DISCOVER                     ENGAGE                     SUSTAIN

Welcome to Navesink Maritime Heritage Association

Navesink Maritime Heritage Association

is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging Eastern Monmouth County with maritime and water related historical, skill building, environmental, and recreational activities, and encouraging responsible use of the Navesink estuary through its Discover, Engage, and Sustain approach

Upcoming events


NMHA's Position Statement on Sustainability Efforts

There are local environmental organizations and community stake holders that are resisting offshore wind development based on narrow and poorly reasoned concerns. NMHA’s Discover, Engage, and Sustain approach inherently relies on scientific methods and rational engineering approaches, and the objections raised by these organizations do not follow that approach.

Rather than wasting time and energy on often emotional issues, everyone needs to focus on the inherent goal of all sustainable energy initiatives, which is the rapid reduction of CO2 emissions.

To coin a phrase: It’s the CO2 Stupid!

Every human action has an impact on the environment. However, there are human actions that focus on improving the lot of humans and nature alike, and there are human actions that do nothing but damage humans and nature. Fossil fuels damage humans and nature, and sustainable energy will massively reduce that damage.

That does not mean that the road to sustainable energy will not have occasional bumps, and everybody needs to be on guard for those bumps. For example, wind turbines may hurt birds, and that requires careful consideration of the use of wind turbines. At this time the harm to birds cannot be completely removed, and is being scientifically studied to ensure that the cure is not worse than the disease. Solutions are being engineered based on reliable and truthful data. These analyses may show that some harm may be done to birds, but that this harm is less than the harm that birds will suffer if we do not transition to sustainable energies and ruin their environment to a point of no return.

Similar issues may occur with Atlantic Coast offshore wind, and when they occur NMHA will fully support the resolution of those issues. However, at present there are fallacious unscientific arguments that offshore wind development is harming whales and fisheries. This sabotage of our transition to sustainable energy by some local stakeholders is strongly condemned by NMHA as unfounded, untruthful, unscientific and unreasonably obstructionist. These arguments are just additional fallacious issues unproductively introduced with regard to sustainable energy, and do not even deserve consideration and dissemination if not based on solid scientific and technical evidence.

NMHA strongly suggests that all stakeholders in the vital transition to sustainable energy, focus on rational, truthful, and scientific analysis in engineering a future that will benefit all, instead of engaging in unproductive obstructionist tactics.

NMHA does not inherently assume the government is right, but before anyone engages in criticism, it is imperative that one has command of the underlying data. In this regard, at the very least, review of the most recent Offshore Wind Environmental Impact Statements is a valid starting point.

Review of such documents makes it clear that offshore wind is carefully studied from all angles and, if additional research is needed, it should rest on those findings rather than imaginary distractions.

The President’s End of Year Letter

From Rik van Hemmen

Dear Members and Friends,

2022 has been a very successful year and we look forward to an even more successful year for 2023.

While we have many programs that return year to year, we always focus on the future. As far as the NMHA mission is concerned, there are exciting times ahead. 2026 will be the 250th anniversary of the United States and NMHA is looking at various ways to commemorate it. We have already published our replica Steamboat concept, and we have additional program concepts under development. If anybody is interested in helping organize for USA 250 we look forward to hearing from you.

As another example, in the coming year the accessible portion and interpretation of the Grover house will be expanded, and we are excited to be included in the Monmouth County Historical Weekend tour in May.

Our working team has grown a little in number with the addition of Mary Gerdes and Connie and Joe Cali-Poutre in 2022. Mary has taken over the treasurer duties from Gayle Horvath and Joe and Connie will focus on keeping our media up to date. Nevertheless, we can always use more volunteers and when you see a program or activity that tickles your fancy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

I would like to complete this letter with a very special salute and thank you to Gayle Horvath. Gayle was one of the founders of NMHA back in 1999 and since our founding in the last century, Gayle has been our magic ingredient in getting things done in NMHA’s wide ranging activities. There is no space to list all of the great work Gayle has done, but most of all I want to point out that while for most of the time Gayle has been listed as treasurer, there is not one program that has not been initiated, improved, manned or saved by Gayle’s efforts ranging from manning the booth, dealing with all the frustrating paper work that needs to be completed to keep us alive, to her passion for educational excellence.

