Facebook92Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The LOTT Clean Water AllianceThe LOTT Clean Water Alliance partnered with artist Carrie Ziegler of Earth Art to create an engaging and educational art piece about water for the WET Science Center. Ziegler teamed up with LOTT and more than 1,200 Thurston County students and adults to create the new piece titled “One Water – The Infinite Journey” that will debut as part of Spring Arts Walk on April 22 at LOTT’s WET Science Center. The result of this project is not just an art installation; it is a story of water.Carrie Ziegler discusses One Water – The Infinite Journey with local students, inspiring them in their creations for her Arts Walk 2016 installation.In March and April 2016, Ziegler worked with local 6th-12th grade students and adults to focus on water conservation and appreciation for clean water. Ziegler made over 45 presentations and work sessions to students and community members discussing water’s cycle through our communities and the environment and the importance of protecting and conserving water.Participants created embossed aluminum water drops and fish after Ziegler’s presentation reflecting on what they learned. Ziegler incorporated these individual pieces into a suspended art installation to hang in the front windows of the WET Science Center. The full piece depicts an infinity symbol, showing the continuous cycle of water from our urban environment to Puget Sound.Each piece created by area students will be combine in a stunning art installation, unveiled at Spring Arts Walk on April 22 at the WET Science Center in Olympia.The unveiling will coincide with Earth Day and Olympia Spring Arts Walk on Friday April 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at LOTT’s WET Science Center with refreshments, live music, and the chance to talk with Ziegler and WET Center staff. All are welcome to see the installation and enjoy the reception.The WET Science Center at the LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s Regional Services Center in downtown Olympia educates the public about the urban water cycle, water conservation, and wastewater treatment. As part of its community education program, LOTT partnered with Ziegler to create an inviting and educational art piece.Ziegler’s giant whale floats through Olympia’s 2013 Procession of the Species.Ziegler uses art to educate by engaging the community to create pieces for large-scale art projects. Her 2013 Plastic Whale Project featured a life-sized gray whale made entirely of plastic bags and other plastic waste to raise awareness about the impact of plastic bags on the environment. Another one of her community projects titled Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect used student created butterflies, made out of plastic trash, to create a unique installation for the Washington Center for Performance Arts.About LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s WET Science CenterThe WET Science Center is a free, family-friendly destination owned and operated by the LOTT Clean Water Alliance, a non-profit corporation responsible for wastewater management services for the urban area of north Thurston County, Washington. Its services include wastewater treatment, reclaimed water production, and long-range planning. “LOTT” stands for its four government partners – the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, and Thurston County.
The NJ FRAMES program will also lean on stakeholders who are familiar with the discussed areas. Groups such as the Two River Council of Mayors, Clean Ocean Action, American Littoral Society and NJ Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) will all pitch in and play a part in finding the best resiliency options.“People can come to us, along with others in the consulting group, to propose ideas,” said Dr. Amy Williams, a costal ecologist at Stevens Institute of Technology, who also partners with NJSGC. “We’ll see if there are any red flags or ways to do it better.”Williams added that NJ FRAMES is unique in that it focuses on a large regional level compared to one-or-two-town projects. Because of that, she said, there need to be checkpoints along the way.“We’re the people making sure no one’s taking too many steps forward without checking all the rules and regulations,” Williams added.During the two-hour event, roughly 80 people from the Two River region came to learn more about the project and what part they could play going forward.“I’m very much interested in climate change and how to communicate it,” said Steve Miller, a Middletown resident. “There’s a lot of work going into all of this, and it seems like they’ve deliberated all sorts of solutions.” Residents concerned with rising water levels in the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers look onto maps provided by Rutgers University.By Jay CookRED BANK – While water quality in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers has been a hot-button issue in the past year, concerns have now shifted toward the future water levels of those rivers.On Feb. 23 at the Two River Theater, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) unveiled the NJ Fostering Regional Adaptation through Municipal Economic Scenarios (FRAMES) program. The approximate three-year project will concentrate on planning for potential costal hazards and possible sea level rise through year 2100 throughout 15 municipalities in the Two River area.According to Liz Semple, manager at DEP’s office of coastal and land use planning, the process relies heavily upon conversations between the DEP and the residents in the highlighted areas.“It’s their homes, the roads in front of their houses and the beaches that they go to,” she said. “The people need to be a part of the decision making.”The DEP applied for and received a $898,656 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the NJ FRAMES project. Semple said it was one of 15 projects funded by NOAA nationally.The 15 towns included in the project are Eatontown, Fair Haven, Highlands, Little Silver, Long Branch, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch. Now in the preliminary phase, Semple said the agency is gathering feedback from residents about where improvements can be made along potential flood sites.“If there’s certain shorelines that are protecting vulnerable communities, or community assets that are most important to the towns, then we’ll work with them which actions are best to protect those,” she said.Semple referred to post offices, police stations, fire houses, and costal evacuation routes as potential areas that could have more protection or possibly be moved when resident feedback is returned.Tasked with the community outreach is Lisa Auermiller, a watershed coordinator with Rutgers University. Both the university’s Climate Institute and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy have partnered with DEP to conduct the science behind the future sea levels.At the kids table, children created signs and artwork detailing their affection for the Two Rivers area.At their respective station, Rutgers University had a maps of potential flood areas along the Two Rivers and the Atlantic coast.