Pipeline Protest, Clinging Jellyfish, Fish Kill Monitoring

first_img“Now that Gov. Cuomo (of New York) has stated his clear oppositionto this project, it’s now time for a resident of this town and a resident ofMonmouth County to stand up and deny the needed permits for this pipeline,” saidMiddletown Mayor Tony Perry, urging Murphy to reject the project. This essentially choked off the bunker fishes’ oxygen, leading tothe large fish kill, he said. “You had a drop-off of about 30 degrees in the area temperaturethe next day – so what happened then is the algae started to die off,”Heddendorf said. “What happens when those algae die off, the decomposers thatare decomposing then take up all the oxygen in the water leading to very lowdissolved oxygen levels.” People of all ages came out to make signs, sign petitions and listen to local officials and organizers speak against NESE at the rally sponsored by Clean Ocean Action. An interactive map showing the location of reported clinging jellyfish observations can be found at the state DEP’s website, njbeaches.org. The activists, who came from the local area and also New York,fear the installation of the William Transco NESE pipeline extension andcompressor could disrupt the ecology of the Raritan Bay and impact coastalcommunities. “A lot of these families depend on the recreation, as well as someof the industries that go on in the bay,” Cliff Moore, an economic developmentconsultant in the Bayshore towns of Highlands and Keansburg. “The pipelinewould disturb that.” That news was met with some relief by residents gathered at therecent Rally for the Navesink meeting at Bingham Hall. Fish kills can be caused by pollutants, natural causes orenvironmental factors. The DEP’s buoys can detect dissolved oxygen levels,salinity, chlorophyll, temperature and chlorophyll-a. The data will allow theDEP to act sooner if changedlevels in the water are coming from a natural cause like an algae bloom or froman unnatural pollutant which needs to be mitigated, like pesticides, detergentand biotoxins. But stay on guard, Heggendorf advised. This is around the time thedime-sized jellyfish that cling to eel grass make themselves known to humanswith their terribly painful sting. Residents fear the pipeline will negatively affect futuregenerations. Lisa Cordova of Middletown, standing with her daughter Luna andtwo friends, Madison and Scarlett Schreibman, said Murphy must “oppose thispipeline permanently.” She added, “The future of our children rests on it.” In addition to calling and tagging Murphy on social media,protestors signed a banner, petitions and wrote him letters, hoping he will denythe needed permits for this project. RUMSON – Clinging jellyfish have not been seen in the Navesink River since 2016, according to Bill Heddendorf of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The economic toll the pipeline could potentially have on Bayshorecommunities is also a concern.center_img Eight buoys identifiable by a solar panel and orange light will beplaced in the Navesink River in coming days. The buoys are part of an effort bythe DEP to understand the cause of fish kills, like the one in March at RedBank’s Marine Park. CLINGING JELLYFISH Over in Barnegat Bay and Point Pleasant, clinging jellies have shown up, concerning locals and swimmers. Finding the tiny clinging jellyfish in their sea grass habitat can be hard, so the NJDEP has considered obtaining a genome sequencer to help identify where they are gathered. This would allow them to do an environmental DNA analysis simply by analyzing collected water, and, as an additional benefit, determine their species. MIDDLETOWN – More than 60 people concerned about plans to build a controversial pipeline in Raritan Bay gathered at Bayshore Waterfront Park May 31 to send Gov. Phil Murphy a message: Say “No” to NESE. In between speeches, Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean OceanAction, asked the protestors to call the governor’s office and urge him to sayno to NESE. She asked them to tag Murphy on social media and use the #saynotonesehashtag. BUOYS TO HELP PREDICT FISH KILLS The buoys will allow the DEP to see oxygen levels in real time,before a fish kill occurs, and will be placed in the river in very early springnext year. Heggendorf said the DEP determined the cause of March’s large bunkerfish kill at Marine Park was unusually warm weather which caused a rapid bloom of algae inan area with a large number of bunker fish. Clinging jellyfish can be either of the Mediterranean or Chinesespecies, Heggendorf said. Both species of the clinging jellyfish have beenfound in different parts of New Jersey, but the kind found in the ShrewsburyRiver were of Mediterranean decent and the ones found south in Barnegat Bay andthe south bank of the Metedeconk River in Point Pleasant were of Chinesedescent. By Karyssa D’Agostino Heddendorf explained the buoys cost around $100,000 each and about the same to maintain yearly. The funding comes mostly from the state with some funding coming from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. “A near 32,000-horse-powered fracking gas compressing station isgoing to pollute Central Jersey even more with benzene, formaldehyde, methane,cancer causing chemicals – in an area that already has an ‘F’ grade by theAmerican Lung Association and air quality and ground zero level ozone,” saidJunior Romero of NJ Food and Water Watch. And as of May 30, they’ve not been detected in the ShrewsburyRiver, where they were found more frequently in recent years. last_img

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