Past Events & Activities in 2021
June 13, 2021: BBQ & Social at the NMHA headquarters at GROVER HOUSE on 930 West Front Street
Open from 11:00am to 2:00pm. BBQ from 12:00 to 1:00pm
It was a beautiful day and over 70 people ate BBQ and met old and new friends. Many toured the Grover House and saw the renovations that had ben made by NMHA volunteers over the last three years.
Grover House is a c1730 farmhouse built by a descendent of one of the founders of Monmouth County in 1665, named James Grover. NMHA acquired a lease from Middletown Township in 2014 for its headquarters and is managing the exterior and renovating the interior rooms on the first floor. Eagle Scout projects have enhanced the grounds and provided porch seating.
See photographs HERE
June 6, 2021: Join NMHA for a WHALE WATCHING Cruise on Seastreak!
Following the sold-out bird watching cruise, NMHA has organized a whale watching cruise on a fast, spacious, and comfortable Seastreak catamaran. All are welcome: adults, youth, and children! At 1:30pm on June 6th we will depart from the Seastreak terminal in HIGHLANDS for a fast trip out to the whale watching areas.
We may see humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, pelagic birds, sea turtles, and other species. Abby van Hemmen, who recently presented her experiences as the Seastreak marine naturalist at an recent NMHA public presentation on Zoom, will explain what we are seeing, and in person too!
Did we see any whales?? Check it out HERE!!June 5, 2021: Open Air Event: Rally for the Rivers Eco-Fest at Victory Park, Rumson
This gathering from 9:00am through 12:30pm of environmental and ecology-friendly organizations will entertain and inform you and your children through fun projects and activities throughout the morning. Organized by Clean Ocean Action and the Rumson Environmental Commission to focus on keeping our local rivers and creeks healthy, this is the third Eco-Fest to be held in Victory Park.
It's free and open to everyone. If it has to be cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus restrictions, it will be posted on the NMHA web site and Facebook page as well as on Clean Ocean Action's social media pages.
May 2, 2021: Bird Watching Cruise. View Local & Migratory birds from the deck of the MARINER!
Join NMHA on its third bird watching trip on Classic Boat Rides' MARINER.
Starting 0830 in Atlantic Highlands, we will view the resident and migrating birds of Sandy Hook Bay and Shrewsbury River. Important: You must Register to join this cruise as spaces are limited. The trip should start with a look at the bayside flats at the tip of Sandy Hook, then its a run to the mouth of the picturesque Navesink River. Expect to see Brant, Cormorants, Osprey, Gulls, Terns, Vultures, Oyster Catchers, Ducks, Herons, Swallows, and so much more. Bring your binoculars and join the fun. It's a great way to start summer.
Registration $45 per person including coffee, tea, juice. Important: Bring your own breakfast as due to COVID-19 NMHA will not be including breakfast. However, coffee, juice, water, Mimosas and Bloody Marys will be available from the onboard cash bar.
0830: Mariner Departs Atlantic Highlands Marina PROMPTLY!
1130: Return to Atlantic Highlands Marina.
The Mariner will go where the birds are (water depth permitted), but will start at Atlantic Highlands. The birds, the Captain and the guide will further refine the program on the fly - no pun intended!April 21, 2021: Zoom presentation - A Rookie Whale Watching Naturalist’s First Year on the Water by Abby van Hemmen
Abby van Hemmen, a marine naturalist for Seastreak’s whale watching tours, will provide an overview of her first year overseeing Seastreak's whale watching cruises off Sandy Hook. Participants will get an inside look at what it takes to prepare for a whale watching season and for each day’s many surprises.
Using photographs from the 2020 season, Abby will identify and describe each of the diverse species encountered. Information covering biology, life history, conservation and current research will be shared through a series of stories from the boat.
NMHA will be arranging a whale watching cruise on Seastreak for later in May. Look out for an email notification later in April.
Abby van Hemmen, born and raised in New Jersey, studied marine biology at the University of Washington in Seattle and has returned to our area. She is a whale watching naturalist and marketing associate for Seastreak, the ferry company. Upon graduating, she worked as a sea otter researcher, and later earned her masters degree in education while teaching science in the New York City public school system. In 2020 Abby started working with Seastreak to provide a new service that brought customers on the water to locate and safely observe whales in the NY/NJ Bight out of Atlantic Highlands.March 17, 2021: Public Presentation: Why Wench Betty's Story Matters - the Murder of a NJ Slave in 1784
Sue Kozel tells the gripping story of Wench Betty, an enslaved woman in Western Monmouth County, tells a horrible history of enslavement. Wench Betty was murdered in 1784 for defying her owner's commands. The subsequent court proceedings for her murderer were also held that year.
Using court documents, coroner’s reports, and slaveowners’ records, our presenter, Sue Kozel will take us along on her investigation. This presentatio will look at the workings of race, gender, and power during and after the Revolutionary War - a time when powerful New Jerseyans were pulled between Revolutionary ideas of freedom and liberty, and the cruel realities of its legalized system of slavery.
Sue Kozel’s work often deals with freedom, liberty, abolition, and slavery. Designated as a Public Scholar by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, she has co-edited a book on Quakers and abolition, and published numerous works on Black freedom, abolitionism, and American and New Jersey History.
This program is supported by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities through the “NJ Women Vote: The 19th Amendment at 100” initiative. NMHA proudly presents it during Women’s History Month.
February 17, 2021: Public Zoom Presentation: A Historical Journey Across Raritan Bay
John Schneider, a noted local historian and author, will take us on a journey around Raritan Bay, that large body of water that has long been the entryway to the interior of the East Coast and the ports of New York and New Jersey.
Through photographs, stories, and short video clips, John will take us on a historical journey around the Bay and the waterways which surround it. From the dinosaurs that roamed the area, to mysterious shipwrecks and dubious lighthouses, John will tell us what he has learned.
October 2020 to February 2021: A Public Petition - Bring Oysters back to the Navesink!
The Navesink River, our 2,100 acre natural waterway, is a sterling example of environmental stewardship. Over the years thousands of people have worked hard at improving water quality, reducing pollution, improving habitat, and nurturing fish stocks. Today it is a joy to think that we have so many productive Osprey nests along the river and that Bald Eagles, almost extinct in our area in the 1970's, also make the river their home. So the river is much cleaner than it was, but there is one omission from this saga of success - the absence of oysters.
The petition: "I support the Navesink River oyster restoration community (Baykeeper, COA, Littoral Society, NMHA, and so many others) in bringing attention to the need for change to the outdated regulations keeping a much needed oyster restoration project from taking place in the Navesink River. I request that State regulators prioritize the regulation and procedural changes that will allow the community to restore the Navesink River oyster population as soon as possible".
Some years ago the NY/NJ Baykeeper had permission and installed an oyster reef in the Navesink but in 2008 had to remove it due to regulations that basically argued: the river is not cleared for oyster cultivation, restored oysters could be poached and sold as safe oysters and then harm the public, and the reputation of the New Jersey Shellfish Industry.
History and science have moved on since then, NMHA, the NY/NJ Baykeeper, and many others, want to bring oysters back to benefit the river environment. Oysters and oyster reefs are a crucial component of global ocean health and serve as barriers to storms and tides, preventing erosion and protecting productive estuary waters, of which the Navesink is a prime example.
The Board presented its 2020 Review and plans for 2021 via Zoom
The Board Trustees discussed and presented our many successes in 2020 in spite of COVID-19, and Rik van Hemmen, President, looked forward into 2021 with our plans and activities.
Please click HERE to see a pictorial review of 2020 and plans for 2021.
Please click HERE to see NMHA's fixed costs for 2021.