CELEBRATES NEW JERSEY BEACHES
Promotes Public's Right-To-Know and Beach Access
(02/50) TRENTON - Department of Environmental
Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today joined
with U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, U.S. Representative Frank
Pallone and Belmar Mayor Kenneth Pringle to promote New
Jersey's beaches and encourage the public to visit and learn
more about the great Jersey shore.
At an oceanside event in Belmar, Commissioner
Campbell highlighted the state's partnership with two organizations,
Oceana and Earth 911, to provide the public with up-to-date
beach water quality information and a map of public access
points along the shore - information now available at www.njbeaches.org.
"For New Jersey citizens and visitors,
our shores provide endless opportunities for relaxing and
having fun with family and friends," said Commissioner
Campbell. "I am committed to protecting our ocean waters
and the public's right to know about beach water quality
and right to access and enjoy our beautiful shoreline."
The Governor recently reaffirmed his commitment
to protecting public access to our beaches when the State
successfully reached an agreement with the Borough of Point
Pleasant Beach to open to the public a beach area on the
southern end of the borough that was previously closed and
private. Attorney General David Samson announced this agreement
on June 21.
New Jersey's shore is the state's most
valuable tourist attraction and vital to the state's economy,
recording more than $16.6 billion in travel-related expenditures
By including in his 2003 budget $25 million
for beach replenish projects, the Governor again showed
his commitment to protecting our beaches, an integral part
of the state's economy.
"New Jersey will continue to lead
the nation in its beach monitoring and public notification
program," said Campbell. "We are proud to be among
the first states partnering with Oceana and Earth911 to
make all our current beach access and water quality information
readily available to the public."
In October 2000, the Beaches Environmental
Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act) was enacted
under the leadership of the Clinton Administration and original
bill sponsors like Representatives Frank Pallone and U.S.
Senator Robert Torricelli. As a result of the beach act,
New Jersey receives federal funding to support its Cooperative
Coastal Monitoring Program.
Under the state's monitoring program, the
Department of Environmental Protection partners with county
and municipal environmental health agencies to assess beach
water quality by collecting samples each week from 187 ocean
and 139 bay monitoring stations and analyzing them for fecal
coliform. Every week, DEP transfers this information to
the njbeaches.org website, which also contains updates six
days a week from DEP' s aerial surveillance of near shore
"I am pleased to say that today all
of our beaches are open and clean," added Campbell.
"We will work to keep all of our beaches safe for swimming.
But, we must also be prepared for those days when they are
not. Our monitoring and public notification program will
ensure that the public has the information it needs to still
plan and enjoy a day at the shore even when some beaches
may not be open."
All of the coastal monitoring information
collected in this cooperative partnership assists the DEP
and local environmental agencies in developing coastal zone
management strategies such as land use planning and non-point
source of pollution controls.
To address an ongoing pollution problem
affecting our beaches, Governor McGreevey announced in May
new steps to improve environmental conditions at Wreck Pond,
a coastal lake in Monmouth County, that contains bacteria-filled
silt. Water discharges from the pond to the ocean caused
35 of the 40 statewide beach closing that occurred last
summer. DEP is working with the local borough to install
new controls to prevent pollution runoff reaching the pond
and improve the ocean outfall pipe that carries water from
the pond to the ocean. New Jersey is also working with Representative
Pallone to seek federal dollars to restore and dredge contaminated
sediments in the Wreck Pond.