State to begin fish kill cleanup along Monmouth County rivers
First came the dead fish, and then came the flies. People living in the Two River Basin in Monmouth County say that the fish kill situation is so bad that they can’t even go outside.
But now a cleanup effort is underway along the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers.
The dead fish washed ashore earlier this week, trapping residents in their homes due to the rotten smell.
“On Monday we are going to start cleanup for a minimum of two days and see how it goes,” says Long Branch Mayor John Pallone. “Three crews – two ground back crews, one boat crew.”
Pallone and state Sen. Vin Gopal are leading the effort for cleanup.
“We are working on getting vendors. It isn’t easy. We are trying to avoid price gouging too because they know that time is not on our side. We don’t have a lot of negotiation,” says Gopal.
The state DEP says that the menhaden fish died because of a vibrio bacteria. It is not usually harmful to humans, but it is deadly to fish.
The cleanup is expected to cost $10,000-$12,000 per day. Gopal is asking other mayors in towns affected to report back to him their hardest-hit areas.
The DEP says the bacteria is affecting menhaden from Virginia to New England. The root cause of it is still under investigation.