VIDEO: New Jersey's Tall Ship Sets Sail

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PORT NORRIS - Around the 1920s, the Delaware Bay’s oyster business was thriving. South Jersey’s, the A.J. Meerwald, was built for just that, but was restored in 1996 for environmental education. And she’s been setting sail ever since.
“You know, she has the potential to just keep on going," said Meghan Wren, Founder of Bay Shore Center at Bivalve. "You know, a ship like this can be rebuilt and reworked.”
The A.J. Meerwald was acquired by the Bay Shore Center at Bivalve in 1988. Wren’s goal is to use resources, like the boat, to remind visitors of the thriving history the Delaware Bay area offers.
“I think right now, we’re in a, kind of a place, I feel it’s right at the tipping point, where we have the potential to really get back into a more positive place and I think that all of the resources that the Delaware Bay Shore area has, it’s incredible," said Wren.
The A.J. Meerwald has taken over 75,000 students on the bay in the past 20 years for educational experience.  Known as New Jersey’s official tall ship, she been used for oystering, clamming, and as a fire boat.
“She, you know, she represents that era when Bivalve was king of the oyster industry, you know, the oyster industry was huge,­­ and you know, this is to help restore what our area was,” said Jesse Briggs, Captain of A.J. Meerwald.
“I love the thought of somebody’s grandkids saying to their grandparents who went on board ­­for a school trip saying you know, I’m going on the Meerwald this week, and have them reminisce for when they went," said Wren. "So I think it’s something we can cherish as part of our culture in South Jersey.”

SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.