DEP UNVEILS INTERACTIVE PUBLIC ACCESS MAP DURING ANNUAL STATE OF THE SHORE EVENT
BEACHES ARE READY AND WATER QUALITY IS EXCELLENT
(16/51) TRENTON – Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin heralded the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer season, by announcing a new, interactive public access map for visitors to locate more than 2,900 coastal, bay and river access points in four counties.
Commissioner Martin unveiled the online map, which went live today, during the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s annual State of the Shore event in Asbury Park, while welcoming residents and visitors to come enjoy some of the best water quality and beaches in the nation.
“New Jersey consistently ranks as a national leader in ocean water quality and monitoring, and we expect another fantastic beach season for tourists, who will find beaches cleaned and ready for the summer,” Commissioner Martin said.
“To help residents and visitors get the most out of their summer season, we are also pleased to make available this interactive map, which will provide useful information on beach, bay and river access points in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. This versatile tool will help longtime New Jersey residents and newer tourists locate the wide range of access points to our tidal waters for all forms of recreation.”
The interactive map, which can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/cmp/access/ uses Geographic Information System technology to locate the 2,900 points and allows users to get a glimpse of a particular access point via aerial or street view. Additionally, every point features a pop-up window that provides a street address and amenities available at the location, including parking, handicap accessibility, restrooms, boardwalks and forms of recreation permitted.
The information for each spot was compiled by DEP staff. Later this year, DEP will expand the maps to include all public access points in the northeast region of the state and the Delaware Bay and Delaware River.
“We take great pride in the public access for families, boaters, the fishing community and everyone who enjoys the shore,” Commissioner Martin added. “With this great coastal access and our partnerships built through the state’s Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program to ensure excellent water quality, we look forward to another great summer in New Jersey.”
The DEP spearheads the Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (CCMP), a joint state, federal and local partnership that routinely tests water quality at 215 ocean and bay beaches across the state.
In 2015, monitored ocean beaches were open more than 99.9 percent of the time. Just two ocean beaches were closed all season as a result of exceeding the recreational bathing beach bacteria standard.
The DEP, working in partnership with local and county health agencies, monitors water quality at recreational bathing beaches from mid-May to the week after Labor Day.
Water quality sampling results so far have shown that New Jersey’s beach water quality is outstanding. Coastal surveillance flights are also under way, taking place six days per week from mid-May to mid-September. These flights carefully watch for issues such as algae blooms or debris that might affect water quality.
The DEP has worked with Rutgers University to develop an interactive website and map to show real-time status of monitored beaches at www.njbeaches.org
The website allows the public to easily view and download water quality data, notifies the public of any alerts at beaches, and shows the daily flight path and the chlorophyll data collected during the flights. It also includes access to a variety of reports, information about recent research, and shore-related links.
For more information about the New Jersey Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program, visit: www.njbeaches.org
For a podcast interview on the interactive public access map, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/podcast/
Follow the New Jersey Beach Monitoring Water Quality Program on Twitter: @NJBeachReport
For a copy of the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism 2015 Tourism Economic Impact report, visit: http://www.visitnj.org/new-jersey-tourism-research-and-information