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Photo by Nancy Smith
Freedom Fighter of the Month

Brian Hegarty

Shark River is a small body of water that runs along the eastern coast of New Jersey, and is used by local residents for swimming, fishing, and other recreation.

In 2001, Brian Hegarty and some of his friends went wakeboarding in Shark River, and became seriously ill shortly after. They later learned that their sickness was probably due to sewage pipes leaking into the river. Furious that the river and public health were in danger, Hegarty founded the Shark River Cleanup Coalition.

After years of work, the SRCC just achieved a major victory. The organization has been lobbying New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection to grant "Category 1 (C1)" status, which would place the river’s protection top priority. And in late June 2005, they finally won.

The fight continues though, as Hegarty and the SRCC take on local developers and city governments whose plans will harm the river or wetlands.

For more information about the SRCC and Shark River, you can visit the following links:

Shark River Cleanup Coalition
Shark River's protector
Crowd Protests Housing Projects