like the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) and Monmouth University who both conducted significant testing of Wampum Lake in 1990 using different methodologies-chemical analysis and biological fish tissue sampling. Both concluded that the lake was contaminated with heavy metals-Antimony, Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Selenium, Silver, Thallium, and Zinc-and the risk to human and animal life are high.
Clearwater Is Very Active On A Number Of Environmental Fronts23 Apr 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Here's a sampling of other eco-actions and policy decisions that NJFC has made:
1. Several of Clearwater members attended the Panel Discussion at Brookdale Community College on Wednesday, April 6. The Panelists were Dr. Ronald Bishop, Lecturer on Bio-Chemistry at SUNY-Oneonta and Hazardous Materials expert; Kathleen Malone, US EPA - Region 2, NY/NJ, P.R. and V.I.; and Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network. It was an excellent discussion.
It's great that so many people are educating themselves about hydrofracking. [Hydraulic Fracturing or fracking is the process of injecting huge high-pressure streams of chemical-laden water into shale deposits to release embedded natural gas.] It seems some big corporations are bringing millions of dollars to the tables in Pennsylvania and other states, buying rights to the fuels stored in the Marcellus and other shale deposits under our United States of America. There is much harm caused to our water tables from the practice, and millions of gallons of clean water used in the process becoming very polluted water that needs to be properly disposed of. And this in a part of the Northeast where many millions of people depend on a limited amount of drinking water. I plan to learn more about what's going on and see how we can help. Thanks to the League of Women Voters who sponsored this event.--Joellen Lundy, President NJFC
2. Clearwater joined the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) to write a petition to "fully support EPA's proposal to update the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) to include the vapor intrusion pathway, so that sites with significant documented or potential vapor intrusion can be placed on the "Superfund" National Priorities List (NPL). This action is long overdue, because an uncounted number of Americans are exposed to toxic volatile substances in our homes, schools, and workplaces."
In Ed's sign-on letter to Mike Schade, he wrote, "As you and Lois* know, New Jersey Friends of Clearwater (NJFC) has been fighting the pollution at Fort Monmouth both past, present, and future for many years. Among the 3 major issues that we face, VOC and B/N vapor intrusion into the laboratories and office buildings at FM is one of the least understood dangers to the health of the soldiers and workers as well as future residents. There is a minimum of 5 buildings on FM that have had vapor intrusion without the knowledge of the workers for at least 50 years. At several of the sites, superfund-level groundwater (GW), soil gas, and vapor intrusion numbers have been documented. I testified at the Brownfields Conference's USEPA's Workshop: Addressing Regulatory Challenges in Vapor Intrusion: A State-of-the-Science Update. The issue is more important to us than to most since DOD, whom we're fighting at FM, is trying to water down this important regulation change."--Ed Dlugosz, Past President and Environmental Action Director.
* The "Lois" to whom I referred above is our 2008 Festival keynote speaker Lois Marie Gibbs, heroine of the Love Canal.
3. NJFC joined--by means of an affirmative vote by our own HRSC Board member--our national parent organization Clearwater to sign a legal petition to the NRC that essentially calls for a moratorium on re-licensing proceedings until there has been time to assess the implications on aging US nuclear power plants of the Fukushima disaster, likely the worst or one of the worst in the history of nuclear power, and now certainly equal to Chernobyl. Clearwater was invited by one of the premier nuclear attorneys in the US, who has worked on many nuclear re-licensing cases (including Oyster Creek in Lacey Twsp.),
The name of the petition is: Emergency Petition To Suspend All Pending Reactor Licensing Decisions And Related Rulemaking Decisions Pending Investigation Of Lessons Learned From Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident. HRSC joins not only the lawyer but also 43 organizations fighting the re-licensing of 24 Nuclear Power Plants.
NJFC's Fort Monmouth Contamination Remediation Campaign22 Apr 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Restoration Advisory Board Meeting Held April 7, 2011
The latest RAB meeting was held on April 7, 2010. There was an agreement at January's meeting that the community members could hold adhoc meetings in between regular quarterly meetings. If review of materials required clarification, the Army would be willing to meet or teleconference with us. We also would not have to wait until a quarterly meeting to receive new data. The Army is willing to distribute the documents to RAB members and make it available online. We have already reviewed Remedial Action Progress Reports (RAPR) and the interim MODFLOW deliverables were published and distributed in this manner. The topics were both meaningful and provoked a lively discussion. The MODFLOW Groundwater Report provide the community with a more comprehensive view which coincided with our contentions that the contaminated GW flowed below the surface in the direction of the Wampum creating both sediment and surface water contamination.
In other business we were again frustrated by the unavailability of the testing and results of the Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) Report. Apparently those results were sent to an additional group of Army engineers and were still being reviewed. The results of the Parker/Oceanport Creek sediment and laboratory buildings' vapor intrusion testing are critical to us. Our continued quest to have the ten landfills properly excavated and capped is being blocked by the Army's budget woes. There's no money to even design and engineer the capping much less implement a viable solution.
FMERA Meeting of Environmental Advisory Committee
The third FMERA Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) meeting was held Thursday, April 12 at 5:00pm at their offices in Eatontown. Ben Forest and Ed Dlugosz represented Clearwater (Ed also represents Eatontown). The unscheduled, main topic of the meeting was the environmental status of the Fort's infrastructure. We attempted to elicit the contamination condition of the sanitary sewers, storm drains, and buildings, etc. that were subject of Matrix's Infrastructure Report. For example, although there was an ECP2 Report citing no mercury contamination was found in the sanitary sewer system, there were no discussion or follow-up on the other heavy metals that made there ways from the battery and electronics labs into sediments of the streams and lakes through the sewer system. Another question about the present condition and plans for demolition of the planned excess buildings--like the 4-story 1200s, one of which had its roof caved in and was abandoned after a recent storm event--went unanswered. As usual we were disappointed with the lack of information that was made available.
* Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority
Clearwater Plans April Whale Pond Watershed Cleanups15 Mar 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Continuing with our "Protect Our Watersheds" theme, NJ Friends of Clearwater is sponsoring two cleanups of the Whale Pond Brook Watershed in April with other members of the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association. Clearwater is a founding member of WPBWA which includes the Environmental Commissions of Eatontown, Ocean Township, Tinton Falls, West Long Branch, and Long Branch. Our previous cleanup (Cleanup #1) in December was a resounding success (see January's NJFC Newsletter or earlier articles on this webpage.)
We plan to have Cleanup #2 on April 2, 2011 on the streambank near the Hess gas station on east side Route 35 in Ocean. The Hess station will be the gathering place. We plan to have Cleanup #3 on April 23 on the west side of Route 35 in Eatontown and Ocean on both sides of the stream near the confluence of the Whale Pond and Cranberry Brooks. The Eatontown access point will be near the intersection of Corbett and James Ways off of Industrial Way West. The Ocean access point will be at points along north Apollo Drive in Twinbook Village and behind and north of Red Lobster on Armstrong Boulevard. The gold stars on the map show approximate access points. More details, including start times and exact gathering places, to follow.
Next Restoration Advisory Board Meeting Set for April 7, 201109 Mar 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Our next RAB meeting is now scheduled for April 7, 2010. Please join us at this important meeting and we can guarantee you will support our efforts.
On January 20, we held our last RAB meeting where Clearwater pushed for monthly RAB meetings rather than the present quarterly ones. With so little time left with the original Fort Monmouth Installation Management DPW personnel, who made promises, we need to maximize face time to achieve our goals. While we were not fully successful, we were able to reach a compromise where, the community members could hold adhoc meetings in person or electronically. If review of materials required clarification, the Army would be willing to meet or teleconference. We also would not have to wait until a quarterly meeting to receive new data. The Army would distribute the documents to RAB members and make it available online. We have already reviewed data from the meeting in this manner and have received two new documents as interim deliverables.
In other business we were again frustrated by the unavailability of the testing and results of the Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) Work Plan. Apparently those results were sent to an additional group of Army engineers and were still being reviewed. The results of the Parker/Oceanport Creek sediment and laboratory vapor intrusion testing were critical to us. Our continued quest to have the ten landfills properly capped and protected is being blocked by the Army's budget woes. There's no money to even design and engineer the capping much less implement a viable solution.
FMERA Meeting of Environmental Advisory Committee09 Mar 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
The third Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) meetings was held Thursday, March 3 at 5:30pm at the FMERA offices in Eatontown. Ben Forest and Ed Dlugosz represent Clearwater (Ed also represents Eatontown). Michele Siekerka is the chairperson of the EAC and represents the NJDEP administrator NJDEP ex officio on the FMERA Board
The EAC was provided with a presentation from MATRIX Design Group on the Best Practices process for Risk Management they expect to implement for protecting the public's interest. Community members insisted that the EAC primarily advises the FMERA Board/Chairperson and should not be titled the Environmental Staff Advisory Committee, which connotes a lesser role than it traditionally played. The community members also opposed blanket confidentiality restrictions on information discussed at meetings. Reps opposed closed sessions and agreed to the restrictions only in the case of sensitive financial negotiations.
7th NJ Clearwater Circle of Song Sing-Along09 Mar 2011 by
Please join us for our seventh Sing-Along scheduled on Thursday, March 17, 2011, at 6:30pm, at the First United Methodist Church of Asbury Park 906 Grand Avenue. Asbury Park, NJ 07712 [two blocks from the Stone Pony]
The show will star Jay Wilensky and Ingrid Heldt. For more details see attached CoS Flyer
Clearwater Group Opposes Privatizing Government Services16 Feb 2011 by Joellen Lundy
For immediate release:
The New Jersey Friends of Clearwater (NJFC) has joined a coalition of environmentalists, unions, and public affairs organizations to make sure that some politicians' fascination with privatizing public agencies and functions does not increase costs to the taxpayers, deprive public employees their employment and work benefits, nor decrease services to the taxpayers in favor of private profits.
Joellen Lundy, president of the NJFC organization, announced this week that her organization is joining the New Jersey Coalition On Privatization (NJCOP), which includes about 15 other organizations that dispute claims that privatizing certain public services will reduce their costs.
"Our organization suspects that the current political fad to 'privatize' traditionally governmentally controlled functions, such as environmental reviews, libraries, prisons, parks, water supplies, toll collectors, and health and environmental protections has nothing to do with saving taxpayers money. Instead, it is designed to favor politically connected individuals and businesses, which can eliminate accountability while ultimately increasing costs and decreasing services."
NJCOP is an outgrowth of the efforts of a nationwide organization, Food and Water Watch, which was a prime mover in forming NJCOP. According to Jim Walsh, Eastern Region Director of Food & Water Watch, "NJ Coalition on Privatization member organizations are working to ensure that public assets and services are managed for the public good, rather than for private gain." Currently there are many fights to stop privatization in the state, including Turnpike toll workers, TV station NJN, the PATCO (rail) Speedline, and public water supply systems, to name a few.
There is a bill under consideration in the Legislature in Trenton that would help protect communities from damaging privatization contracts, SCR131 in the state Senate and ACR150 in the state Assembly.
