Eco Patrol Boat keeps local waters clean

Lisa [left] and Christine Motz begin their travels to help clean up Barnegat Bay as part of the New Jersey Museum of Boating’s Trash Retrieval Unit, which has launched for the sixth season on their Eco Patrol Boat. (STEVE WEXLER/THE COAST STAR).

POINT PLEASANT — For the sixth season, teams of high school and college students are patrolling the waters o Point Pleasant, Bay Head, Mantoloking and Brick in search of plastic bottles and other debris that can be hazards to navigation.

The New Jersey Museum of Boating launched its community service Eco Patrol Boat to help keep Barnegat Bay clean. With students at the helm, the boat cruises the waters from June through September.

“The Eco Patrol Boat [sails] between three and five times a week in the towns of Bay Head, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant and Brick, which includes the Metedeconk River, and is totally funded by the museum,” said Ken Motz, president.

“The museum developed it in 2012 right after Superstorm Sandy. It was a mess so we wanted to do our share of the cleanup. It is a very good MAKO Boat, 20-foot with a 90 horse Evinrude outboard motor, and it is very sturdy and it does the job. It is perfect for what we do.

“It is small enough that we can weave in and out of the docks where the junk collects by the bulkheads of the homes so we get into the nooks and crannies and that helps make this work.”

Over the years the museum’s “Keep Barnegat Bay Clean” effort has enjoyed very successful seasons with assistance from volunteers. Logging many days cruising through the local waterways, volunteers young and old have gathered debris of all types.

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