After spending close to a year in Maine where it underwent a $1.4 million overhaul, New Jersey’s official tall ship, the AJ Meerwald, is back at its home port at the Bayshore Center at Bivalve.

The 94-year-old Delaware Bay oyster schooner, a dis-tinct vessel that evolved to meet the needs of the local oyster fisheries, is open for deck tours during the center’s operating hours for now. Next spring, you will once again be able to set sail on the Meerwald.

Built in 1928, the Meerwald was designed specifically to dredge the Maurice River and Delaware Bay for what was then a thriving clamming business. When that industry went bust, it was left to rot for decades before it was brought back to life in the early 1990s and turned into a traveling classroom operated by the Bayshore Museum. While there were once as many as 500 schooners sailing ‘up the Bay’ to catch oysters back then, now there are only a handful of converted schooners still harvesting oysters.

October 2022
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