May 02, 2017
Authorities in Maurice River Township, Cumberland County, are searching for a group of teenagers that was filmed throwing trash into an osprey nest set up for educational purposes last Saturday.
The teens danced in front of a camera that provides a live stream on YouTube.
Video of the incident, which occurred around 8 p.m. near the East Point Lighthouse, was uploaded to Facebook over the weekend by "Hooked on fishing, not drugs," a nonprofit youth group that promotes outdoor activities for boys and girls ages five to 13.
"Ok Facebook, I need some help (since I never ask for it)," the post read. "Today we had some unwanted visitors to our Osprey Nest. These folks broke about 3 different laws in their attempt to be famous. So lets make them famous, and share this far and wide! I am offering a reward for information on this."
Joe Haase, who leads the youth group, told NJ.com the osprey nest was built in March as a way to learn more about the raptors, which are commonly found in New Jersey's Bayshore area. The three-foot by three-foot nest, elevated about 12 feet above the ground, is situated in Cumberland County's Heislerville Wildlife Management Area.
On Monday, a witness told the youth group that those apparently responsible for Saturday's incident drove up to the area in a green Ford F-150 pickup truck. The witness said a port-a-potty at the Light House was tipped and rolled over into the marsh nearby.
"This is not 'Simply kids being kids,'" the group said on Facebook. "They are vandalizing property and endangering wildlife with their actions."
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the New Jersey DEP's tipline at 1-877-WARNDEP.