Ms. Lundy said NJFC opposes privatizing functions that only government can perform. She noted that NJFC joined a lawsuit against the National Park Service (NPS) at Sandy Hook when it announced plans to privatize and commercialize 36 buildings in historic Fort Hancock. "We are concerned that opponents of many very important state programs are using the current economic turndown as an excuse to reduce or eliminate many services and programs, especially the state's environmental rules and regulations," she said.
Clearwater is a 36-year-old environmental organization that is known for its annual Clearwater Environmental Music Festival, its marine environmental program for grammar schools that has reached more than 25,000 students, its Environmental Sail Program with its garvey Adam Hyler, and its efforts to protect the state's environment. It's website is at http://www.ncclearwater.org/.
Clearwater Sponsors Whale Pond Watershed Cleanup and Strategy08 Jan 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Cleanup includes retention basins and areas denoted by stars in locations in Eatontown and Ocean.
Seated: Ed Dlugosz; 2nd Row: Valerie Rogoff, Tim Johnson, Joellen Lundy, Laurel VonGerichten, Lynn Humphrey; 3rd row: Laura Bagwell, Faith Teitelbaum, Mary Kinslow; Last row (L-R): Bob Sandberg, Jerry Keelen, Jeff King, Ray Pogwist. Photograph by Faith Teitelbaum/Jack Kearns
Support Clearwater's Efforts to Clean Up Fort Monmouth08 Jan 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Restoration Advisory Board Meeting Set for January 20, 2011
We are pushing for monthly RAB meetings rather than the present quarterly ones. With so little time left with the original Fort Monmouth Installation Management DPW personnel who made promises, we need to maximize face time to achieve our goals. Once those current people leave, there will be no corporate history since the minutes are so selective and the budget is so weak. Our next RAB meeting is now scheduled for January 20, 2010. Please join us at this meeting and listen for yourselves. We guarantee you will support our efforts
FMERA Plans Meeting of Environmental Advisory Committee
The first of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) meetings will be held Monday, January 10 at 4pm at the FMERA offices. Ed Dlugosz was again appointed by Eatontown to serve as its representative at the FMERA EAC. No other memberships have been announced.
We are expecting newly-appointed FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman to kick things off with a presentation from MATRIX Design Group on the environmental and infrastructure condition of the base.
On December 15, 2010 FMERA held it's month meeting at the Eatontown Borough Hall. The minutes of the meeting have not been published yet, but its agenda is available at http://www.nj.gov/fmera/agenda/pdf/101215_agenda.pdf. Among the agenda items are: Status of Advisory Committee Formation; Status of Planning, Engineering, Architectural and Environmental Engagement; Meetings with the Office of Economic Adjustment; and another Meeting with the Army in DC.
Baykeeper Discusses Oyster Bed Controversy at NJFC Meeting08 Jan 2011 by Ed Dlugosz
Clearwater had the pleasure of listening to NY/NJ Baykeeper Debbie Mans discuss the history and scope of the Baykeeper's mission in NJ waters at our December 2010 Membership Meeting. The Baykeeper's domain includes not only the Raritan and Sandy Hook Bay, but also the NY Harbor. Debbie's main topic was the Baykeeper's 2010 battle with the NJDEP over the seeding and maintenance of oyster beds in the Raritan Bay and other locations.
The NJDEP's objection was the possible poaching of the oysters from the experimental beds for commercial food product use. Baykeeper's purpose for creating the oyster beds has always been to use natural devices to help filter and clean the marine environment. Clearwater's Environmental Sail Program and its Tuckerton Garvey "Adam Hyler" has helped Baykeeper build the shell bed infrastructure, seed the oyster beds, and help maintain them. The Garvey helped carry volunteers to the Navesink River shoals off Oyster Point, Red Bank to perform those duties. (See www.mcclearwater.org/esp.php for more info.)
In the end, the battle was won by NJDEP who ordered the Baykeeper to remove the oysters and beds from their location near the Keyport NJ waterfront, a natural location for oysters since Native American times. Baykeeper is exploring the possibility of placing oyster beds on Government property near the Earle Ammunition Depot Pier in Leonardo on Raritan Bay although we are unsure of its viability.
ALL HANDS: NJFC Cleanup of the Whalepond Brook30 Nov 2010 by Ed Dlugosz
In keeping with our 2010 annual and on-going theme "Knock Out Pollution, Protect Our Watersheds", NJ Friends of Clearwater is sponsoring a cleanup of a central portion of the Whalepond Sub-Watershed starting at 10am on Saturday, December 11, 2010. We will meet in the back parking lot of DSCI at 12 Christopher Way, Eatontown (off Industrial Way East). Please bring boots or sturdy shoes and warm, layered clothing. We will be supplying work gloves and bags and will have 4 chest-high wading boots, if needed.
Progress Slows at Fort Monmouth Contamination Sites29 Nov 2010 by Ed Dlugosz
While activity has been evident, real progress has slowed considerably at Fort Monmouth's contaminated sites during 2010 as disclosed at the recent October 21, 2010 Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting. Fort Monmouth is closing in only 9 months under the BRAC decision of 2005. The contamination will last decades longer. NJ Friends of Clearwater fights to truly clean up the site rather than believe the sham Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) Report that the US Army Installation Management Command (IMC) tried to perpetrate on the citizens of NJ1 and the less than full disclosure we've encountered.
The most positive recent activity reflects NJFC's victory ensuring all the still-existing underground storage tanks (UST) are removed, evaluated, and their sites remediated. So far more than 70 USTs, up from the original 24, have been removed and processed since 2008, with more yet to come. The most recent activity has been the increased use of "short-term remedies" chemical injections (ORC(r), HRC(r), RegenOx(r)) to treat contaminated groundwater at 3 UST, 2 landfill, and the infamous TCE/PCE-ladened plume in the courtyard of the Myers Center.
Most of the other activity centers on drafting and/or potentially submitting paperwork to the DEP. 21 groundwater Classification Exemption Areas' (CEA) Biennial Certification Draft Reports are pending by the contractor. Other documents including Remedial Work Plans, Action Plans, Investigation Reports, Action Progress Reports, etc. are in various stages of draft, a few recent submittals to NJDEP, while none of the 23 sites in the Installation Restoration Program (IRP) were cited as having a final report.
Real progress is left wanting credible reporting, remediation, and closure, that is:
- downstream sediment contamination testing and remediation
- release of contamination data on FM sites and parcels, especially those planned for housing by FMERPA that still exceed Residential Criteria as defined by NJDEP and USEPA
- examination/excavation of contaminants and trustworthy capping of the 11 landfills to ensure reuse;
- releasing data levels and worker health threats posed by Vapor Intrusion for the years prior to 2008 at FM laboratories and other facilities;
- taking responsibility for the high levels of contamination (Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Nickel, Lead, Zinc, Arsenic, Silver, Antimony, Selenium, Thallium, Mercury) of Wampum Lake in Eatontown.
We will push for monthly RAB meetings rather than the present quarterly ones. With so little time left with the original FM IM/DPW personnel who made promises, we need to maximize face time to achieve our goals. Once those current people leave, there will be no corporate history since the minutes are so selective and the budget is so weak. Our next RAB meeting is tentatively scheduled for January 6, 2010.
While CERCLA laws dictate that FM, the US Army, and DOD must abide by the current environmental laws, making full, open disclosure of all threats and remediation of all parcels to future reuse are still windmills at which we are tilting.
1 FONSI issues and other claims documented in past Newsletters found on www.mcclearwater.org/newsletter.php
Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority Takes Over
29 Nov 2010
by Ed Dlugosz
The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), established by the environmental-friendly NJ Senator Jennifer Beck et al's legislation, held its first meeting on September 28, 2010 at the Tinton Falls town hall. With an Interim Chairman Alfred Koeppe and Interim Executive Director Timothy Lizura in charge of the meeting and three (3) voting members still unappointed, the Authority pushed through the agenda and passed agenda items at record speeds despite public, mayoral members', and common "sensical" objections to the haste, all actions were approved. Without sufficient notice of the meeting, availability of the read-ahead documentation of the FMERA Budget, Memorandum of Understanding, Deferred Payment, Leased Space, Paid Personnel etc., full disclosure and understanding of the issues were impossible. Mr. Lizura's précis-like account of the topics was insufficient and left important detail unsaid. It was an unsettling experience. The public and press decried the situation afterward. Two months later and we are still discovering "unsaid items".
The second FMERA meeting, held November 15, 2010 at Tinton Falls venue. During the public comment period on the agenda, Clearwater again advocated full disclosure and the provision of documentation prior to the meeting. Advocates of the Affordable Housing (AH) spoke in favor of the recent NJ Supreme Court ruling that rejected the FMERPA's AH Plan ruling. Conversely the major concern of former FMERPA, now FMERA, committee members was that they had had a viable plan and the ruling would hinder progress.
Again, during the second meeting, there was no read-ahead material but finally the details were available in the minutes of September 28 which were available online. Among the things learned from the previous meeting's minutes' was the Bylaws allowed 5 voting members to constitute a quorum. This bylaw flies in the face of the host towns' fears about the need for a super-majority to keep the State's influence balanced. Another "unsaid item" that was discovered in the provisions of the MOU between FMERA and the EDA. A very curious provision entitled Additional Provisions stated, "a) Environmental Liability. It is expressly understood that this MOU will not obligate NJEDA to incur any liability for any known or unknown environmental conditions that exist or existed at or on Fort Monmouth property...FMERA will hold NJEDA harmless for any and all environmental conditions that exists or existed at or on the Fort Monmouth property." NJEDA is a quasi-state agency that supplies all employees to the FMERA and manages/disperses the money. This is "no fault" loophole for FMERA/EDA that can leave the public holding the bag if they make bad decisions.
Once the meeting proceeded into the agenda, Interim ED Lizura again summarized both the activities of the previous month and the actions to be voted upon. Among the activities was that the FMERPA-chosen FMERA engineering firm Matrix had completed 29 of the 33 building infrastructure assessments as part of their Planning, Engineering, Architectural and Environmental Consulting services contract. No summary of the findings was shared.
Another key agenda item was the award to Matrix of the Business and Operations Plan services contract that gave them sole lead for both assessment and implementation of planning. The Budget was again addressed with no rationale for purpose or size of the expenditures. Voting was pushed along with the admonition that if they didn't approved it, operations couldn't get underway. Mr. Lizura introduced the newly appointed, permanent ED who had experience with the Rome, NY AFB BRAC. For more detail on the agenda and minutes, click on FMERA website: www.nj.gov/FMERA
By Beck's law, one voting member's role was to be an "environmentalist" to fulfill Senator Beck's legislative requirements for balance by "an individual who is knowledgeable in environmental issues, conservation, or land use issues...". NJ Environmental Federation and key NJ and national environmental organizations nominated Edward Dlugosz, President of NJFC and Board Member of the national Clearwater organization (with Ben Forest as an alternate) to fulfill that role to Governor Christie. Both Ben and Ed were supremely qualified in all 3 elements of the requirement, especially in the understanding of Fort Monmouth's environmental and land use situation. A full resume and answered questionnaire were submitted for vetting. A meet and greet was attended. Despite Ed's and Ben's qualifications, Governor Christie appointed a land use attorney Michael Pane to that role to the dismay of the entire environmental community. Pane is a member of Christie's transition team with the Red Bank law firm of Giordano, Halleran and Ciesla. Governor also put up for state Senate approval James Gorman of Colts Neck and Robert Lucky of Fair Haven.
