The Bayshore Center at Bivalve strives to insure that its programs and activities are as environmentally sound as possible.
BCB has incorporated environmentally sound practices such as recycling, composting, water and energy conservation, and extensive reuse of materials. In addition, it is BCB policy to purchase, whenever possible, sustainable products for organizational use. Significant steps have been made in this direction by finding suppliers for environmentally friendly office products, cleaning products, and organic/fair trade coffees, local seafod and produce in the Cafe and by beginning an organization-wide survey of chemicals being used on and off the AJ MEERWALD for maintenance, cleaning, etc.
BCB has developed limited use of alternative energy sources for some of its equipment, and has committed to making future facilities an example of sustainable building practices. This commitment was made manifest in 2003 with the dedication of BCB’s new recycled-plastic floating dock in Bivalve, funded by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority. In 2004, a second CCIA grant was used to further BCB’s green building commitment, by installing a composting toilet comfort station at the Bayshore Center at Bivalve. In addition, green building practices were incorporated when possible in BCB’s $5 million shipping sheds restoration project. BCB remains committed to instituting additional green policies and procedures each year – we aspire to replace AJ Meerwald’s WWII era gray marine 671 with a green engine capable of using bio fuel in the near future.
The AJ MEERWALD was one of the first two vessels in the United States to earn the ‘Blue Flag’ – meeting environmental criteria that set it apart as committed to environmental practices on board.
Currently, the storage lockers on the AJ MEERWALD and the dock have been inventoried, and MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) have been acquired. This is to be followed up with research for material substitution, where possible, and staff/volunteer training, as well as a more extensive look at all potentially hazardous chemicals, equipment, and procedures on BCB property.
BCB Food Policy
In keeping with the mission of BCB, the staff seek to motivate people through both education and example. While much interaction with the public is very direct through our education programs, there is also a commitment to raising awareness about lifestyle choices by example. One such commitment is that all meals served on board the boat (that food which is purchased by BCB) are ovo-lacto-vegetarian plus local fish and shellfish. (Donated foods not meeting this criterion are used in the interest of not wasting consumables that have already been produced.)
This policy is not meant to be political advocacy or a stand on animal rights, but an example of what is possible for people living in a world of finite resources, of which the boat is a clear microcosm. The following citations from the “Earth Day 1990” pamphlet briefly highlight a few of the major connections between diet and natural resources:
- Percentage of tropical rainforest deforestation directly linked with raising livestock - more than 50%.
- Water needed to produce 1 pound of wheat - 25 gallons.
- Water needed to produce 1 pound of meat - 2,500 gallons.
- Percentage our imported oil requirements would be cut if the United States switched to a vegetarian diet - 60%.
Possible political and moral arguments aside, it cannot be denied that a relationship exists between diet and issues such as land, water, and petroleum use. As all of these resource topics are addressed with passengers during sails, vegetarianism provides another opportunity for the crew and staff to not only educate, but to lead by example.
Regional and Community Involvement
BCB plays an active role in a wide variety of local events and issues, including:
- Watershed Planning Initiatives – BCB has taken and continues to play an integral role in watershed management planning throughout the Delaware Bay region.
- Community Issues – BCB maintains strong community ties throughout southern New Jersey, adding to the body of knowledge on any given local issue.
- Staff Volunteerism – The staff at BCB is heavily involved in volunteering for community events and organizations in addition to directly participating in BCB activities.
In its efforts to fulfill its mission to lead by example, BCB works with other groups as appropriate, including TSA (Tall Ships America), the South Jersey Bayshore Coalition, South Jersey Cultural Alliance, Chamber by the Bay, Millville and Vineland Chambers, Southern Shore Tourism environmental/educational organizations, local, state, and federal agencies, companies, regional planning committees, etc.