“We’re documenting what works and what doesn’t, and at the end we’ll go back to NOAA with the lessons learned,” Auermuller said.With the Jacques Cousteau Reserve, Auermiller said data-gathering will also be done through a mobile app – SeaLevelRise. Residents can sign up for free and drop virtual “pins” onto areas they deem problematic or worth a look. So far within the NJ FRAMES town list, four makers have been placed in Long Branch, all within three blocks of Route 36. After Super Storm Sandy, Miller said he was part of an action group formed by his parish, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Holmdel, to raise money and gather resources for those affected by the storm.Also a former Long Beach Island resident, he said the flooding issues in the past are akin to those now in Monmouth County.“That didn’t happen 40 years ago, and it’s happening now,” he said. “It’s a lot, and I think it’s a taste of what could happen in the future.”After finishing up at the kids’ area with her son, Otto, Kate Triggiano, who lives on the West Side of Red Bank, said climate change science is paramount to understanding these coastal flooding issues.“Once people are informed, they care,” she said. “Without that information, it’s hard to make that impact on someone.”Her motherly instinct also kicked in when thinking about the future.“I do think about what the world will be like for kids now,” she said. “I was active and involved before he was born, but the second he was born, I felt a switch go off.”Resiliency plans will start to roll out within the next year and a half, according to Semple, the DEP manager. NJ FRAMES representatives will also make stops at the 15 municipalities during that time to continue their data-gathering campaign.To learn more about the NJ FRAMES project, visit www.nj.gov/dep/oclup/njframes-area.html. read more
By Chris Rotolo |RED BANK – Are you awake this morning?It may appear to be a simple question to those who weren’t in attendance at the Pilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank on Monday at the house of worship’s 6th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Commemorative Celebration.But those who experienced the delivery of this inquiry by the event’s keynote speaker, Rev. Eric Dobson, seemed to be moved by the depth of the query and the impact it made.This was not a query posed by a grade school teacher in hopes of startling life into bleary-eyed students, but rather a civil rights scholar and community leader, whose stances on race relations in the United States had his audience riveted even before he stepped to the podium.It was a question that hinted at Dobson’s interpretation of what Martin Luther King Jr. Day should truly be about — igniting a fire in one’s heart, mind and soul — and moved all members of the congregation to an ovation, if not tears.“This is a day that has somehow morphed into a day of service, and one where we have relegated Dr. King to ‘I have a dream,’” Dobson began. “But, as a matter of fact, I think the only part of a day of service Dr. King would be happy about is that there are multiple groups of people coming together.”“Dr. King was about fighting racism. He was about justice. He called for direct action in the face of poverty and racism, and direct action that confronted wherever it stood. He called for a challenge of the status quo. He spoke truth to power,” said Dobson, who works as the outreach coordinator for the Fair Share Housing Center in Cherry Hill, explaining why the celebration of King is not only about a day of service, but about what is happening in the world and what people are willing to do about it.Representatives of religious, civic and cultural organizations participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank.Still, the extent of Dobson’s question was unclear, as he pushed forward, launching into a tale about King’s final Sunday sermon on March 31, 1968 — four days before his assassination — where King spoke of “Rip Van Winkle” and the protagonist’s excursion to a hilltop refuge where he would sleep for 20 years.According to King, what matters most in the story is not the fact that Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years, but rather what he missed while he slept: the American Revolution.At that final Sunday service King urged his audience not to sleep through the revolution taking place around them, a similar sentiment suggested on Monday by Dobson.“Remain awake is what Dr. King said in 1968 and I’m saying that to you today,” Dobson said. “Today I think we’re going through a cultural revolution that is shifting the foundation of this country. It’s a cultural revolution around racial equality, around gender equality, around the women’s movement…Are you awake this morning to know that there’s a revolution happening?”STRUGGLE AND HUMANITYThe commemorative celebration began with a short film depicting the suffering of those who marched and peacefully protested the Jim Crow-era atrocities that spurred the Civil Rights Movement. Following the film, the church’s senior minister, Pastor Terrence K. Porter, spoke about where society stands in the wake of that struggle, and addressed the next generation of local leaders by communicating with the Red Bank Regional High School Concert Choir, as well as members of the Jazz Arts Academy and the One Moving Body Dance Troupe, who were all on hand to provide the day’s entertainment.“In order for us to be sitting here together today, there was much suffering in America,” Porter said. “This was a chaotic time. There was a significant struggle that has impacted everybody in this room. Some of us lived through the struggle. Some of you want to learn about the struggle…We did not get to this place because of pleasantries, but because many suffered through a struggle.”Monday’s celebration was an examination of King’s life and legacy, as well as proof that the struggle he and his followers experienced has produced positive change, as it brought together a diverse group of speakers and witnesses in a moment of reverence and discussion.It was a group that included Rev. Alexandra Brown (St. Paul Baptist Church), Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst (Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County), Rabbi Cy Stanway (Temple Beth Miriam, Elberon), Hazim Yassin (Islamic Society of Monmouth County, Middletown), Rev. Zaniel Young (President, West Side Ministerial Alliance), Pastor Robert Perkins (Emmanuel Baptist Church, Tinton Falls) and Rev. Jessica Naulty (United Methodist Church of Red Bank), as well as Red Bank Regional Superintendent Louis Moore, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna and newly sworn in state Sen. Vin Gopal (D-11).Gopal provided a summation of what Martin Luther King Jr. Day represents to him, and in turn captured the spirit of the event, saying, “So much is going on in our country and our state, but the values Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is still teaching each and every one of us to this day are essential.“This day and this event are reminiscent of the fact that despite what faith we are, what religion we practice, our age, or what our sex may be, above all else, we should treat people with respect, humanity and kindness.”This article was first published in the Jan. 18-25, 2018 print edition of the Two River Times. read more