2010 Hudson River Sloop Clearwater BOD Retreat29 Nov 2010 by Ed Dlugosz
The HRSC Board of Directors (BOD) held their Annual Retreat on November 5, 2010 at the fabulous Listening Rock Farm in Wassaic, NY. The facility is a model sustainable farm, green showcase house, and conference facility owned by our BOD President Allen Shope. The Farm has forests and two sawmills that have supplied mast, rigging and planking for the Sloop Clearwater.
The Annual Retreat is where we now evaluate the past year's performance and MAP out the coming years objectives for Clearwater as a whole and each committee specifically. Each of the ten committees and the BOD itself has a Master Action Plan (MAP) with quarterly objectives while the BOD has monthly objectives. We have come a long way from the loose, seat-of-the-pants organization of only a relatively few years ago. I've pushed for this as a HRSC and a NJFC BOD member myself for years.
Fiscal responsibility and measurable objectives are the hallmark of the new HRSC. In past years, HRSC had to borrow from a line of credit every winter to pay staff. Now, thanks to Pete's 90th Birthday MSG Bash, we have started an endowment for maintenance of the Sloop. We have paid down the debt, started living within our means using cost-benefit analyses, and had the first profitable Revival in years. This has made HRSC more "fundable" by grants and other means. HRSC has just earned the Charity Navigator rating of Four Star Charity, the best in its rankings.
The focus of this year's Retreat was the definition of a new Green Cities Initiative project within the Environmental Action Committee. During its gestation, its objectives were a little vague and scope was unclear. That meant its funding strategy wasn't fully defined. By the end of the morning session, we were well on our way to doing all three by linking to Sustainable Communities and Environmental Justice.
NJFC will be announcing its own Environmental Committee Retreat at Andrea Spinelli's home on the shore of Lake Hopatcong in the coming months. We can take a few lessons from the new HRSC.
Clearwater and Sierra Opposed to Proposed Coal-Fired Power Plant02 May 2010 by Grace Sica, Sierra Club Outreach Coordina
Two of the oldest environmental groups, supported by the NY-NJ Baykeepers, the American Littoral Society, Clean Ocean Action, and other environmental organizations, will hear a critique of the plan by Baykeeper's Deputy Executive Director, Greg Remaud, and the N.J. Sierra Chapter's Outreach Coordinator, Grace Sica at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 24 at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 1475 West Front St., Lincroft, N.J.
The $5 billion, 750-megawatt power plant, to be located on the Arthur Kill, would burn 2.5 million tons of coal a year. About 60 percent of its electrical output would be sold to a power supplier for distribution. The remaining 40 percent would be used for two purposes: to generate 1.3 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer a year and to pump each year about 5 to 10 million tons of pressurized, liquid CO2 through a 100-mile pipe from the plant into the Atlantic Ocean, where the CO2 would -- presumably -- be stored forever about beneath the ocean floor.
Environmentalists claim everything about the plan will damage the environment. They fear the coal-burning plant would worsen the already polluted air quality in densely populated North Jersey and New York. They also oppose the idea of manufacturing reactive nitrogen fertilizer on the site, since scientists claim reactive fertilizers have been creating "dead zones" in the oceans. By locating the plant in Linden, Union County, critics claim the plant would unfairly afflict the many minority residents in the highly populated area with even more environmental hazards.
In addition to burning dirty coal in a state where the air in all 21 counties fails to meet minimum health standards, the sequestration plan to pump and store the CO2 about 6,600 feet below the Atlantic seafloor is being criticized by environmentalists, who argue that the process is an unproven technology. So far, only Norway has tested the sequestration technology with a commercial plant one-tenth the size of PurGen – and critics claim the CO2 has been leaking!
"This sounds like just another attempt to convince us that coal isn't dirty and that technology will save us," said Ed Dlugosz, President of Clearwater. "Because New Jersey is one of the most polluted states in the nation, we should be pursuing cleaner sources of energy," he said, a view also held by many of the plan's critics.
"I hope that all the members of Clearwater come out to this meeting because this plant could adversely affect an area that has faced environmental injustice caused by fossil fuel for almost a century. Grass-roots activists like Beatrice Bernzott and Rebecca Kerins-Tattolli have been fighting PurGen and other injustices for years. It's not just local, the health and safety of several million people and the ecology in the metropolitan area and at the Jersey Shore are at enormous risk, " Dlugosz said. "And I'm very suspicious about that fertilizer plant."
NJEF 24th Annual Conference02 May 2010 by Ed Dlugosz
A contingent of Clearwater members participated in the NJ Environmental Federation's 24th Annual Conference at Rutgers, Newark. Clearwater is a founding member of that coalition that spans the diversity of all environmental groups in NJ from grass roots organizations like our and the Ironbound Community Corp. (a national leader in Environmental Justice) to the national organizations like Sierra Club and Clean Water Action. Of course Amy Goldsmith, NJEF Executive Director, is also a member of Clearwater and wife of Ben. Our members led or attended workshops that included: Power, Politics And The Environment (Ben Forest led); 21st Century Water; Toxic Substance Control Act Reform; Green Economy And Green Jobs; Healthy Schools/Healthy Towns; Climate Change; How To Develop While Protecting The Environment And Economy; Sustainability And The Green Movement; and Growing the Green Generation on youth education and activism (Ed Dlugosz).
NJFC's April Earth Month Activities02 May 2010 by
- April 7: Wakefern Sustainability Fair, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM, Wakefern Food Corp., Plaza 7 Facility, 33 Northfield Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837
- April 17: NJ Environmental Federation (NJEF) Conference, 9 am - 5 pm) at Rutgers University Center for Law and Justice, 123 Washington Street, Newark, NJ
- April 18: St Mary's Environmental Expo, 8:45 am to 1 pm in the Parish Hall of St. Mary's RCC, Phalanx Rd & Rt 34, Colts Neck, NJ
- April 20: Wakefern Sustainability Fair, 11:30 - 1:30 PM, Wakefern Food Corp., General Merchandise Facility, Jamesburg, NJ,
- pril 24: EARTH DAY OPEN HOUSE, Saturday,12:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, 331 Georgia Tavern Road, Howell
- April 24: Highlands Earth Day, Highland Community Center, 10am – 2pm
- April 30: Four sessions of TEF at Anastasia Elementary School, Long Branch.
Clearwater a Major Player at Wakefern/ShopRite Sustainability Fairs
Wakefern, the parent company of ShopRite Supermarkets, organized a series of Sustainability Fairs for their employees with three primary purposes. They wanted employees to discover sustainable solutions being employed by their suppliers; find out about sustainable technologies potentially applicable to ShopRite; and learn how to take action at home and at work
Because of our special long-term relationship – ShopRite has been a major supporter of our Clearwater Festival – we were invited to participate and had displays, literature and information at their headquarters in Edison (4/7) and also at a major distribution facility in Jamesburg (4/20). Wakefern/ShopRite deserves kudos for having the imagination, concern, and commitment to conduct these excellent events. Special thanks also go to Tim Johnson, Barbara and Jack Charlton (pictured at left), and Andrea Spinelli for the Clearwater effort.
St. Mary's Environmental Expo
Tim and Marylin Johnson, Chrissie and Susan Goedkoop have kept our perfect attendance alive at the Environmental Expo at St. Mary's RCC. Once again our wheel of fortune environmental quiz game was one of the most visited displays at the Expo. Our biggest competition was across the aisle at the 4H display of cuddly rabbits of all species including a Netherlands Dwarf and American Lop-Eared rabbits.
Earth Day Events at Highlands and Manasquan Reservoir
As always, April 24th was a busy day for Clearwater. We had to choose from many offers and we'd already attended several events that same week. We chose two that allowed us to keep with this year's annual theme, Watershed Protection. Highland NJ is one of the most scenic venues being on the Bay facing Sandy Hook between which the largest watershed in Monmouth County, i.e., the combined Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers, enters the bay on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. Members Lynn Humphrey and Chic Roemmele provided the avid crowd with information about Clearwater's initiatives and membership benefits. We thank Highlands Councilwomen Rebecca Kane for inviting us.
The second event of the day was Earth Day Open House at the Environmental Center at beautiful Manasquan Reservoir County Park. Located in Howell at 331 Georgia Tavern Road on the west side of the 40B gallon Reservoir, the EC is an amazing destination all year round. With its displays of every aspect of the local flora, fauna, and geological environment the EC and the Park is a treasure trove for all ages including the live video feed from a Bald Eagle nest with a 2 month old fledgling. Susan Goedkoop and Ed Dlugosz set up our interactive watershed model directly below an active, illuminated representation of the Manasquan Watershed from the furthest west reaches of Monmouth County to the Atlantic. It provided the perfect setting for hands-on teaching children of all ages that they could help prevent runoff (or Non-Point Source) pollution. We again thank Chris Lanza, Senior Park Naturalist, for hosting us and informing us that over 1000 visitors attended the displays at the Open House event.
Henry Hudson Trail Cleanup23 Apr 2010 by Tim Johnson
New Jersey Friends of Clearwater picked a beautiful day on Saturday, March 20th to conduct its first environmental cleanup for 2010. The weather was sunny and pleasantly warm when members of the New Jersey Friends of Clearwater showed up in Keansburg, New Jersey, to clean up a portion of the Henry Hudson Trail. Starting from Main Street, our team first worked the trail going west. There was no shortage of garbage to pick up and our crew did a good job separating the recyclables from the rest of the garbage.
We switched to cleaning up the trail east of Main Street so that both sides of the trail would look clean when viewed from Main Street. Special thanks to our crew, Ray, Joellen, Mike, Tim, and Marilyn for making this clean-up successful and for giving up part of a beautiful weekend to make this happen. Another "thank you" to Ray for making arrangements for the clean up, for treating our crew to breakfast after the clean up and for bringing the recyclables to the Recycling Center.
NJFC Friends Speak Out at Quarterly RAB Meeting04 Feb 2010 by Edward Dlugosz
The FM Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) held its quarterly public meeting at FM Gibbs Hall on January 14, 2010. Besides Mr Dlugosz, a RAB member, friends of NJFC made up the majority of the audience and made their voices heard during the public comment period. Among the attendees were: Eatontown Environmental Commission (EC), Shrewbury EC, Oceanport EC, Tinton Falls EC, Little Silver EC, Clean Ocean Action, Sierra Club, Fort Monmouth Earth Renaissance Peace Alliance, Eatontown Borough Council, Oceanport Borough Council, and Shrewbury Borough Council.
The agenda was full and contained the topics of old business; the status of the BEE, Landfill Streambank Stabilization, Indoor Air Quality/Vapor Intrusion, and Landfill Capping. Also on the agenda were presentations on the progress of the Underground Storage Tanks (UST), Contaminated Groundwater Modeling, and status of the Installation Restoration Program, i.e., progress of contaminated site remediation.
