MONMOUTH BEACH—On Sunday, November 6, a small flotilla of boats carried 20 people from the public boat ramp near the Channel Club Marina in Monmouth Beach to Shrewsbury Island, about a quarter of a mile offshore. The passengers were staff and members of the American Littoral Society, headquartered on Sandy Hook, and a cadre of volunteers from the J.M. Huber Corporation, headquartered in Edison, New Jersey. Armed with rakes, trash bags, and waders needed to remove marine debris that had accumulated on the island, the group spent the day preserving this important haven for wildlife.
Shrewsbury Island is the site of a habitat restoration project begun by the American Littoral Society and other partners in 2008 to enhance and restore intertidal habitat. The Society continues to monitor the island and organized this cleanup event to protect their prior work and the area’s abundant wildlife.
In addition to achieving environmental goals, this project held special significance for the Society and the J.M. Huber Corporation: Both organizations had a long-time connection to the late Mike Huber, who had worked at J.M. Huber Corporation for 45 years, serving as Chairman, CEO, and Director of the company founded by his grandfather. During that time he was also a trustee of the American Littoral Society, where he served as president for two terms. Well known throughout New Jersey as a conservationist, Mike Huber infused his company with his love for the environment and brought his business acumen to the Littoral Society. The project also protected habitat in the Shrewsbury River, where he loved to go birding, fishing, and clamming.
It was Huber’s son, Sam, (who now holds his father’s seat on the Littoral Society board) who saw this event as an exciting and meaningful partnership opportunity for the Society and the J.M. Huber Corporation. Said Huber, “This is a great thing, and I hope we have many years of a mutually beneficial relationship ahead of us. Many thanks to J.M. Huber Corporation employees for honoring the spirit of public service that was, for my father, a core value of corporate responsibility. He would be proud of both organizations to which he tirelessly devoted himself.”
The J.M. Huber Corporation provided more than sweat equity—they bought lunch for the entire group and presented Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the Society, with a check for $5,000. According to Robert Currie, Vice President, Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer for Huber, “Responsible stewardship of the environment is a hallmark of Huber. There’s no better way to honor the legacy of Mike Huber than to put our company’s longstanding environmental efforts to work for an organization in which he played such an important role.”
By the end of the day, the workers had filled more than an entire dumpster with marine debris—everything from bottles, cans, car tires, and lumber. The volunteers ferried the trash from the island to the mainland where the Borough of Monmouth Beach had provided a dumpster. The Channel Club Marina supported the project by providing the use of their restrooms to the volunteers. Boats were provided by Steve Gruber, a Society member, Jay Cosgrove, of Bahr’s Landing, and another local volunteer.
This work day cleaned about one quarter of the island and the American Littoral Society and the J.M. Huber Corporation plan to return in the spring. Watch for announcements from the Society on their website, Facebook page, and emails, calling for volunteers and boats.