Through an anonymous donation, the Alliance for a Living Ocean will be able to fund tankless water coolers, called hydration stations, across Long Beach Island.
The yearlong project came to fruition last week when the first of the organization's three stations was installed at the 68th Street beach entrance in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township.
The public can use the hydration stations to fill their reusable water bottles with cold, filtered, remineralized municipal water.
Kristin Stahler, executive director of the alliance, said in a news release Wednesday that the stations will help promote the use of reusable water bottles and reduce the need for plastic bottles.
"Plastic can be extremely detrimental to our environment and, when not recycled, it often ends up in the ocean. There it breaks into billions of pieces that look like food to marine life. Tens of thousands of creatures die every year from ingesting plastics," Stahler said.
The alliance says that by refilling one reusable bottle, 167 single-use bottles are stopped from entering the environment.
Although problems with discarded plastic originate on land as litter, they eventually end up in the water, Stahler said.
The alliance slogan that accompanies the hydration stations is "Put Water in Your Bottle, not Your Bottle in the Water."
Angela Andersen, Long Beach Township's recycling coordinator, said plastic litter is a problem on the township's beaches and in local waterways, but through projects such as this one, reusing water bottles will combat the problem.
Two more hydration stations will be installed, at Bayview Park in Brant Beach and in the parking lot of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in the Holgate section of the township.
Representatives from the alliance and Long Beach Township said they are planning to present the concept of hydration stations to the remaining five municipalities on Long Beach Island.
Contact Donna Weaver:
For more on Alliance for a Living Ocean, visit www.livingocean.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org