Old Business addressed Mr. Dlugosz's comments on the July's RAB minutes which were tabled since October. Basically the comments addressed the Army's position and ridiculous rationale for not discussing the EA/FNSI at the July's RAB meeting and the intentional exclusion of the Eatontown EC representatives' verbal response to several issues in July's minutes. [details discussed in November 2009 Newsletter]. The outcome of the Old Business discussion was that the FM DPW representatives will revise the minutes to satisfy the comments.
The BEE status was that itsWorkplan was reviewed by NJDEP and DPW was to revise it to accommodate the action items. When asked by our RAB and COA representatives whether the plan would contain extensive downstream sediment testing, we were told that the testing would only take place a couple of feet from the landfill streambank and none would be done downstream unless evidence from those sample indicated more needed to be done. Our contention all along has been that 60 years of landfill, lab chemical outflow, and groundwater migration have left 60 years of contaminated sediment downstream which has affected the plant, animal, and human biosystems.
The landfill streambank stabilization project is almost completed. Landfill M-2, the biggest and most contaminated, is the last of the sites to be stabilized. Most observers feel that the rock access roads are an eyesore and installing the riprap before the newly proposed capping [they now refer to it as landfill "cover"] was poor engineering. The "cover" project still has not moved forward for lack of funds and without a schedule divulged. Lastly, the vapor intrusion retest did not detect vapors above DEP criteria. When asked how high the readings were at the height of the groundwater plume [>7840 ppm] at the Hex, we were told only soil gases were measured not the natural and air-sparged fumes escaping VOCs from GW.
The UST presentation showed progress but the UST removed/remediated statistics provided by the DPW at the RAB were smaller than those of the contractors on site during the UST/Stabilization tour in November. The IRP status still didn't give a clear definition of what still needed to be done although claims of petitions to NJDEP for additional No Further Action (NFA) status were presented. What makes this important and improbable is that the DPW has contracted for a new groundwater migration modeling effort to be done. This is more than curious because, as reported in November, the previous modeling was done and summarized in a report available on their website [Classification Exception Area Information for Various Sites] was done in 2004 as shown in the chart below. When asked why so soon, the answer was that the new modeling will be done with more accurate modeling tools. Sounds suspiciously like they want new and more optimistic results.
Clearwater Urges U.S. Senators and Congressmen to Act
04 Feb 2010
by Edward Dlugosz
NJ Friends of Clearwater with its friends Clean Ocean Action, NJ Environmental Federation, and the Fort Monmouth Earth Renaissance Peace Alliance have urged NJ's US Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez and US Congressmen Rush Holt and Frank Pallone to act on our behalf to demand that Fort Monmouth (FM) provide an accurate, truthful Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Clearwater has been battling FM's draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) and its supporting document Environmental Assessment (EA) since spring of 2009 and the whole gamut of FM issues since 2006. You can find detail of the fight in the News webpage or in copies of our previous newsletters hosted on the NJFC Newsletter page of our NJFC Website.
In our letter to our legislators we delineated the deficiencies of the EA and FNSI and the lack of positive progress for addressing the new contamination highlighted in the Phase 2 Environmental Condition of the Property (ECP). Chief among our stated issues are downstream marine pollution of streams and rivers; worker health issues related to the pollution, and legacy impact of the property on the health and cost to the public in the host towns and surrounding area.
We urged our congressional leaders, to ensure that the following actions occur in a timely manner prior to property transfer:
1. Assessment of all impacts that Fort Monmouth has had on the area and waterways through an EIS, which would include further investigation that will:
a. assess the extent and depth of sediment contamination (a sediment core sampling survey is necessary), as well as their existing and potential effects on marine life.
b. complete the Baseline Ecological Evaluations (BEE), including more aggressive investigation of continued high levels of contamination,
c. determine the full extent of radioactive contamination,
d. identify and determine the extent of leaks in the wastewater system to the environment,
e. examine the stormwater system as planned,
f. identify areas with residential soil standards exceedances
2. Remediation of the landfills, including the possible need for excavation of contents based on the results from groundwater testing, the Baseline Ecological Evaluations, and surveys for underground tanks or drums
3. Full public disclosure of contamination and infrastructure conditions, deed restriction requirements, as well as expected remediation requirements with specific timeframes.
The full text of the letter will be posted on the aforementioned NJFC Newsletter webpage at: http://www.mcclearwater.org/newsletter.php
Father Time Organization Awards Clearwater04 Feb 2010 by Jack Charlton
The Keansburg, New Jersey, organization known as Father Time is devoted to helping fathers develop strong relationships with their children. Every year, Father Time holds a fishing and environmental expo and, since its inception 6 years ago, Clearwater has supported this worthy event. Ray Cann, Tim Johnson, and Barbara and Jack Charlton carried the Clearwater banner to the Bolger school with information and displays which featured the Clearwater Quiz and a hands-on exhibit of plankton. This year Father Time surprised us with the presentation of a beautiful trophy in recognition of our support and our dedication to environmental causes.
Clearwater Shed Finds a New Home
by Jack Charlton
The Clearwater shed, which is essential for the storage of items used in our education program, is finally resting safely at its new location in Holmdel. Many thanks to board member Jim Franchi for providing space in his back yard to accommodate it and to Pat McGrath, Art SanFilippo and Jack Charlton for helping with the tricky move. Particular thanks to Ray Cann and Bill Pamplin for being the prime movers.
Environmental Justice Roundtable04 Feb 2010 by Ed Dlugosz
Environmental Justice Milestones—2000s:
- 2000 - Indigenous Environmental Network starts the Mining Campaign Project to address unsustainable mining and oil development on native lands.
- 2000 - The North Carolina state assembly releases $7 million to begin detoxification of Warren County's PCB landfill.
- 2000 - Macon County Citizens for a Clean Environment stages a successful campaign to prevent construction of a large landfill near campus of historic Tuskegee University.
- 2001 - Native American activists and their allies succeed in preventing siting of a nuclear waste dump in Ward Valley, California, after 10 years of struggle.
- 2001 - Residents of toxics-contaminated areas of Anniston, Alabama, win a $42.8 settlement against Monsanto, as well as relocation of their community due to PCB contamination.
- 2001 - U.N. Commission on Human Rights lists living free of pollution as a basic human right.
- 2002 - Second People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held in Washington, D.C.
- 2002 - Shell agrees to buy out and relocate residents of the Diamond community of Norco, Louisiana, due to contamination.
- 2003 - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation adopts a new policy requiring environmental justice reviews before the issuance of permits.
- 2005 - Congress passes an amendment to the EPA's appropriations bill directing the agency not to spend any congressionally appropriated funds in a manner that contravenes Executive Order 12898 or delays its implementation.
- 2005 - More than 45 environmental justice and mainstream environmental groups, including NRDC, oppose the EPA's attempt to eliminate "race" and "income" as a focus of its environmental justice efforts in its strategic plan.
- 2005 - Twenty-five Democrats in the Senate and House send a letter to the EPA for its failure to apply Executive Order 12898 in its flawed strategic plan for environmental justice.
- 2005 - At the request of Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA), the General Accounting Office releases a report finding that the EPA generally devoted little attention to environmental justice issues while drafting three significant clean air rules on gasoline, diesel and ozone between fiscal years 2000 and 2004.
- 2008 – Lois Marie Gibbs is keynote speaker emphasizing the Precautionary Principle theme of the 33rd Annual Clearwater Festival at Asbury Park, NJ. Clearwater holds first "Environmental Roundtable" with Ed Dlugosz organizing and Kerry Butch moderating a panel of important EJ activists from throughout NJ.
- 2008 – NJEF, of which NJFC is a member, and Clean Water Fund launched the Urban Environmental Institute (UEI), a leadership initiative project in Newark, NJ. The institute was established to create the next generation of urban environmental advocates and build a more sustainable, greener, and economically stable Newark, NJ
- 2009 – NJEF and a coalition of other groups launched "Kids Clean Air Zones" and "Coalition for Healthy Ports" to combat air pollution and other hazards in urban areas.
- 2009 – NJ Friends of Clearwater holds the 2nd Annual Environmental Roundtable at the 34th Annual Clearwater Festival.
Fort Monmouth Contamination Battle Moves Forward01 Dec 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
Fort Monmouth Contamination Battle Moves Forward
Clearwater has been battling FM's draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) and its supporting document Environmental Assessment (EA) since last spring. "I don't feel that the town can afford to go forward without understanding all of the environmental impacts, all of the remedies and the time frames and the cost that will be involved," said NJFC VP and Eatontown Environment (EEC) Chairman Ed Dlugosz. He presented the facts and issues to a Eatontown Borough Council Workshop on November 4, 2009 and was successful in persuading the Council to pass a formal resolution opposing the FM finding and calling for an full-fledged public Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). [See full Atlanticville/ Hub Workshop report, "Army's Findings On Fort Contamination Criticized" by Daniel Howley.]
This followed a stand taken—at the October 2009 FMERPA Environmental Advisory Committee meeting—by EAC members from Eatontown, Oceanport, and Tinton Falls and other members of the public who were unanimous in their rejection of the EA/FNSI and in favor of the EIS and an open meeting to discuss the issues. These two events preceded the release of formal critical comments on the EA/FNSI by Clearwater, Clean Ocean Action, EEC and Birdsall Engineering, Tinton Falls, Monmouth County Board of Health, NJDEP, and numerous members of the public sent to the Army Installation Command at Fort Monmouth in May 2009. For a look at Clearwater's and other formal comments, click: http://www.monmouth.army.mil/C4ISR/brac/ea/ea.shtml
On another battlefront, two Clearwater members Ben Forest and Ed Dlugosz participated in walking and riding tour of the Landfill Streambank Stabilization project and the Underground Storage Tank (UST) removal project carried out by Fort Monmouth and Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE) contractors. In previous NJFC Newsletters, we've detailed our support for the need to stop the leaching of the landfill contaminants (e.g., arsenic, lead, VOCs, PCBs, PAHs, and other oil derivatives) into our watersheds by excavating contamination and capping the landfills, and stabilizing the banks. The Army has finally, after almost 10 years of erosion and 3 years of our campaigning, to capitulate but has reversed the logical process. We can report that the stabilization is almost done while the Army still dithers on the capping design and awaits funding. As reported in the Atlanticville and our earlier reports, several of the landfills are Classification Exception Areas (CEA) and/or Declaration of Environmental Restriction (DER)—meaning that the groundwater or soil is so polluted that nothing can built upon them. A recent RAB-website posting of the Army's 5-year old source report, Classification Exception Area Information For Various Sites, indicates that their computer modeling of those pollutants' lifecycle at 5 sites can take up to 4500 years to meet NJDEP non-residential criteria without aggressive remediation. Their natural attenuation approach that is their norm is not aggressive. Click: http://www.monmouth.army.mil/C4ISR/brac/oed/CEAVarioussites.pdf
The UST project is going well. After initially following the decision of their lawyers to NOT REMOVE/REMEDIATE the ECP2-identified 24 USTs, the local DPW was convinced by Clearwater and a host of other critics to proceed. The count of leaking USTs has now topped 50 and they're still discovering new tanks. The local DPW contractors, who are doing a conscientious job, showed us one of their newest finds, a leaking 1000 gallon tank filled with oil and water which had stained an area of greater than 60 square feet. They were still excavating the downgradient area leading to Parker Creek when we left.
