Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Coast Guard in the Bay

For those of you who don't know, May is Military Appreciation Month. As such, we here at Big Dave and Company have decided that we are going to write a post for each of the service branches showing how they do so much more than fight for our country. Since they are all equally important, we are just going to go alphabetically. Today we look at the Coast Guard.

     Barnegat Bay sits along the coast of central New Jersey, separated from the roiling Atlantic Ocean by a long string of barrier islands and peninsulas.  Explorer Henry Hudson described the bay as early as 1609, noting it as "...a great lake of water, as we could judge it to be...The mouth of the lake hath many shoals, and the sea breaketh on them as it is cast out the mouth of it."  In fact, the name of the bay is a rough translation of the Dutch term for "Inlet of Breakers."   The Bay has long been a popular area for commercial fishing, and in recent years recreational boating has become more and more popular in the bay.  This has come with a population explosion in Ocean County, New Jersey, which borders its shores.  With this growth - however - has come an increase in pollutants and refuse in the rivers that feed the bay, which has adversely affected water quality.
    Recently, however, there has been an effort to help clean up the bay, and Crewmembers from the US Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light have been an instrumental part.  The Barnegat Bay Blitz, which is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, gets together all sorts of people from the government, schools, businesses, and community groups to help cleanup the entire watershed of the bay.  And the Coast Guard played a leading role.
     Crewmembers spent part of a raw and windy and rainy day last week to clean trash and other litter from areas near Barnegat Lighthouse State Park on Long Beach Island.  "It is important for us, the local Coast Guard station, to partner with local agencies and individual volunteers to help preserve out maritime environment." stated the Station Barnegat Light's commanding officer, Chief Warrant Officer Jay Grenier. "By taking one day of work and dedicating it to cleaning up the environment, we help make it a better place."  It is always considered good form to keep your workplace clean and tidy.
      This is just a small example of the work that Coast Guard Crewmembers do every day across the country and around the world to make the places in which they are stationed better places to live, work, and visit.

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