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

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The President’s 2023 End of Year Letter

From Rik van Hemmen

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.


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 2024. 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.

Martin Ottaway are a primary Sponsor of our Association. 

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.

Ross Brewery is a local business and new sponsor as of 2023.  They have a facility on the Bayshore in Belford, NJ.

Fantastic Signs offer their customers a combination of over 40 years of Sign Design and Production, 23 years of Graphic Design, 6 years of Trade Show Exhibit Work and, 30 years of Retail/Wholesale/Marketing expertise.

Around the River

Rick Geffken is is the 2023  winner of the

Jane G. Clayton Award.

Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon has announced that Rick Geffken is the winner of the 2023 Jane G. Clayton Award. Through his research, presentations, and publications on Monmouth County history, Rick Geffken has made a significant contribution to the study and understanding of our county’s history,” Hanlon said.

Geffken will receive the award at the County Clerk’s 28th Annual Archives and History Day on October 28 at the Robert J. Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft

Geffken has has authored or co-authored several books including “The Story of Shrewsbury, Revisited, 1965-2015;” “Highland Beach, 1888-1962: Gateway to the Jersey Shore,” “Lost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore,” “Hidden History of Monmouth County, New Jersey,” and “Stories of Slavery in New Jersey.”

Morris Museum Art Sho

Link to their page

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

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