When asked whether the unfunded, future Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) would assess the sediment of the Parker, Oceanport, and other streams, Ms. Wanda Green, spokesperson for the RAB, said that it would. When further questioned regarding the extent of the assessment, she said that FM and NJDEP would document it in the BEE Work Plan that is being finalized. Asked if a draft copy would be available to RAB members (Mr. Dlugosz is a RAB member) she maintained that not until finalized. Same old story!
Criticized01 Dec 2009 by Dan Howley, Atlanticville Staff Writer
Army's findings on fort contamination criticized
The Eatontown Environmental Commission is calling on the Department of the Army to conduct an in-depth study of environmental contamination at Fort Monmouth before turning property over to the fort's three host towns. "I feel that we need more information to make a better decision on what's going on [at Fort Monmouth]," Environmental Commission Chairman Edward Dlugosz said at the Nov. 4 council workshop meeting. Dlugosz, a member of the fort's Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), made the request after the Army released a draft of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) report. "I don't feel that the town can afford to go forward without understanding all of the [environmental] impacts, all of the remedies and the time frames and the cost that will be involved," he said. Dlugosz said the Army should produce a more thorough Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) instead.
In the FNSI the Army claims that the three host municipalities of Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls would be left with no significant environmental impacts to deal with as a result of the Army's mission at the fort when the fort closes in 2011. The draft FNSI follows the completion of an Environmental Assessment (EA) at the fort to determine whether the Army would be required to perform a more extensive EIS or prepare a FNSI, according to Tim Rider, a spokesman for the fort. Rider pointed out that the FNSI is still in draft form and that the Army is reviewing any comments received.
In preparing the EA, Dlugosz explained, the Army looked into the impact that turning over the fort would have on the region's local environment, cultural environment, economic climate, as well as a number of other issues.
While he does not have a problem with the majority of the items in the report, Dlugosz said at the Nov. 4 meeting that he and members of several other environmental groups take issue with the actual assessment of the land, water and air pollution at the fort. "Basically what this report said was that everything was fine and that there was nothing that needed to be done once the [Army] left other than the things that were under way already," Dlugosz said, adding that the Army will continue work on sites that have already been identified as being in need of remediation.
However, Dlugosz said, the EA was not complete because it left out key information. "What I found was that they didn't tell the whole story," he said. According to Dlugosz, the Army conducted what is known as a Phase I Environmental Condition of the Property (ECP) in 2005, which resulted in the discovery of some 43 contaminated sites on the fort property. Of those 43 sites, Dlugosz explained, 27 are still being remediated and have not yet been declared as in need of No Further Action (NFA), while some sites have already been declared Classification Exception Areas (CEA) or Declaration of Environmental Restriction (DER) areas. Such classifications amount to a "virtual no-flyzone forever designation," Dlugosz explained. [editor's note: As noted in the Army's source document CEA Information For Various Sites, 5 of the sites that were considered for the CEA designation, computer modeling of the contaminants estimated that it would take 4500 years for the lead to dissipate at M-12 Landfill, over a 1000 years for the Arsenic and heavy metals Cadmium, Chromium and Lead to dissipate at M-18, etc.]
"Those mean that there is too much pollution of the groundwater or the soil [that the sites] are too bad to put anything on," Dlugosz said. "In fact, on those areas with those designations- and there is at least five of those - you can't do anything forever on those properties." Some of those contaminated sites, Dlugosz said, are the same properties that are destined for use as open space under the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority's (FMERPA) Fort Monmouth reuse plan.
In addition to the identification and classification of the 43 contaminated sites, the Phase I ECP also resulted in the capping and stabilization of nine landfills located along various streams throughout the fort property, which Dlugosz has also been critical of. "The stabilization was done in the reverse order that Birdsall Engineering [the borough's engineering firm] and all good practices tell you to do," Dlugosz said. "That is to cap the property, cap the land, then do the stabilization." According to Dlugosz, the Army is performing the process in reverse order. Instead, he said, the landfills should be capped with the stream banks being stabilized immediately afterward.
Following the Phase I ECP, the Army conducted a second ECP known as the Phase II ECP. The Phase II ECP turned up an additional 27 contaminated parcels, which in some cases overlap with the 43 sites already identified, Dlugosz explained. "What they found in that second Environmental Condition of the Property were something on the order of 40 underground storage tanks that were filled with ... gasoline and other oil products. They found that there were additional contaminants and frequently more of the same that we found before," Dlugosz said. The 27 new sites, he explained, require what is known as a Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) study, in order to determine whether they should be subject to more rigorous analysis. Because the Army's initial EA does not take into account the Phase II ECP and its results, Dlugosz said he believes the EA "does not provide sufficient evidence to call for a [FNSI]." In questioning the completion of the initial EA, Dlugosz points to the Army's classification of some sites. "How can the Army declare [no significant impact] when you have sites that will remain CEA and/or DER?" Dlugosz further questions how the Army can move forward with the EA without including the results of the Phase II ECP, in addition to not having performed a BEE for the sites.
Rider refuted Dlugosz's claims that the Army is not performing the baseline evaluation, saying instead that the Army is in the process of preparing the proper work plan to perform the BEE. "The baseline ecological evaluation will provide data that will assist in our ongoing environmental programs. It includes soil, sediment and surface water sampling to augment the massive amount of environmental data we've gathered over 16 years," Rider explained. "It will help the Army and New Jersey to determine if any future actions are necessary in order to obtain a No Further Action letter from the NJDEP," Rider said. "If the data reveals that further ecological investigation or risk assessments may be required ... that fits with our environmental program's goals. According to Rider the BEE is currently in the administrative planning stages. "The work plan has to be approved by the state. Once that is approved, the Army will be able to perform samplings for the BEE," he said.
For more information regarding the environmental evaluation of Fort Monmouth, visit the fort's website at www2.monmouth.army.mil/usagfmima/sites/local/brac.asp.
01 Dec 2009
by George Moffatt
The Traveling Environmental Festival (TEF) has gotten off to an early start this school year, when we visited two Long Branch schools in November. Meanwhile, other Monmouth and Ocean County schools are being lined up for Spring '10. About 1,300 grammar school students participated in the interactive program during the Fall '08-Spring '09 school year. Children love the program and teachers praise it's academically solid, hands-on approach.
The most recent schools were Clark School and Anastasia School, both in Long Branch. A total of about 240 students attended the presentations, including a presentation tailored for special education students. We've been invited back to both schools this Spring to reach other classes, and one visiting science teacher who saw the program wants us at her school, as well. TEF continues its informal relationship with Brookdale Community College's Science Field Station at Sandy Hook, where eight science students have signed on this semester as TEF instructors. This Spring, we expect several more students to join the instructors' list. In all about 24 BCC science students have been trained for TEF, using our 110-page TEF Instructors' Manual that has been praised by science teachers.
Funds to provide the student instructors with stipends come from municipal environmental commission grants, plus two generous grants from Whole Foods and from Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) and the Lakewood Blue Claws. At the current level of about 10 schools per school year, we can run TEF for at least three more years. We also are seeking additional grants and looking at ways to expand our informal relationship with Brookdale.
We are concentrating on bringing the in-school, one-hour program to urban schools, where funding for environmental field trips is tight, and where many children have little knowledge of pollution problems. We've presented to up to five classes in a school day, involving as many as 150 students. In order to maximize the impact of our grant funds, we require that we present to at least three classes at a school, which guarantees that we reach a minimum of 90 to 100 students.
Our program begins with a 10-minute overview of pollution problems affecting the land, sea, and air. This portion includes the water cycle, food chain, scarcity of fresh water, and our dependence on the sea for food, oxygen and fresh water. The children then rotate through three hands-on, interactive stations, each taking 15 minutes. The stations include:
- Food chain - Students use eye-droppers and wet slides to capture and study live zooplankton and other micro-marine creatures - all part of the food chain, which they then view with a microscope projector (a tip of the hat to Jack Charlton, who grows the plankton);
- Raritan Bay - Students identify the marine life in a salt water fish tank, learn about the importance of dissolved oxygen, review local marine species through our extensive collection of shells and skeletons, discover how vertebrates and invertebrates evolve and grow, and learn why we must protect our local and ocean waters (some of the critters are supplied by BCC); and
- Littering Your Town - Students litter a three-dimensional topographical watershed model of a generic community to learn how non-point (or multi-source) pollution affects watersheds and water supplies. NPS includes overfertilizing, pesticides, oil spillage, and littering. The students love to litter. We conclude the presentation by emphasizing the importance of recycling and how we all can prevent littering.
If any club members are interested in helping run TEF, please call me, George Moffatt, at 732-544-1726 for more information.
Clearwater Continues Fort Monmouth Contamination Fight09 Nov 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
The quarterly meeting of Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was held October 7, 2009 at Gibbs Hall, Fort Monmouth. The presentation by Princeton Hydro engineer marked the progress of the Landfill Stabilization Project along the 1.5 miles streambanks on Fort Monmouth. Also presented was the progress of the excavation of water- and oil-filled Underground Storage Tanks (UST) and remediation of soil surrounding them. Both remediations were reluctantly started only after the relentless two-year campaigning by Clearwater. The proper capping of the 9 landfills is a campaign in which we are still engaged.
The latest campaign, which was started in May 2009, is the fight to ensure that the Army tells the whole truth in the Environmental Assessment (EA) about the burden the communities, county, and state will bear when and if, the Army abandons Fort Monmouth for Aberdeen Proving Ground, which itself has actually six times the number of contaminated sites. Our review opens with "After an extensive scientific review of the EA. Clearwater rejects the EA and cites that it does not provide sufficient evidence to call for a Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI). A forthright Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is therefore a necessary addition to the evidence to assure that the receiving communities-Eatontown, Tinton Falls, and Oceanport, the county, and the state have a true, whole picture of the property that will become their citizens responsibility and liability in 2011. The EA's lack of complete disclosure calls into question the claims of short-term, minor impact in almost all areas."
When Clearwater tried to discuss this issue at that July RAB meeting, we were told that the EA and the FNSI were not topics for discussion at the RAB. This was stupefying at the time and more so once the formal minutes of that meeting were reviewed afterwards. In a letter to Ms Wanda Greene, Army co-chair of the meeting, and the rest of the RAB I wrote as a RAB member and Clearwater:
"Wanda, After reviewing the RAB minutes for July 2009, I have several important corrections to, clarifications of, and comments to the July minutes:
1. Please make the minutes more clear and to the point by illuminating the references to the CFRs in the minutes by including the answers that you provided the RAB to my questions about the reasons you wouldn't discuss the EA/FNSI issues, which I attempted to paraphrase below. As you know, I submitted our comments to those EA/FNSI issues under the auspices of the Eatontown ECC and the NJ Friends of Clearwater. The paraphrases of your verbal answers to my questions [summarized in the minutes as, "... when will the Army finish reviewing the Environmental Assessment (EA) public comments and how will the decision of a FNSI or EIS be presented?"] follow in items a. & b.
a. The Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) are not RAB documents but are Army-issued documents, therefore they won't be discussed at the RAB meeting.
b. There will be no public hearing on the EA/FNSI because that is not allowed/permitted under the CFRs 40 CFR 1500-1508 and 32 CFR 651. Please provide the exact section/paragraph number that you are using as your guidance
c. Rationale: These answers are hard to fathom since the information and restoration work cited in the EA/FNSI were done IAW the laws which established the RAB; RAB member Joe Fallon was cited as a primary author of the EA; Colonel Christianson signed it; and the Information Officer sent out the notice to each of the RAB members as well as providing notice to the general public.
