New Jersey’s Top Ten Beaches Announced at 2014 State of the Shore Media Event
SANDY HOOK, NJ: The 2014 State of the Shore Media Event took place on Thursday, May 22 at McLoone’s Supper Club on the Asbury Park boardwalk. The annual event is hosted by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) and features a report on the condition of New Jersey’s beaches prepared and presented by Dr. Jon Miller, NJSGC’s Coastal Processes Specialist. Dr. Miller is also a Research Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology. Additional speakers included Dr. Stewart Farrell, Director of the Richard Stockton College Coastal Research Center and NJDEP’s Commissioner Bob Martin. Winners of the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches survey were also announced at the event along with the unveiling of a new project for the NJSGC, the Rain Barrel Art Project.
New Jersey’s Top Ten Beaches is a project of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) and the Richard Stockton College Coastal Research Center. The annual poll was started in 2008 to encourage stewardship and pride for New Jersey’s beaches. Voting is conducted through an online survey from February through the end of April. This year, the top beach was Ocean City with Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, North Wildwood, and Cape May following in closely behind. Belmar, Stone Harbor, Asbury Park, Sea Isle City, and Island Beach State Park were also voted in the top ten and took home honors as well.
Categories voters chose in were Eco-Tourism, Family Vacations, and Day Trips. The top winners in Eco-Tourism were Ocean City, Wildwood, Island Beach State Park, Wildwood Crest, Cape May Wildlife Refuge, and Sandy Hook. Ocean City took top spot in both Day Trips and Family Vacations. Other popular beaches such as Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights and Manasquan ranked in top ten for Day Trips, while Lavallette, Brigantine, and Belmar made the top ten cut for Family Vacations.
Making a debut this year was the unique Rain Barrel Art Project (pictured above). Twelve local artists were chosen to paint a barrel with an iconic Jersey Shore scene. Coordinated by NJSGC and Rutgers Cooperative Water Resources Program, the project’s mission is to educate and create awareness around the use of rain barrels. Participating artists include Norma Wokas, MaryAnn Goodwin, Suellen Crowley, Marty Fallivene, Susan David, Jermaine Johnson, Diana Gonzalez, Karen La Du, Lisa Fischer, Lucretia McGuff-Silverman, Dennis Plummer, Suzanne Ritger, and Luis Rivera. The barrels will be displayed at various events and festivals this summer.
Sponsors of the Rain Barrel Art Project include presenting sponsor Whole Foods Market Middletown, as well as Tuckerton Seaport, Atlantic County Utilities Authority, McLoone’s Restaurants, Seaside Heights Business Improvement District, Monmouth County Tourism, Cape May County, Steel Pier, the City of Belmar, Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce, and Rook Coffee Roasters. For more information on the Top Ten Beaches survey or Rain Barrel Art Project visit njtoptenbeaches.org.
The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. NJSGC meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs. For more information, visit NJSGC on the web at njseagrant.org or on social media at facebook.com/NJSeaGrant and twitter.com/NJSeaGrant