COLTS NECK, NJ – August 25 and 26, 2016, Freehold Regional High School District Academy Cadets and Parents participated in the Gandy’s Beach Living Shoreline Installation Project. This innovative undertaking aims to partially restore the shoreline and tidal marshes near Gandy’s Beach and Money Island, both of which function as “a natural buffer from storm effects to the local community.” The NJROTC Unit, lending assistance to a joint effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and Rutgers University Haskins Shellfish Research Lab, assisted in the installation of four cinderblock reefs over the course of two days, with approximately 40 cadets tirelessly working together over the course of two separate, unit-provided trips. With the combined efforts of cadets and other volunteers, participants were also able to expand upon their work and create three “oyster castles” on the second day. These “stackable, interlocking blocks of concrete, limestone, crushed shell and silica,” are created with oyster shells from local restaurants, and “…encourage oyster larvae to settle.” On August 25th, the cadets and volunteers were visited by Congressman Frank Lobiondo (R-NJ), who accompanied them as they worked and he commended their efforts. After two days of arduous work by cadets and volunteers, the area is significantly more protected against erosion and storm effects, and Senior Director of Philanthropy at the New Jersey Chapter of the Nature Conservancy hailed the cadets as “wonderful,” and “a tremendous help.” Freehold Regional High School District NJROTC is honored to have the opportunity to assist our environment, and by extension, our community.
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