With changing family circumstances Gayle is moving to North Carolina, and while I have pitched the presently fashionable concept of remote work, she very much deserves to step out of the NMHA whirlwind and take some time to refocus. We extend our very best wishes in that regard.

In this letter, NMHA officially thanks Gayle Horvath for her incredible contributions to NMHA. Gayle has set the standard, and we hope that we can continue to perform to Gayle’s level of excellence and passion in the future.

Very truly yours,

Rik van Hemmen, President


Please renew your Membership or Join NMHAIt is not expensive, and it helps us so much to focus on the fun. Please note that Membership choices include SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIPS as well as the traditional Annual  Memberships. A Sustainer has an automatic monthly deduction from a credit card that continues until the Sustainer decides to stop, whereas the Annual Memberships are renewed manually each year. Renew or join now and you will be a member for 2022. Renewals are on the membership anniversary.

Sponsors and Partners

NMHA is fortunate to have a number of loyal Sponsors and Supporters listed below.

Click on the logos to go to their respective websites.

NMHA's website hosting and other projects in progress have been funded in part from the New Jersey Historic Trust through the Heritage Tourism Grant Program.

Classic Boat Rides is a long-time supporter of NMHA's bird watching cruises around Sandy Hook and adventures across Raritan Bay to Staten Island, Governors Island, and Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Bahrs Landing Restaurant has provided generous support of NMHA's numerous events - public presentations, annual dinners, receptions, etc. - held there over many years.

Martin & Ottaway is a local marine consulting firm offering engineering and surveying services all over the world. The company has been in continuous operation since 1875 and has provided NMHA with access to the larger commercial maritime community since NMHA’s inception in 1999.

Around the River

Morris Museum Art Show

2023 marks the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Morristown National Historical Park as the first historical park in the National Park Service. To celebrate this anniversary, the Morristown National Historical Park commissioned the photo-artist Xiom├íro to document the architecture of the Ford Mansion and the Jockey Hollow site “to reintroduce the park to the rapidly changing global and local communities it serves in the 21st-century.”

In Memoriam:
Charlie Gross

It is with great sadness we heard of thr passing of Charlie Gross

Charlie Gross was a great friend and staunch supporter of NMHA. Charlie became involved with NMHA from the very start with the first community boatbuilding event at MBC, but he will be best  remembered and appreciated for being the initiator of the NMHA NJ350 celebration.


In late 2012 Charlie contacted the board and asked if he could make a short presentation at our board meeting. We had no idea what it would be about, but readily agreed. He came to the presentation with a bunch of background information, with the Nicholls patent as the main document. He explained that NJ would be celebrating the  350th Anniversary of the founding of Monmouth County and nobody was doing anything to commemorate it in our area. The research he provided on the subject was so interesting that it fired up the board, and with Charlie’s help resulted in a wonderful and wide ranging event that included a visit by the Onrust and, even more significantly, the settlement forum at the Old First Baptist church. There is no doubt that Charlie’s suggestion and efforts resulted in a major realignment of NMHA’s focus that led to many of the projects that NMHA has engaged in since. Thanks to Charlie’s initial suggestion, our research continues and has resulted in recent important discoveries with regard to the transatlantic politics underlying the settlement of Monmouth County.        


NMHA will be forever grateful for Charlie’s contributions and extends its condolences to the Gross family during these difficult days.

Swimming River Park open

Launch available for boaters

Swimming River Park on West Front Street in Red Bank is now open to the public.  This includes a boat launch facility.

Find the details HERE

National Maritime Historical Society Annual Meeting

The NMHA will host their 60th annual meeting in Newport News, VA, on 14-16 April 2023.

Find the details HERE

Fair Haven Waterfront Access
Projects Gain Momentum

The borough is working to improve access to the Navesink River.

Read about it HERE

What’s Old is New again:

the Effort to Bring Sail Freight Back to New York’s Hudson River

Read about it HERE