Coastal communities are taking actions to support regional ocean planning, ban intentional balloon releases, and oppose offshore oil and gas activities
Less than a year ago in September of 2018, the City of Asbury Park became the sixth New Jersey municipality to be recognized as a Champion of the Coast by the American Littoral Society. The recognition followed Asbury Park’s adoption of an ordinance banning intentional balloon releases, marking the third action in a series required by the Society to achieve Champion of the Coast status.
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.
The Littoral Society launched the Champions of the Coast initiative in 2018 shortly after the Department of the Interior released a Draft Proposed Plan for new offshore oil and gas leases. The goal is to recognize local voices that support coordinated and collaborative planning for use of our shared ocean spaces.
It was an honor to be joined by the First Lady of Japan, Mrs. Akie Abe and the office of the Consulate General of Japan on September 26 for a shoreline cleanup of Jamaica Bay. Participants in the cleanup also included staff from the National Park Service and Gateway National Recreation Area, as welll as several volunteers.
From September 23 to September 27, Mrs. Akie Abe visited the New York accompanying Prime Minister Shinzo, where she had various exchanges with many people. In addition to participating in a beach cleanup on September 26, she also visited the American Littoral Society offices in Jamaica Bay and received a briefing from Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the Society, and Don Riepe, Jamaica Bay Program Director, about Littoral Society conservation activities in the Jamaica Bay.
Join the American Littoral Society to canoe one of the Pine Barrens' gentlest and most relaxing rivers, the Wading River.
On Friday, June 28, Naturalists from the Society will guide you on a three-hour cruise of this unique and world-renowned New Jersey habitat. Together, we'll paddle through deep and shaded stands of the Atlantic white cedar forest, enjoy blueberries and azaleas in bloom, and enjoy a river-side lunch where we discuss Pine Barren history and tales of the Jersey Devil.
Click here to register.
Be sure to have a camera ready as you drift by remnants of Colonial settlers, towering pitch pines and beaver dams.
Children are welcome, but small children must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Life-jackets and transportation back to the parking area will be provided by the canoe company.
Allot three hours for the trip and lunch break, however recent rains may make the trip slightly shorter.
WHAT TO BRING: Wear shoes that can get wet (beach sandals or sneakers that can get wet), bring a change clothes and leave them in your car, lunch in a waterproof container, sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses), bug repellent, re-usable water bottle and a dry bag if you have one (they are available to rent). Pack your cell phones in a resealable plastic bag and keep it securely on you.
Provide your own transportation to Mick's Pine Barren Canoe Rental, 3107 County Road 563, Chatsworth, NJ 08019, Departure from Mick's is at 9:30 a.m., so plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before then. Cost: $50 per Littoral Society member, $60 for non-members.
Advance registration is required. For more information contact Nicole Haines, American Littoral Society Education Director at 732-291-0055 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to register.
Pictured are (left to right): Bobby Cook, Vice President, Small Business Lender, OceanFirst Bank, Nicole Haines, Littoral Society Education Director, Hillary Critelli, Littoral Society Director of Development, Joe Tuzzio, Vice President, Business Banking Lender, OceanFirst Bank, and Jennifer Harmon, Training Coordinator, OceanFirst Bank.
The American Littoral Society would like to thank the OceanFirst Foundation for donating $1,500 to sponsor six scholarships to the 2018 Sandy Hook Coast Camps, which run July 8-12 and August 5-9 this year.
Littoral Society camps allow children in grades 5-8 to have a great time while exploring the natural world. They do this by getting sand between their toes and their hands in the water under the guidance of our trained staff.
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.