Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that a crew from New Jersey’s Clean Shores program has finished clearing debris this summer from several waterfront locations in Bayonne. The clean-up spanned a period of three weeks in June and July. Staffed by minimum-security prisoners who work under state supervision, the Clean Shores crew removed wood and other solid materials from shorelines across the state. Mayor Smith said, “Operation Clean Shores is an outstanding program that is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The prisoners do work that is required by the state, and Bayonne benefits by getting cleaner shorelines.”
The annual Clean Shores program began by Rutkowski Park on Newark Bay and extended southward to the Kill Van Kull. By the end of the project, the prisoners cleaned such areas as the shores behind Bayonne High School, Don Ahern-Veterans’ Memorial Stadium, the Boatworks housing development, and Mayor Dennis P. Collins Park. They also cleaned the South Cove area by the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor.
The Clean Shores Program provided the inmate work crew, corrections officers, NJDEP supervision and woodcutters. Bayonne provided breakfasts and lunches for the workers. The Clean Shores program worked in cooperation with the Bayonne Department of Public Works, with the assistance of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners. Public Works Director Gary Chmielewski said, “The Clean Shores Program is a good deal for our waterfront parks and for the taxpayers.”
According to the NJDEP, since its inception in 1989, the Clean Shores Program has removed over 127 million pounds of floatables statewide, and has cleaned and re-cleaned over 2,400 miles of New Jersey’s shores.
While the Clean Shores program was underway, Bayonne received additional help from a second program. On Sunday, July 10, the Hackensack Riverkeeper, a non-profit organization, and volunteers from the Bayonne community cleaned up the shoreline at DiDomenico-16th Street Park.
Mayor Smith concluded, “The shorelines are major features of our community. Every year, the Clean Shores Program helps clean up local waterways and the lands they touch. I would like to thank the NJDEP for continuing the Clean Shores Program in Bayonne this year. I would like to thank the Hackensack Riverkeeper and local volunteers for their work by DiDomenico-16th Street Park. I ask our residents to help keep the shores of Bayonne clean throughout the year.”