2. There is no mention of the discussion in the minutes regarding the deletion of the Birdsall agenda topic in the final Princeton Hydro's landfill stabilization briefing while it was in the handouts provided. The Birdsall comments are actually official Eatontown Borough documented comments on the Federal Consistency for Freshwater Wetlands General Permit #4 Application Compliance Statements submitted by US Army, Fort Monmouth, Dec 4, 2008.
3. The title of the Princeton Hydro's [PH] briefing refers to FM Streambank Stabilization rather than FM Landfill Bank Stabilization as had been present in its draft and earlier versions of the briefings, including the January 09 PH briefing. This seems to highlight the fact that although the Army submitted a Flood Hazard Area Individual Permit Application and a Freshwater General Permit #4 Application, it did not apply for a permit for disturbance of a landfill, as Birdsall Engineering's comments indicate.
4. There is no mention of the questions posed by John Schiels, Eatontown Borough President, and the answers provided by the Army in the open public comment period regarding the issues above. This is a major omission of a substantive dialog as contrasted to the presence in the minutes of the early morning noise issue raised by the officials and public of Shrewsbury Borough.
5. To avoid future need for clarifications or omissions it may make sense to have the public RAB meeting minutes transcribed verbatim by a professional court reporter or by a secretary off recordings that can/have been made of the sessions through the professional sound system that is always present."
At that last RAB on October 7th, discussion of the above letter was tabled until the January 2010 meeting. These issues were again brought up at the FMERPA Environmental Advisory Committee meeting on October 20, 2009. This time, in a more open forum despite Army representation, the EAC members from Eatontown, Oceanport, and Tinton Falls and other members of the public were unanimous in their rejection of the EA/FNSI and in favor of the EIS and an open meeting to discuss the issues. On November 4, 2009 the Eatontown Borough Council passed a resolution to support Clearwater' and its EEC's demand that the Army produce an EIS
Save Sandy Hook Ultimately Triumphs With a Little Help From Its Friends
08 Nov 2009
by Ed Dlugosz
After 10 years of frustration with the National Park Service and its chosen developer Sandy Hook Partners (SHP), NJ Friends of Clearwater rejoices in the bittersweet knowledge that SHP's plan to commercialize the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook has ultimately failed. That failure comes at a cost of 10 years of destructive neglect by the NPS of the homes and buildings it originally sought in its RFP to historically preserve. For sixteen years, NJFC leased and lovingly maintained Building 11, the "Clearwater House" before it was "evicted" after the choice of SHP. While we understood that it would be advantageous to the NPS to have a single historical restoration contractor of all the buildings, we could not foresee or understand that NPS would choose to commercialize rather than restore the property and then purposely abandon any semblance of maintenance for 10 years to ensure that public opinion would demand that their plan be executed.
Watching NPS grant concession after concession to SHP including of a 60-year lease that was forbidden during source selection, Clearwater was powerless to act alone to challenge NPS/SHP cabal. It turned out that we were not alone and in late 2003 and 2004 we found like-minded people in Judith Stanley, Judge James M. Coleman, and others. Together we formed the nonprofit group Save Sandy Hook (SSH). Ms Coleman became President; Judge Coleman became Secretary; and our own Ben Forest was its first Vice President. George Moffatt and I were also part of the team. Shortly after the purported lease was "signed" between SHP and NPS without the exchange of the required money, SSH took bold step and leveled a federal lawsuit against the NPS, SHP, the Department of the Interior, and the NPS Regional Directors.
In that initial lawsuit, Clearwater and Judge Coleman became co-plaintiffs with SSH. Each of the Clearwater's members continued to play important roles in the SSH organization: Ben as VP; George as author of many op-ed pieces. As project manager and author of Clearwater's proposal to turn the Clearwater House into an environmental conference/environmental education center, Ed was the historical resource and a named witness in the lawsuits. Eventually Ed succeeded Ben as SSH VP. NJ Friends of Clearwater members fully supported our efforts
That lawsuit charged that the commercialization was not in keeping with the mission of the NPS nor was it in accordance with the law that created the Gateway National Recreation Area-Sandy Hook. Additionally, the complaints cited the concessions and irregularities of the procurement process and SHP inability to name/gain reputable financial backers, emblemized in 2006 by the naming of "vulture capitalist" Palisades Financial as a backer. In 2008, SSH's appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals eventually proved unsuccessful not on its merits but in a technicality that purported that we as citizens did not have "Standing" to bring a complaint against the Government.
It is poetic, if not legal, justice that after we decided not to go to the Supreme Court that one of our key reasons for issuing the lawsuit, inability to pay, would be deem the reason to void the non-existent lease. In two separate reviews—one by the NPS and PriceWaterhouseCoopers and one by SHP's binding arbitrator, Maurice Robinson and Associates (a California-based, hospitality and real estate consulting firm)--reached the same conclusion, i.e., SHP's financing plan was inadequate. [Judge] Coleman looked back, observing, "It's too bad they [NPS] didn't see back in '99 that he [Wassel and Sandy Hook Partners] didn't have the money. It would have saved us all this travail." Save Sandy Hook ultimately triumphed with a little help from its Friends.
Environmental Justice Roundtable
29 Oct 2009
by Ed Dlugosz
Note: For the past 2 Clearwater Festivals we've engaged national and statewide activists, including Lois Marie Gibbs—heroine of the Love Canal, in an important dialogue about what Environmental Justice is/isn't, how to recognize it, and how we as individuals and a organization can help. Clearwater campaigned against eminent domain abuse in Long Branch is an example. Each month I will highlight a bit of history and current efforts in our communities, state, and nation. If you have a contribution, please send it to Newsletter@mcclearwater.org and we will try to publish it in the newsletter and online.
The Environmental Justice Movement
It's a statistical fact: The poor and people of color are more likely to live in America's most-polluted neighborhoods. Poor communities are routinely targeted to host facilities with negative environmental impacts, such as landfills, dirty factories, truck depots and more. For decades, a community-based movement known as environmental justice has been battling these inequities and struggling to improve the environmental health of these neighborhoods. There are now laws, NJDEP- and EPA-based Advisory Councils, and of course, grassroot organizations like Ms. Gibbs' Center for Health, Environment & Justice, the NJ Environmental Justice Alliance, and the Ironbound Community Corporation.
- Early 1960s - Farm workers organized by Cesar Chavez fight for workplace rights, including protection from toxic pesticides in California farm fields.
- 1962 - Rachel Carson's Silent Spring details the harmful effects of pesticides on the environment.
- 1964 - Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed. The law's "Title VI" -- prohibiting use of federal funds to discriminate based on race, color and national origin -- will become an important tool in environmental justice litigation.
- 1967 - African-American students take to the streets of Houston to oppose a city dump that had claimed the lives of two children.
- 1969 - Lawsuit filed on behalf of six migrant farm workers by California Rural Legal Assistance plays a role in the ban on the pesticide DDT in the United States.
- 1970 - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established to enforce laws that protect human health and safeguard the natural environment.
- 1971 - President's Council on Environmental Quality acknowledges that racial discrimination negatively affects the quality of the environment for the urban poor.
- 1972 - The United States bans the use of the toxic pesticide DDT.
- 1973 - The EPA issues rules that phase out lead in gasoline over several years; lead levels in the air will fall by 90 percent.
- 1978 - Hundreds of families evacuated from Love Canal area of Niagara Falls, New York, due to rates of cancer and birth defects; toxic chemicals were buried decades before under neighborhood.
- 1979 - African-American community in Houston opposing a landfill brings first Title VI lawsuit challenging the siting of a waste facility.
Our COAlition: NJ Friends of Clearwater08 Sep 2009 by Clean Ocean Action
New Jersey Friends of Clearwater (NJFC), formerly Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater is a grass roots nonprofit, volunteer-run and staffed organization. Since 1974, this organization has been actively trying to educate children and adults on the importance of clean clear water and to urge citizens to be responsible stewards of their environment. NJFC focuses their efforts to the estuaries of Hudson, the Raritan, Delaware, and other NJ Rivers, the Jersey Shore coastline, its inland waterways, and the land of New Jersey.
NJFC is one of the founding members of the COAlition and has been an active participating organization throughout COA's 25 years. In fact, NJFC chose to focus their 34th Annual Clearwater Festival on the Clean Ocean Zone and anti-LNG campaign. The annual festival features the finest music, dance, and art with environmental activism to celebrate New Jersey's waterways. COA would like to extend our gratitude for including COA and our issues in their successful event.
Clearwater volunteers conduct environmental education, celebration and advocacy activities to protect New Jersey waterways and coast environment. Besides festivals and other music events, programs include clean-ups, environmental watches, political action, and education programs. "Ultimately, Clearwater's mission is to bring as many people under the environmental tent as possible," says NJFC and COA Board of Trustee, Ben Forest.
Guy Davis heads to Clearwater; Bluesman talks activism, new album12 Aug 2009 by Alex Biese, APP Metromix
August 11, 2009
If you think being green is a new concept, think again.
40 years ago, folksinger and American icon Pete Seeger started the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a nonprofit corporation created to preserve and protect the Hudson River and its related bodies of water -- and it didn't take long for the Clearwater concept to travel.
Since 1974, the New Jersey Friends of Clearwater -- formerly known as the Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater -- has been fighting pollution in the Garden State, and on Saturday (Aug. 15) NJFC will host its 34th annual Clearwater Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Asbury Park's Sunset Park.
Topping the bill on Saturday will be Guy Davis, a bluesman who has known Seeger and his family for the past several decades and toured with Seeger last summer. Davis recently spoke with Metromix Jersey Shore.
"I'm privileged to have know Pete from the early '60s by way of my parents (actors Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis); he was close to my folks and still close with my mom and we're still close with he and (Seeger's wife) Toshi, and I actually got a chance to do opening sets for Pete back in about 1977 or so.
"He had me going around in the New England area primarily, and I'd meet folks like Fred Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert (of the Weavers) and oh gosh, so many folks who were in the folk scene from the early days and between that, being part of sort of the Sloop crowd from the mid-70s; I guess that gave me a little step up in being part of this tour that he did last year, and that was the icing on the cake."
Davis, whose association with Clearwater dates back the mid-70s, said there is still room for improvement when it comes to folks in the musical community following Seeger's example when it comes to environmental issues.
"There's always room for more, but I think that there were some great folks who were around in that crowd in the '70s who are really stepping up. Now me, I can say that I'm an environmentalist, but not anywhere near the level that Pete is or near the level of the folks who are part of the Sloop clubs that are up and down the Jersey Shore and also in New York state along the Hudson River," Davis said. "But yes, there is always room for improvement, and Pete will be the first one to tell you, so yeah, there's more room for membership and innovation of ideas about keeping the river and the environment clean."
