LB Council Votes to Save Whalepond
Long Branch: City Environment Commission members of the Whalepond Brook Watershed Association made a pitch to the governing body to accept a resolution to join 4 other local towns in collaborating on clean up of the Whalepond Brook watershed. The clean up would include dredging the pollutants from Lake Takanassee that have been deposited there from many years of watershed dumping of chemicals into the lake.
There would be no cost to the towns, since funds would come from grants and private donations from known contributors that have interest in water quality. Anheuser and PepsiCo were among those named. The project work will beautify the lake area and make Ross Island, an historic site for visitors to the city, worth visiting.
Ross Island House
The plan was presented by LB Environment Commission member Faith Teitelbaum and Michele Bernich, city liaison to the Commission. With EC reps from Eatontown, Ocean Township, West Long Branch and Tinton Falls, the four towns make up the association. They are assisted by town residents and neighbors interested in protecting their environments. NJ Friends of Clearwater and the Navesink River Watershed Commission have been active in these watershed actions as well.
The five towns comprise the watershed sources of Whalepond. A watershed is a natural area of ground that constitutes the total source of feeds to the lake.
The Whalepond waterway flow begins upstream at Tinton Falls. It flows to Eatontown, and the border of West Long Branch and Ocean Township behind the home of the Monmouth University president's home. It flows into Long Branch’s Takanassee Lake at Ocean Avenue. There, it encounters a weir – a man-made damn to control lake water levels and provide ingress and egress for spawning fish from the ocean to the lake and back. Herring is one of the primary fish that spawns in the lake area. The last 200 feet run underground beneath the beach through a huge pipe and a flume at the Atlantic shoreline. It is all part of the ecosystem, one of 4 systems in Long Branch.
Outflow into Ocean from Whalepond Watershed in Long Branch
After clarification of the impact to the city, specifically taxes, the council voted 4 to 1 to approve the resolution. Councilwoman Dr. Mary Jane Celli dissented, concerned with costs and the uncertainty of the other towns buying in. She called the resolution “fluff” and not definitive enough.
The plan will take about two years to complete beginning with the process of getting agreement in other town council forums.
The Association is an outgrowth of the Environmental Partnership, a group of EC reps of 14 shore towns. The Partnership is managed by EC reps who perform problem solving, planning and actions that benefit the member towns.
The Whalepond Association was spawned as a separate project of these five towns.
In a recent cleanup, volunteers harvested 3 power lawn mowers, 7 auto tires, 2 heavy wire chairs and 15 feet of 2-inch copper pipe from the stream and the retention basin in Eatontown. That’s the geographical mid- point of the Whalepond Brook course through the wooded areas of the towns.
Cleanup of Watershed netted a tremendous amont of debris recently