Barnegat Bay Blitz
The May 9, 2012 Stafford Blitz was an overwhelming success! The Barnegat Bay is truly treasured by this community, and the residents and students of Stafford once again supported this effort with great enthusiasm! The Blitz actually began a month before when the Student Success class from Ocean County College conducted an early cleanup in the area of the Bridge to Nowhere so that they could include it as a final class project. On Wednesday May 9, and in the days after, numerous cleanups occurred throughout the township which resulted in a total of 651 volunteers collecting 73 bags of trash and 39.5 bags of recyclables.
- Students from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) cleaned up the wooded area adjacent to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and along the stream that runs through it on Mayetta Landing Road.
- Students from Southern Regional Middle School students cleaned up the first half of Stafford Avenue.
- Volunteers from the Ocean County Planning Department collected trash and debris along Route 72 near Marsha Drive.
- A group of Cub Scouts collected trash at Ocean Acres Lake Park and conduct a valuable Lake Assessment for DEP as well.
- A group of dedicated Boy Scouts from Troop 61 conducted a cleanup at the Doc Cramer Sports Complex.
- Close to 500 1st and 2nd graders (wow!) cleaned up the grounds at the Ocean Acres School. The teachers said that the Blitz activity sparked great discussions and lessons about the Barnegat Bay with these enthusiastic young students!
- DEP volunteers collected bulk trash items such as a sink and car seat cushions along the old Tuckerton Railroad easement. They also collected bags of discarded items and litter at the Bridge to nowhere at the end of Stafford Avenue, a popular dumping spot.
- Students at Lighthouse Christian Academy had to postpone their Blitz activity, but plan on conducting a cleanup at their school grounds in early June.
Thank you to all of those who participated in the Barnegat Bay Blitz! A special thanks to Stafford Township's Clean Communities Coordinator, David Garrison, the Stafford Township Public Works Department, and to all of the volunteers that coordinated with me to make your group's cleanup a success!
October 19, 2011 Blitz Recap:
Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) in Manahawkin participated in the Barnegat Bay Cleanup on October 19, 2011. Three shifts of students cleaned up along Stafford Avenue towards the Bridge to Nowhere that goes out into the marshes that lead to the bay. Approximately 30 bags of trash and 30 bags of recyclables were cleaned up by the students including several large items. A rusty bike, mattresses, tires, and a partial boat hull were some of the larger items removed.
The students involved were eager to help as this is a part of their school learning being a marine academy and they periodically cleanup along this site. The poor weather conditions did not deter them from doing an excellent job and their teacher said they really felt that they had accomplished a lot more October 19, 2011 than a few years combined.
We also had two members from the public brave the wind and rain to help cleanup on Stafford Avenue as well. Southern Regional High School also participated and cleaned up their school grounds the following day.
The public work department for Stafford Township was incredibly helpful and had trucks coming in and out of the site all day removing the trash and recyclables that the students cleaned up out of the marshes. So there was great participation and effort from all involved and thank you to those who worked so hard in helping to restoring the health of the Barnegat Bay.