These days, Davis is on the road in support of his latest release, this year's "Sweetheart Like You." Davis discussed the album's title track, an elegant and moving cover of a song originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan for the 1983 album "Infidels."
"The song itself, I guess, indicates my fascination with the personality of Bob Dylan," Davis said. "It's a clear fact that the man is a genius as a songwriter and people will never be able to get past that, that's just a fact. But, this song, I think, is sort of like some sort of code that explains a lot about Bob, because we all know that Bob essentially tries to hide himself in the media. The college word is 'obfuscates,' he puts up a little smokescreen about who he really is, he protects that zealously, and he puts out just who he wants us to think he is.
"Now, that's his business, and that's OK, but in this song it sounds like a young man standing sort of just outside the gates to hell and there's a woman coming in and he's trying to save her and seduce her at the same time. That's what the words make me think of, his relationship with women in particular, in this song. And he talks about, I guess, capitalism, corrupt government, but it's also about men and women and you'll hear those themes on and off throughout Bob's work."
Along with Dylan, the works of bluesmen such as Muddy Waters ("Can't Be Satisfied") and Leadbelly ("Follow Me Down") appear on "Sweetheart Like You." When asked what the blues has to say to the society we're living in today, Davis explained that "the blues, in and of itself, is the music of survivors, people who have survived very hard times.
"They're still having hard times behind the plow or behind the eight-ball or stuck on a plantation that won't let them off and is ripping them off for money or stuck in a job that has a low ceiling, so the blues transcends time, the ethics that brought about the blues. I think the blues just has to say that, like the music, the people got to keep surviving.
"Now, the earliest blues, you almost wouldn't recognize it now because it was before a lot of the kind of style of blues that people are used to, which is the Chicago-sounding kind of blues. The blues had earlier origins, and if you listen back to people like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Henry Thomas and people even older than that you can hear something, Leadbelly, you'll hear some stuff. But, if you listen to the words you can hear the stuff that came from the field hollers, and that is the music of survivors. The lesson here is keep plugging, don't give up, survive."
Clearwater Rejects Fort Monmouth-Issued EA and FNSI and Urges Creation of Environmental Impact State02 Jun 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
After an extensive scientific review of the Environmental Assessment (EA) Clearwater rejects the EA and cites that it does not provide sufficient evidence to call for a Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI). A forthright Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is therefore a necessary addition to the evidence to assure that the receiving communities—Eatontown, Tinton Falls, and Oceanport, the county, and the state have a true, whole picture of the property that will become their citizens responsibility and liability in 2011. The EA's lack of complete disclosure calls into question the claims of short-term, minor impact in almost all areas.
The Army chose to include only the Phase I ECP report which minimized the impacts of:
• 43 contaminated sites were found originally in the Phase 1 ECP of which 27 are still under remediation and not declared as NFA yet.
• Several of the contamination sites have been declared Classification Exception Area (CEA) and/or Declaration of Environmental Restriction (DER), a virtual no-fly zone forever designation.
• A poorly conceived, two-stage landfill stabilization process and design that followed 2.5 years of denial of its need after failure of previous remedies.
However, the Army chose to not include the most recent Phase II ECP from mention when addressing hazardous or toxic materials:
• 27 additional contaminated "parcels" were found in the Phase II ECP which recommended a Baseline Ecological Evaluation (BEE) which is also required by NJAC 7:26E-3.11, Requirements for Site Remediation. The BEE is needed to determine which parcels/subparcels should go through more rigorous analysis and remediation and which parcels should be ruled out.
• The BEE had not been funded until early spring and hasn't yet been executed. Only after the BEE determinations are made can the Army enter into the 7-step process that identifies the problem more scientifically and lays out a plan for design and execution of the remediation.
These facts beg the questions:
• How can the Army declare FNSI when you have sites that will remain CEA and/or DER of no significant impact?
• How can the Army go forward and not take into account 27 parcels of land in which Phase II ECP itemized new contaminated sites that have yet to be fully assessed, much less have the Contaminants of Concern (COCs) remediated.
Additionally, the Army's EA and other documentation have never identified their pollution's impacts to food chain and environment downstream in the Shrewsbury. Sandy Hook Bay, and the Ocean. The Army has never acknowledged the impacts of the COCs to past and present workers—the computer scientists, logisticians, technicians and military in the Myers Center (and other labs)—who were never notified of the high levels of carcinogens such as PCEs and TCEs that rose as high as 7820 μg/l level within 100 feet of their workplace. Although detected vapor intrusion in Phase II was relatively negligible, the same could not have been said in the years 1955 to 2001 when the levels were sky high.
We call for a full-fledged Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the property. For the reasons above, the EIS should address not only the current state of the property and its impacts but also the significant impacts already delivered to those two major areas. Again we were assisted by the Eatontown Environmental Commission and Clean Ocean Action.
Seeger 90th Birthday Bash a Great Success02 Jun 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
Pete was joined by over 50 admirers on stage and over 17,000 in the seats of Madison Square Garden on the evening of May 3rd 2009. The event featuring Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, John Mellancamp, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, Arlo Guthrie, and more than 50 legendary friends was a legacy fundraising event for our mother ship Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. and to announce the theme of "Creating the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders". All performers including musicians, labor and civil rights activists, and celebrities donated their talents.
Pete, who usually avoids birthday parties despite admirers' attempts, embraced this 90th as a way to ensure continuation of his legacy of the Sloop and the Clearwater organization. With tickets selling from $19.19 to $1250, two-thirds of the enormous revenues will be put into an untouchable account to ensure Pete's legacy and the remaining will be used to pay off the debt and to establish our new headquarters in Beacon, NY.
Clearwater Urges Close Scrutiny & Comment on Fort Monmouth-Issued EA and FONSI28 Apr 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
The Fort Monmouth Public Affairs Office (PAO) issued a press release that announces the publication of two important environmental documents for public review—Final Environmental Assessment and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)—which claim that Fort Monmouth will be ready to hand over the 1126 acre property and that it will need no further action to make it environmentally acceptable to the three inclusive local towns, Monmouth County, and the state of NJ when the Fort's mission transitions to Aberdeen MD in September 2011. To quote them directly, "According to the documents, the closure of Fort Monmouth will not result in significant adverse environmental effects; therefore, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required." Based on the recent review of their permit for Landfill Stabilization and other outstanding environmental issues detected during two years of RAB participation, Clearwater doubts that the Fort can substantiate those claims.
The review and comment period lasts for 30 days—April 27 to May 27. Clearwater and the Eatontown Environmental Commission (EEC) plan to fully review the documents as does the Tinton Falls EC. Clearwater calls on all concerned citizens to access and review these important documents at: www.hqda.army.mil/acsim/brac/env_ea_review.htm. Clearwater suggests that citizens provide comments to us at email@example.com for consolidation by May 20, 2009 since all must be postmarked by May 27. Citizens can also provide comments directly to the PAO at their snail mail address: PAO—EA Comments, IMNE-MON-PA, Bldg 1207, Room G-07, Fort Monmouth NJ 07703. For further guidance on how best to provide the comments, "A Citizen's Guide to the NEPA -- Having Your Voice Heard" provides guidance on sending comments and is a concise guide to NEPA-related processes at: www.nepa.gov/nepa/Citizens_Guide_Dec07.pdf
Clearwater & Partners Call for Rejection Fort Monmouth Landfill Streambank Stabilization Permits28 Apr 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
New Jersey Friends of Clearwater was joined by Clean Ocean Action (COA) and the Borough of Eatontown in providing comments critical of Fort Monmouth's plans and design for stabilizing the streambed stabilization plans for five landfills in the Shrewsbury Watershed contained in their Wetlands Permit Application to the NJDEP . As reported here for the past two months, the plans and designs:
- don't provide stream protection from contamination as a result of the sites' preparation;
- don't provide sufficient individual site stabilization designs associated with the hydrologic and hydraulic characteristics of the streams in question;
- don't provide a holistic, total design approach: i.e., taking aggressive remediation actions, stronger capping, and the stabilization together rather than the phased, less-than-optimal process FM cited.
Fort Monmouth Landfill Stabilization Follow-Up31 Mar 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
Addressing our initial reservations: NJFC confirmed that the reference to a future capping of all landfill will not meet the requirements or the intent of capping this type of landfill. Even if the capping was sufficient, its funding isn't nor is it available till sometime in 2010-2011. Another issue is the lack of planning or design of a method for preventing the release of the many contaminants while removing undercut contaminated soil or concrete or preparing the slopes. Regulations require identification of contaminants and location of where they will be disposed. The Army doesn't identify the contaminants (cited last month) or plans to plow the resultant soils back into the landfill as fill. Lastly, there is no plan to excavate contaminated soil, line the line the landfill or even the reinforcement, in order to reduce the already long history of toxic flow of contaminants into the surface water and stream sediment and downstream into the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers and on into Sandy Hook bay and beyond. This is after they freely admit failure in previous lukewarm attempts to stabilize the banks after 60 years and admission that without "placement of the riprap...providing long-term stability for these landfills in preventing their waste deposits from becoming exposed which would ADVERSELY IMPACT NOT ONLY THE STREAMS ON [FM] BASE, BUT ALSO DOWNSTREAM."
I'd like to acknowledge the support of Eatontown's Borough Engineer, Birdsall Engineering and Clean Ocean Action's Staff Scientist, Heather Saffert and Exec Director, Cindy Zipf. We all agree that much is to be done not only with regards to the permits but the overall problem.
Water Quality Analysis Training31 Mar 2009 by (edit author)
We will follow this training event with the regular Monthly General Membership Meeting starting approximately 2:15pm. Our guest speakers for the regular meeting will be Brian Mahan, On-Board Educator on Sloop Clearwater, and Dave Grant, Director, Ocean Institute-Brookdale Community College and world class naturalist.
Global Warming Polluters Are Backed By Big Bucks31 Mar 2009 by George Moffatt
Here is what scientists and environmentalists are up against:
- 0 retractions or corrections were published by the Washington Post, Will's employer, after running his demonstrably false claims about global warming.
- $450 million was spent on lobbying and political contributions by opponents of global warming action in 2008. Money talks, that's for sure.
- $45 million was spent on advertising denying global warming by the coal industry in 2008. Instead, they promote the oxymoron, "clean coal."
- 2,340 lobbyists were paid fulltime to work in Washington on convincing Congress and regulators that global warming isn't a problem, a 300 percent increase in the past few years. K Street's lobbyists never had it so good.
- 52 public spokespersons – talking heads – are being paid by polluters and their ideological friends to spread disinformation about global warming online, on radio and TV talk shows, in op-eds, and on the "rubber chicken" dinner circuit. You can expect bumper sticker slogans, not thoughtful discussion, from this crowd.
- 7 of 8 climate lobbyists in Washington are arguing against taking any action on global warming, while just 1 in 8 are arguing for the environment. They hope their money will drown out our facts.
As millions are being spent to block meaningful action against global warming, scientists each day are finding more and more examples of threats from global warming. We have to constantly debunk the waves of false propaganda coming from global warming polluters and force Congress to enact meaningful legislation – now.
(Our thanks to the Environmental Defense Fund and the Center for Public Integrity for the lobbying statistics.)
