Harbor Watershed Education
and Fishing Program for Urban Youth until June 21
The Department of Environmental
Protection's (DEP) Spring Urban Fishing Program is underway
in the Newark Bay Complex for 175 youths until June 21.
DEP staff, through partnerships with the
Hackensack RiverKeeper, Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority,
and the Greater Newark Conservancy, take fifth and sixth
grade students from area schools for a four-day program
and environmental tour of local waterways, such as the Hackensack
and Passaic rivers and Arthur Kill.
The program was started in 1997 in response
to community concerns that their citizens may not be adhering
to consumption advisories for locally caught blue crabs,
shellfish and certain species of fish. DEP staffer Kerry
Kirk Pflugh, currently Bureau Chief for the Division of
Watershed Management's Raritan Region, developed the award-winning
community outreach program.
"The program's goal is to foster community
and youth awareness of the vital links between pollution,
water quality and human health. Upon completion of the program,
students show understanding of the surrounding land and
waters, identification of fish targeted in consumption advisories,
watersheds and food chains, and ways they can help prevent
pollution," Pflugh said.
On day one, the children are given a classroom
lesson to familiarize them with the bay area, and to explain
the fish consumption advisories. Day two consists of marking
storm drains to make the community aware of nonpoint source
pollution, and then a cleanup on the waterfront. On day
three, the youth are taken on an "eco-cruise" where they
test water quality. Day four is a day of fishing on a local
waterfront, and includes a fish dissection!
Participating communities have included:
Elizabeth, Newark, Perth Amboy, Jersey City, North Bergen,
Secaucus, Little Ferry, Rahway and Bayonne. This year's
participants include the Elizabeth Port Presbyterian Center,
the Hudson County Vo-Tech School in Jersey City, the Glady
Hillman Jones Model Middle School in Newark and three schools
in Bayonne--Washington, Midtown and Woodrow Wilson.
Photo Editors - Remaining dates are scheduled
- June 5 - Jersey City: Storm Drain &
Cleanup and Bayonne, Washington School,: Fishing
- June 6 - Jersey City: Eco-Cruise leaving
from Laurel Hill Park, Secaucus 9:30 a.m.
- June 7 - Jersey City: Liberty State
Park, Fishing June 12 & 13 Newark #1: Gladys Hillman Jones
Model Middle School Classroom June 14 & 15 Newark #1:
Storm Drain & Cleanup
- June 18 & 19 Newark #1: Laurel Hill
Park, Secaucus, Eco-Cruise
- June 20 & 21 Newark #1: Branch Brook
For more information, contact Jennifer
Gurdak at (609) 292-2051 or Lynette Lurig at 633-1314.