Focus: An Eco Rally for the Rivers

They rallied for the rivers in Rumson.

The 4th Annual Rally for the Two Rivers Eco-Fest, hosted by Clean Ocean Action (COA) on Saturday at Victory Park was a success, organizers said. Hosted by Clean Ocean Action (COA) and the Rumson Environmental Commission (Rumson EC), the event designed to raise awareness of waterway mindfulness for a healthy environment had about 200 attendees.

Made possible by area business sponsors, people roamed Victory Park by one of the rivers they are rallying to keep environmentally healthy and enjoyed hands-on interaction with terrapins and other coastal critters, educational demonstrations and activities, river seining, learning to row, eco-friendly crafts, composting demo, music, ask a master gardener, and other educational features.

The event “connected the drops” by highlighting the importance of keeping the rivers clean to also ensure a healthy ocean.  As such, the early June event also linked with World Ocean Day, celebrated on June 8.   

“Environmental stewardship depends on public awareness and creating personal connections to the wonders of the natural world. The Eco-Fest provides children and adults opportunities to dive into learning about the incredibly rich
ecosystems of the region.” 

Cindy Zipf, COA Executive Director

The Eco-Fest is coordinated as part of COA’s Rally for the Two Rivers initiative—an alliance of organizations and towns dedicated to improving and protecting the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers. At Saturday’s event, COA and Rumson EC were joined by representatives from 
33 organizations, which included Rally for the Two Rivers Alliance partners, local Environmental Commissions and Green Teams, and school and community groups.

Children visited education stations throughout the park and received a stamp in their Environmental Passport at each station. An Environmental Passport with 15 stamps was considered complete and received a final “seal of approval.” Completed passports are eligible to redeem eco-friendly giveaways and special treats from participating local businesses throughout June, as well as possible extra credit or a homework pass if shown to their teacher.

Every year I have families tell me what a special day Eco-fest is, and I agree. It makes me and my colleagues on the Environmental Commission so happy to see the amazing and creative activities that each of our partners create to make this event fun and informative for the whole family! It is so powerful to see everyone coming together to help protect these beautiful rivers!”

**Take a look at the above photo gallery (CLICK on one photo to enlarge and scroll!) for a glimpse into the event.**

— Photos/Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Action is the coordinator of Rally for the Two Rivers, a coalition of groups dedicated to improving and maintaining water quality in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers’ watersheds through research, education and policy. 
Rally for the Two Rivers Alliance Partners include: American Littoral Society, Bayshore Anglers Association, Bayshore Regional Watershed Council, Conserve Claypit Creek, Hartshorne Woods Association, Monmouth Boat Club, Monmouth Conservation Foundation, Navesink Business Group, Navesink Maritime Heritage Association and River Rangers, Navesink Shrewsbury River Fishing Club, Navesink River Municipalities Committee, Navesink River Rowing Club, NJ Friends of Clearwater, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Oceanport Water Watch Committee, Oceanic Free Library, Pirates Care, Recreational Fishing Alliance, Red Bank Business Alliance, River Rats, Riverview Medical Center, Rumson Environmental Commission, Rumson Garden Club, Shrewsbury Sailing & Yacht Club, Sierra Club, Shore Group, Surfrider-Jersey Shore Chapter, and growing.

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management