Whale Pond Brook Watershed Announces Partnership
Long Branch: The Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association (WPBWA) announced the signing of support resolutions today with the governing bodies of Long Branch, West Long Branch, Ocean Township, Eatontown, and Tinton Falls to restore the eroded banks, improve water quality and create a hiking /biking trail on the Whale Pond Brook watershed -- a waterway that flows through all five towns. The mission of the WPBWA is to bring neighborhoods together to solve local issues involving the brook and increase community interest in preserving this as a clean water resource for our future.
The watershed is approximately 6.1 miles of urban land and includes waterfront adjacent to Takanassee Lake, the Whale Pond Brook and all its tributaries, and the Cranberry Brook. It includes a forested and ponded NJ Public Land Trust fund site that will be used for wildlife conservation and hiking. Other sites contain historic features, such as the site of the Old Brinley Mill on the border of Ocean Township and West Long Branch, the Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University and the historic site of the Life Saving Station #5 at Takanassee Beach in Long Branch. Sections on Cranberry Brook will provide a serene place for employees on Industrial Way to spend time.
Each town will have a demonstration project to begin the restoration and the trail. The association currently has two projects in progress. The first is the restoration of Ross Island and development of a passive park along Elinore Avenue in Long Branch. The second, in Ocean Township, will be the creation of a walking trail through the NJ Public Land Trust Whale Pond Preserve.
The Environmental Commission in each municipality has agreed to assist and support the association’s watershed restoration effort. During the 2 year process leading up to the five towns passing resolutions, the WPBWA held 15 clean-ups, conducted three literature drops, held four neighborhood meetings, joined the Monmouth County Watershed Ambassador’s benthic water testing trainings at MU, manned tables at various events, and conducted four Discovery Hikes up and down the watershed.
See restorethewatershed.org for pictures and descriptions of each event and other information about the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association.
Area Projects Started
The Long Branch Elinore Ave/Stone Hut Demonstration project includes the clearing of the Ross Island invasive plants and the restoration of 250 feet on the banks of Elinore Ave. According to Faith Teitelbaum, WPBWA’s Director, this restoration will have several phases, the first is to clear out the overgrowth and plant a mixture of grasses. In the fall, the association will remove any invasive plants that begin to grow again. The association is currently planning to plant dogwood, redbud and chokeberry trees as well as silky dogwood, blueberries and shrubs in the upland area, creating a park between the bank and the road.
“With the addition of two benches and a table,” said Ms. Teitelbaum, “Elinore Avenue residents and visitors will have a beautiful site to relax with a view of the restored island.”
The Ocean Township Demo project will be to blaze a trail through the NJ Public Land Trust (NJPLT) Whale Pond Preserve. The WPBWA is currently in touch with Martin Rapp, NJPLT. They hope to have a group of volunteers make a trail around the lakes on the west side of Rt.18. Access will be from W Park Ave by the OT Intermediate School.
Ms Teitelbaum noted, “This will be quite a challenge as the brush is very thick. We are looking for volunteers to sign up to help us with this part if you have a love of adventure at restorethewatershed.org.” She noted that “forty-four people have signed up to help with trail building already.”