This summer, Carter Brown ’15 held an internship with the New Jersey Museum of Boating and worked to clean Barnegat Bay. His internship was featured in The Coast Star newspaper.
According to the article, “Mr. Brown goes out on the 18-foot center console skiff to collect debris and trash that collects in the bay. The skiff, called the Bay Keeper and Retriever, or known properly as the New Jersey Museum of Boating Trash Retrieval Unit, was originally a racing patrol boat owned by the Bay Head Yacht Club and was donated to the museum a few years ago.”
The debris he removed from the bay benefits both the marine life and people on the water. Some of the debris was substantial enough to damage boats – such as large sections of decking and tree limbs.
“I find a whole variety of stuff and it’s interesting to see what’s out there,” he’s quoted.
Brown is majoring in environmental studies and biology.
The full article follows.
The Coast Star
New Jersey Museum of Boating Works to Keep Bay Clean
Intern Carter Brown of Bay Head works daily to keep debris out of the Barnegat Bay
Breanne McCarthy • August 13, 2012
POINT PLEASANT – The New Jersey Museum of Boating, here, is working hard to keep Barnegat Bay clean this summer.
The museum, which opened in 1998, has a mission to not only keep the local water clean and safe, but it also works hard to educate the public about the importance of maritime heritage in New Jersey.
“Our mission is to tell the story of our maritime heritage,” said Robert O’Brien, co-founder of the New Jersey Museum of Boating. “The Coast Guard roots are right here in Ocean County and we tell the story of the nautical history of New Jersey. People don’t realize that New Jersey was, and always has been, a maritime state.”
In addition to the museum’s main goal of sharing maritime history, it has also made an effort to keep water in the surrounding area clean and safe.
“One of our members a few years ago went to the Galapagos Islands and noticed that the water is so clean and the people there said ‘Yeah, because we clean it,'” said Mr. O’Brien. “So that’s how we got the idea and that’s what we do in the Barnegat Bay.”
This summer, Carter Brown of Bay Head – who is currently going into his sophomore year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., and is double majoring in environmental studies and biology – has been interning with the museum, volunteering his time to go out on daily trips to keep the Barnegat Bay clean.
“I cover everything down to the Mantoloking Bridge, the whole northern part,” said Mr. Brown. “It depends on the weather. So I show up, check the gas and I follow the wind, basically.”
Mr. Brown goes out on the 18-foot center console skiff to collect debris and trash that collects in the bay. The skiff, called the Bay Keeper and Retriever, or known properly as the New Jersey Museum of Boating Trash Retrieval Unit, was originally a racing patrol boat owned by the Bay Head Yacht Club and was donated to the museum a few years ago, according to Mr. O’Brien.
The 18-foot skiff is maintained and serviced by William DeRouville’s Boat Shop on the south shore of Toms River in Bayville.
“They’re a wonderful boat yard,” said Mr. O’Brien. “They maintain it at no cost as part of their donation and they keep it over the winter at no cost.”
In all, Mr. Brown covers an area of up to five miles from the Mantoloking Bridge north to Bay Head using nets, rakes and tools to collect debris from 8-foot logs to dead fish.
“I’ve found a tennis scrubber, a 4-foot piece of dock, a 17- a half-foot composite plank from someone’s deck, I found a shotgun cartridge,” said Mr. Brown. “I find a whole variety of stuff and it’s interesting to see what’s out there.”
Mr. O’Brien said it is good the debris is picked up from the bay because it can be dangerous to people on the body of water.
“It’s amazing what people throw into the river. On Friday, he [Mr. Brown] brought in a huge, 8-foot log,” said Mr. O’Brien. “It’s very good because some boat would have hit that and had an accident.”
Once the debris is collected on the water, it is placed into a dumpster and disposed of properly on land.
“There’s a recycling dumpster at the Boat Museum and the boat yard takes care of the bigger debris and all of the other stuff goes into trash bags,” said Mr. Brown.
In addition to the museum working to clean the water in the Barnegat Bay, it also hosts several summer programs to help educate people about maritime history and the importance of keeping the water systems clean.
The museum hosts a Boats and Kids program in which it takes disadvantaged children from Camden, Newark and New Brunswick out onto the bay and educates them about the ecology of the water.
There is also currently a World War II exhibit that was completed by the museum in response to a request made by the surrounding school systems to teach children about the history of World War II, according to Mr. O’Brien.
“World War II to these kids is like teaching them about the War of 1812 – it’s ancient history,” said Mr. O’brien. “The museum listened to schools in Point Pleasant and Bay Head who wanted the children to have a better understanding of the history.”
Many of the museums’ exhibits – such as the World War II exhibit, which was completed by John Palmer and Kenneth Motz of Point Pleasant – are donated to the museum and completed for free.
Because the museum is a nonprofit, it is always looking for donations and volunteers to help run the museum.
“We’re always looking for donations because we’re a nonprofit organization,” said Mr. O’Brien. “We don’t get federal or state financial assistance and we exist purely on the contributions of members.”
The museum is currently staffed by a handful of volunteers along with the two interns, Mr. Brown and Christine Motz, of Point Pleasant.
The museum is located at the Johnson Brothers Boat Yard at 1800 Bay Ave. in Point Pleasant in two buildings. Building 12 is 112 years old and building 13 is a free lending nautical library, nautical art gallery and model boat room and workshop.
The museum is free to all and it open seven days a week, all year round.
For more information, visit www.njmb.org/ or call 732-859-4767.