Monmouth University and the Rumson officials unveiled plans Tuesday to develop a new Monmouth Marine and Environmental Field Station on the swath of borough property located on the banks of the Navesink River behind borough hall.
The facility will provide unique opportunities for scientific research and educational collaboration between the professionals and students of the university and local schools.
Rumson and University officials were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site of the future field station. Tentative plans call for the addition of classroom, laboratory and meeting space above an existing sewer pump station on the Avenue of Two Rivers site. The facility, which is adjacent to the public boat ramp on the river, will provide convenient access to the water for the university’s research vessels.
“This partnership is a win-win for Monmouth University and for our residents, especially students from our local schools, who have an interest and a thirst for science,” Mayor John Ekdahl said. “Our students will be able to take part and assist with hands-on research and class activities related to the waterways surrounding the borough, which will be led by some of the most respected experts in their field.”
“As the region’s leading private coastal university with our main campus just a mile from the ocean, Monmouth University has an important role to play in exploring the Jersey Shore’s marine environments and sharing that knowledge with our neighboring communities,” Monmouth University President Grey Dimenna said. “We are excited about the distinctive research opportunities at the field station for our students and faculty and thank our partners in Rumson for making this possible.”
Faculty from the Monmouth’s School of Science and Urban Coast Institute (UCI) have long used the boat ramp as a launch point for research in area water bodies such as the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, the Sandy Hook and Raritan bays, New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. The university has already been granted access to the property to store vessels and other scientific equipment.
“This facility will help us build a better understanding of the scientific challenges facing the Navesink and Shrewsbury watersheds, from water quality issues to the rise of invasive species,” School of Science Dean Dr. Steven Bachrach said. “It will also be a great asset for the School of Science’s continued growth as one of the East Coast’s premiere marine and environmental biology programs.”
“The field station will allow our students to conduct hands-on, cutting-edge research projects that make a difference in the Two River communities,” UCI Director Tony MacDonald said. “These activities will prepare our students for their careers and perhaps attract a new generation of scientists.”
Rumson and the University will continue to collaborate on a site plan, a timetable, and fundraising to support the field station project.
— Press release from Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI)