RED BANK, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) unveiled the County’s new pump out boat, Greener Blue, at a press conference today held at Marine Park in Red Bank. Greener Blue is owned and maintained by the MCHD and is operated by the NY/NJ Baykeeper’s organization.
“The Monmouth County Pump Out Boat Program has played a vital role by properly disposing of recreational boating waste, which may have been disposed of inadequately,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley, liaison to the MCHD. “This free service offered by Monmouth County Health Department helps the County work towards reducing pollution in our waterways, which run through many municipalities. I am honored to present Reagan Urban, from the Saint Catharine School in Spring Lake, with a certificate of recognition for winning the Pump Out Boat Essay Contest and naming the County’s new pump out boat, Greener Blue.”
Reagan Urban, of Wall Township, was one of hundreds of County sixth graders who submitted essays for naming the new pump out boat. In her essay, Reagan explained the importance of reducing sewage in waterways and how the name, Greener Blue, matches the boat’s purpose: to empty on-board toilets and holding tanks on recreational boats, so waste is not improperly disposed of in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers as well as parts of the Raritan Bay.
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“I am so proud of Reagan for her essay and overall creativity in naming Greener Blue,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “The partnership between the County’s Health Department and NY/NJ Baykeeper has prevented countless gallons of sewage from entering our local rivers, creating a healthier marine environment. I commend Chris Merkel and his staff, as well as Captain Mike from NY/NJ Baykeeper, for running a topnotch and thorough pump out boat operation for recreational boaters.”
NY/NJ Baykeeper CEO Greg Remaud attended the press conference and gave praise to the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the County for the pump out program.
“We salute the Monmouth County Freeholders for investing in a new pump out boat for the Navesink River,” said Remaud. “The County’s pump out program makes it easy for boaters and marinas to properly manage toilet waste and that’s good for the environment, public health and recreation.”
Due to the ongoing safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the pump out boat season had been delayed from the typical boat launch in May.
“On behalf of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, I am excited to announce the start of the 2020 seasonal operations will begin on Friday, July 3 with safety protocols in place,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley. “These protocols have been developed by the Health Department to keep the Captain of Greener Blue and recreational boaters out of harm’s way.”
Greener Blue operating protocols for the 2020 boating season include:
- Captains are to maintain a minimum distance of six feet from the boaters.
- The boat owner should use their boat hook to retrieve the nozzle from the pump out captain. After the pump is complete, the boat owner would drop the nozzle I the water to be retrieved.
- Nozzles will be disinfected after each use.
- The pump out boat will be thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant at the beginning of the season and at the end of a Captain’s shift.
- If anyone else besides the Captain needs to be on the boat for maintenance, emergencies, etc., then social distancing should be maintained
- The Captain should have clean masks with them at all times and be prepared to use a mask in the case a boater would come within the minimum distance of six feet
Greener Blue will operate on Fridays and Saturdays from July 3 to October, weather permitting. Approximate hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be operating on summer holidays.
Boaters can contact the Captain of Greener Blue by radio on VHF Channel 9 or by calling 732-890-6142 on days the boat is operating. No paperwork is necessary to utilize the free service and the service is not limited to Monmouth County residents.