TEF Continues Success Story31 Mar 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
The NJFC Traveling Environmental Festival (TEF) continues to delight students and educators in our area. According to TEF Director, George Moffatt, NJFC had two successful TEF events, one at the Oak Street School on March 19 and another Lakewood school on March 26. TEF has continued its partnership with college students and staff from Brookdale Community College (BCC) from the Sand Hook extension. BCC students Alex Broszeit and Billy Goldberg joined George to provide hands-on learning of the importance of clean water, and the effects of pollution on the food chain starting at the plankton and on up the chain to the humans. The plankton station, where the students choose and observe live plankton, illustrates how even small amounts of contaminants can have dire consequences for these microscopic animals and plants. The watershed station illustrates how those contaminants reach the members of the food chain and how the students and their parents can reduce pollution. As always, teachers and staff of the schools were full of praise for TEF and its fine instructors.
Upcoming TEF events include Asbury Park, Hazlet, and Atlantic Highlands Elementary Schools, environmental events like Earth Day in various locales, and Ocean Days at Sandy Hook. If you would like to book an event at your school or learn more, please go to www.mcclearwater.org/tef.php or contact us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fort Monmouth Landfill Stabilization Victory for NJFC13 Mar 2009 by Ed Dlugosz
Based on over two years of hard and often criticized work on our part on the Fort Monmouth Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) and FMERPA EAC, New Jersey Friends of Clearwater (formerly MCFC) has won a great victory in the fight to make Fort Monmouth (FM) cleaner environmentally. Fort Monmouth has finally agreed to stabilize the stream banks of 5 landfills in anticipation of "capping" all 9 existing landfills at the military base.
"Our insistence on independently determining costs for more complete sediment testing, stabilizing the stream banks with riprap, and landfill capping came after a series of requested contaminated site visits starting in early 2007, I feel that the increased NJDEP invigoration and the Fort's change of heart are the direct result of our efforts. Previous to that, the Fort denied that they needed the additional stabilization and capping", according to NJFC Vice President Ed Dlugosz, who is also Chairman of the Eatontown Environmental Commission (EEC) and had served as Community Co-chairman of the FM RAB.
These landfills have polluted the sub-watersheds of the Shrewsbury River for over 60 years. The landfills contain many chemical and biological contaminants that continue to exceed the NJDEP industrial standards for pollutants, including heavy metals lead, mercury, cadmium, the solvent VOCs TCE, PCE, oil derivatives, benzenes, PAH, PCB, the poisons arsenic and cyanide, among others. While the Fort has done much to bring the contamination under control, the extensive stabilization and capping were among the missing elements.
Although it was announced at the recent RAB Open House, this long-awaited, verifiable-action news came through a relatively low-key source, the EEC received a notice that stabilization permits and plans from the Fort were available for review. The comments are due to the NJDEP on several construction and wetlands permits that were required for reinforcement of the stream banks with engineered riprap on over 1¼ miles along the Wampum and Husky Brooks, and Lefetra and Parker Creeks to prevent future erosion of the landfills. As Ingrid Heldt noted in last month's article, funding is still problematic.
I've been reviewing both the design and the design's consistency with local, state, and Federal regulations for the protection of the environment and habitat. In an answer to one of the permits' consistency questions, I was heartened by the Fort's admission to what we've been saying all along, and I quote, "placement of the riprap...providing long-term stability for these landfills in preventing their waste deposits from becoming exposed which would ADVERSELY IMPACT NOT ONLY THE STREAMS ON [FM] BASE, BUT ALSO DOWNSTREAM." Previous soft solutions, "biologs had previously been attempted, but TOTALLY FAILED shortly after installation" in the late '90s.
While I've not completed the review and have informed the borough EEC and engineer, I am somewhat pleased by the design of the stabilization but concerned with the Fort's less than robust capping plans. I'd like to see excavation of the sources of pollution to the extent possible and thicker, more impermeable capping materials to reduce leaching.
The costs have been unavailable due to competitive bidding reasons, but they will be substantial and bolster my contention—confirmed by the GAO—that the original costs for remediation of the Fort's environmental woes were vastly underestimated. As always, there are more environmental issues to be corrected, but this is a great first step and victory for us.
Climate Change (Global Warming) Deniers Never Quit22 Feb 2009 by Jack Charlton, Physicist (retired)
On Sunday, February 15, the Asbury Park Press carried an Op Ed by George Will, which was basically a denial of global warming. We are accustomed to reading items from individuals with an ideological agenda who cherry pick their references to present only that which supports their beliefs. But this Op Ed is so replete with factual errors that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that they are not simply errors but deliberate lies.
For example, Mr. Will stated that "According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979". Within hours of Will's publication the Arctic Climate Research Center posted a reply saying, "We do not know where George Will is getting his information", but between February 1979 and February 2009 global sea ice has shrunk by 1.34 million square kilometers (over half a million square miles, or approximately the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined). Mr. Will's office was contacted regarding this discrepancy, but he has not responded.
Considerable space in the Op Ed was devoted to the issue of predictions made during the 70's of future global cooling. Will argues that if scientists were wrong then, why should we believe them now? He provided brief quotes from eight different publications all suggesting that there was general scientific agreement that we could be heading for another ice age. The problem is that there never was such scientific agreement.
By the 70's it was well established that human-generated airborne particulates blocked the sun's rays contributing to cooling, while, simultaneously, carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuel trapped the sun's heat causing global warming. No one really knew which would dominate. A few scientists did predict the former, and speculate on the possibility of a new ice age. As is not unusual, the popular press was quick to pick up and sensationalize such predictions, leading, for example, to a cover story in Newsweek on April 28, 1975.
Was cooling truly a dominant scientific opinion at the time as quoted in many of the referenced popular-press articles? The publication New Scientist surveyed relevant scientific literature between 1965 and 1979. They found 44 scientific papers predicted warming, 20 were neutral and just 7 predicted cooling. The situation is better represented by the National Academy of Sciences. Its report for 1975 read, "we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate." By contrast, in 2008 the NAS issued a report finding that "the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to begin taking steps to prepare for climate change and to slow it. Human actions over the next few decades will have a major influence on the magnitude and rate of future warming." Mr. Will did not see fit to include any such information. In addition, the one publication on his list, which has strong credentials as a voice for science, was seriously misquoted.
In another major misrepresentation, Will wrote, "According to the World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade." This information apparently comes from a year-old (and since corrected) BBC story. It derives from a comparison of current world temperatures with the global temperatures in 1998, a particularly hot year. (This is about as logical as looking at Monmouth County's temperature for Sunday, February 8 (60 degrees) and Friday, February 20 (34 degrees) and predicting that spring is not going to come this year because the closer we get to the Vernal Equinox the colder it is.) Will did not inform his readers that the World Meteorological Organization has emphatically confirmed its view that global warming is continuing, and that gauging climate change by looking at only one year is essentially useless.
Finally, Will has dragged out an old canard regard climate change. He wrote, "An unstated premise of eco-pessimism is that environmental conditions are, or recently were, optimal" and "These optimal conditions can and must be preserved". This totally misses the point of much of the climate change concern. Most scientists would agree that either a warmer or cooler earth would probably host an abundance of life (though not necessarily human life). But all flora and fauna on earth (including humans) are adapted to conditions as they have existed with little change for over 10,000 years. Any relatively abrupt change will inevitably introduce extreme trauma and hardship for earth's inhabits. To give a specific example, it is generally conceded that rising sea levels associated with global warming may displace many farmers in low-lying countries such as Bangladesh. On the other hand, increased warming may open to agriculture land in the sub-arctic not now farmable. It is possible that these losses and gains may balance each other. But does anyone really believe that hordes of displace Bangladeshis could flow seamlessly into northern Canada to continue their agricultural life?
People tend to believe what they want to believe. No one really wants to believe that earth is in peril and that we must make changes in the way we do a number of things. Hence one error-filled and misleading article by a respected writer such as George Will can do tremendous damage to our ability to come together and confront a serious and rapidly growing problem. Perhaps more damage than 100 technically sound and well-documented scientific papers can overcome.
LNG Terminal Opposition
13 Mar 2009
by Ed Dlugosz
NJ Friends of Clearwater again showed its opposition to the placement of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals off the coast of NJ at a public meeting held on January 27, 2009 at the Sheraton Hotel in Eatontown. The hearing followed an 90 minute Open House displaying plans for the project.
Fort Monmouth Restoration Advisory Board Open House27 Jan 2009 by Ingrid Heldt
On January 10, 2009, Lynn Humphrey, Tom Mahedy, Tim Johnson, George Moffatt and I had a unique chance to attend the Open House at Fort Monmouth and see first-hand some of the tireless work our former President Ed Dlugosz has been involved in for many hours and many years. He has been a prominent member of a group called RAB (Restoration Advisory Board) at Fort Monmouth. Your first reaction may be the same as mine: What is there to be cleaned up when former barracks and laboratories are turned into private land?
The answer is "plenty" when those buildings served as a Research and Development facility for many items such as batteries and electronics, and when, as it used to be the fashion in those days, no one considered the people and the wildlife in the area when disposing of wastes right then and there. Among the contaminants found in a preliminary study are PCBs, DDT, Radon, Lead, Chromium, Lithium, Cadmium, Zinc, Beryllium, and Benzene. Various cleanup methods were discussed, none of them ideal:
- Capping entire areas with a permeable layer and then turning them into parks. That may prevent direct contact with contaminants, but it will not prevent further leaching into the streams and the groundwater.
- Using enzymes that feast on the very things that would kill us if we tried to do the same. This method is slow and will require subsequent testing. However, it is easy to start, and this has been done in some areas.
- Using chemicals to neutralize acids and alkaline materials into harmless salts. This method would be faster, but the heat developed in the processes would kill every plant and living being now there, including the useful enzymes.
Seems impossible? Well, cleaning up the Hudson River may have seemed impossible a few years ago, and Ed is certainly following in the footsteps of our great role model Pete Seeger in his tireless devotion to this cause. On a hopeful note: I noticed Cindy Zipf of Clean Ocean Action and members of the Environmental Partnership in the audience. It looks like Ed's work may finally get the publicity and attention it deserves.
By Ingrid Heldt
Singer-Songwriter for Peace
(Formerly Civil Engineer at the Coney Island Sewage Treatment Plant)
The Open House began with the quarterly meeting of the RAB in the Gibbs Hall. The FM Installation Command DPW exhibited over 140 posters in the 7200 square foot Banquet Room depicting details of the 43 contaminated sites defined in the Phase 1 Environmental Condition of the Property (ECP) and the newly discovered contamination among the designated 27 parcels of the Phase 2 ECP. On a series of posters, each site or parcel was defined by a map indicating locations, lists of the contaminants of concern (i.e., only those pollutants that exceed NJDEP standards for industrial usage—contaminants existing those levels were not identified), containment/ remediation plans, and status. The 43 original Phase 1 sites were evaluated at the Tier 2 level. The Phase 2 sites are considered to be assessed at the Tier 1 level and are awaiting formal Baseline Environmental Evaluations (BEE) which will determine whether or not further Tier 2 assessment and remediation planning are required.