(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association October 2000 Newsletter)
Below is a press release from Clean Ocean Action about the march from Cape May to Sandy Hook. The purpose of this march was to draw public attention to the need to end ocean dumping. Because of other commitments, I was only able to walk two days. On Tuesday I was joined by Gary and Samantha Caputi, Kenny and Jeremy Kaufman from Canyon Gear, Phil Celmer, and Al Ristori. Congressman Saxton joined us at Island Beach State Park after walking Long Beach Island on Monday. On Friday, we were joined by Congressman Pallone, Congressman Holt and Senator Torricelli. What made the walk really special was seeing infants in baby carriages and young children with their parents joining us in this cause. Two mothers carried their infants (8 & 10 weeks old) in baby slings. Theyre the ones we do this for. Senior citizens who can remember Island Beach past and the other beaches many years ago also joined us. Absent were Vice President Gore, Governor Whitman and Congressman Robert Menendez. Beachgoers and car passengers alike cheered us on. The overwhelming response is what we need to end ocean dumping now. JCAA wants to thank Cindy Zipf and Clean Ocean Action for organizing this march and for being in the forefront of the campaign to end ocean dumping.
Friday, September 1st, Day 8:
DUMP NO MORE, MARCH FOR THE SHORE
COMMEMORATES THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1997 FEDERAL PROMISE TO END OCEAN DUMPING OF CONTAMINATED MUCK
Protesters have traveled the entire Jersey Shore. Over 500 citizens have marched and thousands more have participated in rallies to protest the accelerated dumping of contaminated muck into our ocean. The Ocean Lifeline Banner is more than 500 feet long and demonstrates coastal solidarity against the current ocean dumping.
Sandy Hook- The Ocean Defense Campaigns week-long, 125-mile Dump No More, March for the Shore ended today, September 1st, at Sandy Hook, to protest the continued ocean dumping of toxin-laden muck. The Ocean Lifeline was unfurled at the rally on Sandy Hook as a symbolic rescue of the ocean from ocean dumping. September 1st marks the anniversary of the 1997 federal promise to end ocean dumping of contaminated dredged materials. The march started on Friday, August 25th, at Cape May Point.
This unprecedented action is in response to the latest ocean dumping actions taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineersthe approval of nearly 750,000 tons of contaminated muck dredged from federal channels and the acceleration of that dumping by the agencies.
Walking along the Jersey coast for more than 100-miles has proven that the ocean is the heart and soul of New Jersey. The Ocean Lifeline symbolizes our united opposition to this muck dumping and our demand for a clean ocean. said Cindy Zipf, director of Clean Ocean Action. Its time for the federal agencies to do as they promised and change their dirty definition of clean to a definition of clean that will restore our oceans health. Elected officials must stand up and defend our ocean, she added.
Highlights of the Dump No More, March for the Shore include:
The Ocean Lifeline, made up of items donated by municipalities, groups, and individuals against the ocean dumping, is over 500 feet long (~ 1 ½ football field-lengths). Nearly every coastal municipality donated an item to the Lifeline, such as municipal flags or pennants.
Over 500 marchers statewide donated time from their workweek to march. Marchers ranged from 2 years old to more than 75 years old. A 75-year old man joined the March in Holgate at the Edwin B. Forsythe Refuge on bicycle; this marked his dedication to a clean ocean and the first time in 35 years that he was on a bicycle. Thousands of citizens signed petitions and contributed signed, blue ribbons to the Ocean Lifeline.
Elected officials including Senator Robert Torricelli, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Jim Saxton, and Congressman Russ Holt, city mayors and committee members joined the march at its rally points.
Regional, national and international organizations participated, including Alliance for a Living Ocean American Littoral Society, Center for Marine Conservation, Friends of Island Beach State Park, Greenpeace International, Jersey Coast Anglers Association, Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater, NY/NJ Bay Keeper, Save Barnegat Bay, Surfers Environmental Alliance, and the Surfrider Foundation.
A flotilla of boats from the Highlands, flying Dump No More flags and banners, cruised to the ocean side of Sea Bright and escorted the marchers into Sandy Hook to the final rally point.
In one of his first actions as Executive Director Elect of Greenpeace International, John Passacantando announced endorsement of the Dump No More, March for the Shore.
The coalition of groups, known as the Ocean Defense Campaign, is fed up with the failure of federal and state government to stop the dumping of toxin-laden muck off the Jersey Shore. On September 1, 1997, ocean dumping of contaminated material was prohibited. Thereafter, only clean cap material would be placed in the ocean to cover the large polluted ocean floor caused by the previous 100 years of ocean dumping. In effect, a clean band-aid would be placed on this wound on the seafloor. However, last year, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers approved highly polluted material as cap material that was as bad or worse than the polluted ocean floor.
Ocean advocates responded by sending over 150,000 signed petitions to Vice President Al Gore and Governor Christine Todd Whitman, organizing protests on land, sea, and air, testifying at public hearings and writing thousands of letters. Nearly 50 NJ communities passed resolutions opposed to the dumping of the polluted muck.
The ocean advocates have made it clear that they are not opposed to dredging, only to the current ocean dumping practice. However, on August 14, 2000, the federal government responded to ocean advocates with an acceleration of dumping allowing nearly 1,000,000 tons of muck in the ocean.
David vs Goliath: The muck is generated by dredging the channels of the New York/New Jersey Harbor, one of the most polluted harbors in the United States. The material is saturated with toxins and has been dumped into the waterways over the last centuries. In the early 1900s, the mud started to be dumped just off Sandy Hook as a disposal method. This dump and dash technology of ocean dumping remained largely unchanged until 1997 when newer technologies began to emerge. Today, technologies are readily available to treat the mud, making it useful for purposes including landfill closures. However, these alternative technologies are more costly than ocean dumping. The ocean advocates are pressuring the large corporate giants of the port to invest in these technologies and spare the ocean from the toxic goo. Quality of life, public health, shore tourism, fishing, commercial fishing, and real estate values depend on a clean, healthy ocean. The investment in alternatives to ocean dumping is a mere fraction when compared to the economic, environmental, and public health benefits.
[News Contents] [Top]