A personal message from Baysave founder Tony Novak
“I started Baysave in 2009 as a project to support the sustainability of the rural New Jersey Delaware Bay community of Money Island during a period of rapid environmental and economic decline. The original projects focused on environmental oyster restoration as distinct from oyster aquaculture as a food crop as our leading economic driver. Now a handful of other nonprofit and educational groups take the lead role in living shoreline and oyster reef restoration. Sadly, we’ve already over-harvested most of our valuable natural resources here years ago – sturgeon, oysters, weakfish. waterfowl – and now our local commercial seafood harvesters struggle to eek out an existence on the remaining small portion of the original ecosystem that remains. Aquaculture will eventually supercede the wild harvest fisheries. I now realize the lofty goals of environmental stabilization and recovery may not be achieved – at least not in my lifetime. Yet the stories and lessons learned along the way are invaluable.
For as long as I can remember, people have said that I should write down the stories about the remarkable transformation of Money Island, New Jersey. Money Island was once a hamlet of weekend cabins and home to a thriving recreational marina. The dramatic changes we’ve witnessed in the community, fisheries, the environment, weather and government are striking. In 2015, the 30th year of my work here, my late university president, Dr. Joshua Feldstein, reinforced the idea that I need to record the details (I have no explanation as to why I did not do it sooner). I recognized that if he thought the stories were worth recording then I somehow that I had some social obligation to do so. This we
Superstorm Sandy was the catalyst that boosted the pace of change in the current decade. Since November 2012 we face new governmental and research activity here on an almost daily basis. Most of this activity is abstract (experiments, discussions, rulings, lawsuits, prosecution, public hearings, etc.), and not actually physical occurrences like reconstruction. We completed key bulkhead projects here in 2010 and 2016 that will preserve the roadway for some years ahead. In September 2016 the state issued new regulations that pave the way for the conversion of the marina community to an aquaculture hub. Those plans continue to evolve.
We welcome your comments, input, feedback toward this effort. Historic photographs and stories are especially welcome”.
– Tony Novak, founder and current controller of BaySave