June 11, 2007
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What About Those Camels?


During their survey of the Bay, the Clean the Bay founders located more than 100 camels along the Narragansett Bay shoreline.

Navy camel

Unfortunately, with only nails left where identifying plates once hung, there was no way to prove where the camels originated.  While it was suspected they were used by the US Navy as anti submarine net floats, no-one was willing to assume responsibility for the costly removal.  As you can imagine, weighing more than a ton each and soaked in cresol, removal of these camels will not be easy.

We are pleased to report that during the summer of 2006, the Clean the Bay crew found a camel that still had its identifying plaque in place.  As pictured here, the plaque makes reference to the Naval Fuel Depot in Melville, RI.

Camel plaque

The plaque reads:
OFFICER IN CHARGE
NAVAL FUEL DEPOT
MELVILLE RI
NAVAL NET DEPOT
BAULK MK

With proof in hand justifying its involvement, to its credit the US Navy wasted no time stepping to the plate by assuming responsibility for removing the camels.

We have removed 121 camels from the Narragansett Bay shoreline, and the Navy would only take back 96 of them which have been delivered to the Newport Naval Base. We have the remaining camels sitting at our base of operations.

To those of you that have been trying unsuccessfully for years to move camels off the shore near your property, as of October 2006, Clean the Bay began rounding up the camels so they could be delivered to the Naval Station in Newport.  If you have a camel in your back yard, make sure it is among the 100 already marked for removal.  If not, let us know.  We will keep you posted on the status of their removal.

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