On Thursday, May 23, the American Littoral Society, Bradley Beach Municipal officials and project partners came together near the north end of the Bradley Beach boardwalk for the official unveiling of the town’s restored maritime forest.
The maritime forest is a model for other coastal communities and provides sustainable protection for New Jersey’s coastal lakes, many of which are in jeopardy. The plants help protect against storms, reduce sand and debris going into Fletcher Lake, provide habitat, and beautify the area.
"With our famous dunes, our soon to be natural shoreline at Sylvan Park and our Maritime Forest, Bradley Beach is blessed to work with individuals and organizations that are committed to forward thinking and have real compassion for the coast,” said Bradley Beach Mayor Gary Engelstad. “Much of this progress has been possible thanks to the help of the American Littoral Society."
A bill banning the ownership and sale of shark fins is once again scheduled for a vote in the NJ Assembly. The American Littoral Society asks members to contact their legislators and the Speaker of the Assembly to urge passage of this important bill.
A4845/S2905 would ban the sale and trade of certain shark fins, which will reduce the chance that foreign shark fins end up in our state. While shark finning itself is banned by federal law, the states must ban the sale and possession of these fins to further protect sharks, which are a vital component of our ocean ecosystem. The shark fin bill passed the NJ Senate in March and has been awaiting action in the Assembly.
"The Littoral Society and numerous other organizations are deeply concerned with the decline of shark populations, which are crucial to the health of the ocean," said Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the American Littoral Society. "We have been working for years to ban the possession, sale, trade or distribution of shark fins and we hope that New Jersey is ready to join other states that have already taken action to end the terrible practice of shark fining."
We ask Littoral Society members and supporters to contact by phone and email both Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and their district Assembly representative to urge passage of this bill.
Point Pleasant, NJ - On Saturday, May 11 the American Littoral Society, project partners and a host of volunteers executed the next stage of a unique project to restore an eroded shoreline at Slade Dale Sanctuary in Point Pleasant, NJ.
A first-of-its-kind project for New Jersey, the restoration work involved using recycled Christmas trees placed in branchbox breakwaters and tree vanes to help re-establish the shoreline of a salt marsh in the sanctuary which has eroded approximately 300 feet over the past century.
"We're excited to be taking the next step in our work in this area," said Capt. Al Modjeski, Habitat Restoration Director for the Littoral Society. "This is a great opportunity to show how living shorelines can provide a low-cost, natural solution to a long-term problem."
Littoral Society and ANJEC Salute Municipalities that have Passed Ordinances Banning Single-use Plastic Waste
Pictured, from left: Bradley Beach Mayor Gary Engelstad; Helen Henderson, American Littoral Society; Jennifer M. Coffey, ANJEC Executive Director; Don Weber, Surfrider; Noemi de la Puente, NJ Environmental Lobby; Zack Karvelas, Clean Ocean Action; and NJ NJ Dist. 11 Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling
The American Littoral Society and The Association of NJ Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) today joined state and municipal leaders from across New Jersey in celebration of the many local actions that have been taken to combat the rising tide of plastic pollution.
“The American Littoral Society is especially grateful to the more than 20 municipalities that have adopted ordinances banning the intentional release of balloons," said Helen Henderson, Ocean Program Manager for the Littoral Society. "Soft plastics, like balloons, are the type of pollution most likely to cause death in birds and turtles who ingest them, and animals can also become entangled in the attached balloon ribbons.”
Balloons are a form of plastic pollution that is especially harmful to marine life. Sea turtles and birds often mistake balloons as food and animals can also become entangled in the attached ribbons. Balloons are high on the list of items collected at beach cleanups.
Trenton, NJ - Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill protecting the public's right to access the beaches and waterfronts in the state.
The bill enshrines into state law the public trust doctrine, which is a principle that establishes that the State's tidal waters and adjacent shorelines belong to the public to be used for navigation, commerce, and recreation, including bathing, swimming, and fishing.
"New Jersey's shoreline and coastal communities are some of our state's greatest treasures," said Gov. Murphy. "By strengthening the public's right to access our beaches, we are ensuring that all New Jersey residents and visitors can enjoy our beautiful shore this summer and for generations to come."
In the race to mitigate climate change, we are experiencing a rapid and unprecedented number of offshore wind energy development proposals in the United States. Atlantic coastal states and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are moving swiftly through the review process in hopes of achieving lofty goals to fulfill staggering amounts of renewable energy production.
From Massachusetts to South Carolina, more than 20 projects totaling over hundreds of thousands of open ocean areas are moving forward in different stages of planning and approvals. While the American Littoral Society understands and supports the need to pursue clean and renewable energy sources to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, we also caution that the pace of offshore wind must slow down or yield to protections necessary for a healthy ocean. Without proper planning and engagement from everyone with a vested interest – from shore town homeowners to energy developers – would be irresponsible, unsustainable, and ill-informed.
Although offshore wind should be considered environmental protection in and of itself because it is helping to reduce our dependence on dirty and nonrenewable sources of energy, state initiatives for projects and federal agency reviews must still ensure that these projects are carefully sited to avoid harm to marine ecosystems, wildlife and habitats, while also minimizing impacts on such sustainable traditional uses of the ocean as fishing.
Saturday, April 27
10 a.m. - Noon
Gateway National Recreation Area -
Sandy Hook Unit
Highlands, NJ (map)
Free, Open to the Public
Click Here to Register
Celebrate Earth Day by joining the American Littoral Society to plant beach grass on Sandy Hook. Everyone is invited.
The planting will take place at the on the ocean side near the Lot B parking area (map). Signs will be posted to guide participants.
American Littoral Society Joins Environmental and Business Leaders Join Rep. Pallone to Speak Out Against Plans for Drilling in the Atlantic
Asbury Park, NJ – On World Water Day, the American Littoral Society joined NJ Congress man Frank Pallone and others on the Asbury Park, NJ boardwalk to again speak out against Trump administration plans for drilling off the Atlantic coast.
In the coming weeks, the Trump Administration is expected to release a new plan for the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024 that will allow drilling for fossil fuels, which would bring the threat of hazardous potential oil spills that could affect the Jersey Shore.
At the rally, Rep. Pallone noted that the President’s offshore drilling plan requires congressional approval and pending lawsuits to halt the plan.
Speaking at the event, Helen Henderson, Ocean Program Manager for the American Littoral Society, said: "Drilling for more polluting fossil fuels does not put America first, it puts the health of our ocean and coast last, risking our economy and millions of jobs. A plan for more oil and gas is a plan to drown more of New Jersey in the rising waters of climate change."
Yesterday, with nearly unanimous votes, New Jersey's General Assembly and Senate passed a bill protecting public access to beaches in the state.
The Littoral Society would like to thank NJ lawmakers for taking this action and the Society looks forward to final endorsement of the bill by Gov. Phil Murphy.
“The beach access bill makes clear that the public has a right to get to and enjoy the waterfronts of New Jersey and that the State should create new public access, enhance existing access, and defend against attempts to block access," said Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the American Littoral Society. "This bill provides the tools and direction to achieve all those goals, and to open a new chapter in the protection of the Public Trust Doctrine in New Jersey.”
Three bills supported by the American Littoral Society may see votes in the NJ state legislature on Monday, March 25. They are:
The Littoral Society asks members and supporters to contact their legislators and urge them to vote yes on these bills.