Takanassee Beach, Long Branch – A pile of creosote soaked logs

We received a call today to go down to Tak beach and see what is going on there.  A surfer called a friend so I called some friends and we went to look. This is what we saw:

These creosote soaked pieces of wood are all over the beach and in the water.

These creosote soaked pieces of wood are all over Takanassee beach and in the water.

IMG_4446They might come from this big pile of wood which stinks of creosote.IMG_4466Some of it may come from the dismantling of the flume.

Remains of the north side of the flume.
Remains of the north side of the flume.

This is the Whale Pond Brook flowing into the ocean where the flume used to be.IMG_4461

If you see something that you think may not be right, don’t hesitate to call 877 warnDEP.

Learning about Sustainability on an Unseasonably Warm December Day


Yesterday was a great day at  the prestigious Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.

Kate Hutelmyer and Ed Difiglia, both from the Watershed’s Policy Division,  gave us a  tour of their new Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education, a LEED Platinum building in Pennington, NJ. Here are some highlights!


Pictured from Left to Right: Ed Difiglia, Bob Sandberg, Faith Teitelbaum, Ray Pogwist, Jeff King, Laura Bagwell and Kate Hutelmyer


Renewable Energy

Solar  and geothermal technologies provide about 85% of the building’s energy needs.

Passive Solar Lighting 

What an inviting and sun-filled room.



Green Roof & Solar Hot Water

A vegetated roof reduces runoff, reduces  heat island effect, improves air quality, increases biodiversity, reduces noise, improves energy efficiency, acts as a fire retardant, and increases the longevity of roof membranes. SO much good!

….and the solar hot water is highly efficient.



Rainwater Harvesting

Note the “bird’s beak” funnels rainwater from the roof down to a rock garden and then a rain garden .




Rain Garden

Reduces storm water runoff and purifies the water as it recharges the  aquifer, and provides habitat.


Wetlands Wastewater Treatment

Using Plants, soil, and microorganisms to treat wastewater instead of traditional wastewater treatment  results in water that is cleaner  and it is also more effective in infiltrating water into the aquifer.


This is a Water Fountain every building needs!

Getting rid of your plastic water bottle habit is easier when you can refill your reusable water bottle at water fountains like this one. This fountain has saved 2,084 plastic bottles of water. This model is called the Halsey Taylor HydroBoost.



Plus more!

Butterfly House

Helping to increase the population of native butterflies, including the Monarch Butterly,  the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House is used to raise monarch butterflies and set them free each year.

Visit them during their butterfly festival!




Environmental Library



Education center with wildlife, too! Check out the corn snake, walking sticks and huge freshwater tank.


A model of the watershed – press a button to light up the streams and tributaries of the Stony Brook – Millstone Watershed



What you can do?

Solar panels:  Free and renewable electricity from the sun – our best source of energy. For information on solar, see:


Rain garden: A rain garden is quite wonderful – habitat and rainwater recharge;  it is all good. Build a rain garden today!  For more information on how to build one, see:


Stop using plastic:  Take the pledge to not use plastic bottles!  Also  take a plastic inventory of your home and lifestyle and see how you can reduce or stop using it. It’s everywhere,  polluting the watershed and ultimately the oceans, strangling and suffocating wildlife.


Until next time,  thank you for all you do to help the watershed!

Dead swan

IMG_4266This is what we saw when we first arrived at the Tak Trestle  trail……a swan with a broken neck.  Who would be so cruel to these beautiful birds?  If you see anyone abusing our beautiful feathered friends or any animal, please contact the Monmouth County SPCA Humane Police Chief:

800-582-5979  or if immediate emergency:  call 732-542-0040.

Don’t hold back, just do it…make the call.

Takanassee Lake and trail clean-up



A glorious day filled with sunshine and good deeds was experienced by volunteers today as we cleaned up around Takanassee Lake and the Old Waterworks.  The lake was exceptionally low and we got to clean places we never saw before.


A kayaker went into the Old Water Works and pulled out debris unreachable from the shore.  We pulled out a few tires, a Stop and Shop shopping cart and a giant ceramic pipe among other things. Will Johnson, Monmouth County Clean Communities helped by supplying all the bags, litter picks, a truck, a smile and a winch to get the a ceramic pipe out of the lake.


Our Watershed Ambassador Tiffany Falcone, once again did a super job in organizing this event and having Panera supply delicious pastries.




After a few hours at Tak, a few of us decided to go over and try to save our Ross Island Stone Hut platform. This platform was made by our stone mason, Ken Manzi during Phase I of the stone hut restoration.  After two years of being hitched to a tree on Ross Island, it had become dislodged and was wedged under the Van Court bridge.  One of our brave volunteers jumped on the platform, grabbed a giant tree branch and started moving it back towards the island. After a while we hitched it to a strong rope and pulled it into shore, where it is moored until our clean-up on the island next Saturday.  Please join us:  Ross Lake Park – Elinore Ave  Long Banch



Neighbors working together to restore our watershed.