Surf City — New Jersey is shaped by water, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Raritan River, Lake Hopatcong to the Delaware Bay. Our lives are shaped by water, too. From recreation and travel, water management and infrastructure, to economic impact and transportation, it’s part of our every day – just like turning on the faucet.
The New Jersey Council for the Humanities is hosting hour-long public discussions in every county of the state through August 2020, to capture stories about the different ways water matters to New Jerseyans. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute their water story to a statewide public archive documenting personal connections to water and waterways in New Jersey. No prior preparation is needed to attend, and all are welcome to share or listen.
The discussions in Ocean County are planned for Saturday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m. at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library in Surf City and the Upper Shores branch in Lavallette on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m.
This conversation is being held as part of the Ocean County Library’s programming in support of “Water/Ways, a Museum on Main Street” exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service. Through a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Water Ways exhibit is on display at the main branch in Toms River through Sept. 29.
Gigi Hayes, library system adult services coordinator, said the exhibit is located in the atrium and will feature numerous photos, a 3-D water table and two kiosks featuring computers for interactive experiences.
“We will have an exhibit piece in the main lobby directing people to the exhibit,” she said.
“All of the water currently on the planet is all that there will ever be,” says the Smithsonian website. “Through the water cycle it is in endless motion on Earth’s surface, below ground and in the atmosphere. “Water/Ways” explores this cycle, water’s effect on landscape, settlement and migration, and its impact on culture and spirituality. It looks at how political and economic planning have long been affected by access to water and control of water resources. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.”
The site says “Water/Ways,” designed for small-town museums, libraries and cultural organizations, will serve as a community meeting place to convene conversations about water’s impact on American culture.
“With the support and guidance of state humanities councils, these towns will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs and facilitate educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about what water means culturally, socially and spiritually in their own community,” it says.
For information, log onto theoceancountylibrary.org.