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Residents Raise Environmental Questions; Mayor Henry Announces ‘Beach Sweeps’

By Joseph L. Kuchie —

Mayor Fred Henry

SOUTH AMBOY — Mayor Fred Henry announced the 27th annual “Beach Sweeps” during last week’s South Amboy council meeting.

Beach Sweeps is a program created in 1985 to clean up the beaches in New Jersey. Volunteers record each piece of debris they pick up on data cards, and that data is compiled into an annual report that provides evidence to reduce litter and educate the public about pollution.

South Amboy will be home to two separate “sweep sites” on October 20th from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM, one being the Raritan Bay Waterfront Park and the other at the Fisherman’s Parking Lot. Mayor Henry believed that this could start at the beaches and eventually lead to a citywide cleanup.

“Hopefully people will get involved and help keep our beaches clean, but I also want to expand this to the rest of the city,” Henry said. “If you can’t get down to the beach then maybe you can start cleaning around the front of your home and sidewalk. I hope people can show pride in their homes and city and help clean it up.”

While on the topic, many residents had questions about the environmental cleanup of certain sites in South Amboy during the public session. George Forrer pointed out two locations near his home that needed immediate assistance.

“I agree with you Mayor about cleaning up, how about the Rosewell Market and the Wasp Terminal, the two biggest eyesores in town,” Forrer said. “The Rosewell Market is boarded up with broken widows and weeds growing all over. If we do something to clean it up it should be a help for my neighborhood at least.”

Mayor Henry told Forrer that he would notify the code enforcer and send him down to inspect the area the next day. He also said that the owners of the property have been reminded to keep it clean in the past.

Vince Mackiel, who has fought for a better environment in South Amboy for years, believed bigger corporations like Shell should come in and assist with the cleanups with these properties. He believed that Shell Oil and the Wish properties, the name of the WASP Terminal, should do something to clean up the area.

“From consulting with a former environmental official, the city of South Amboy is the likely chief legal participant in the cleanup conflict,” Mackiel said after the meeting. “It is my opinion that a company such as Shell, with billions in profit, can be brought in to join in the cleanup of the site.”

Councilwoman Noble was not in attendance, but the rest of the council was present. The next South Amboy council meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 17th at 7:00 PM.

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