Spring is in the air and Summer is so close you can practically taste it. While It’s obvious that the locals and tourists of New Jersey are ready for this summer, the question remains: Are our beaches? Well, according to our State of the Shore Report they most certainly are! Our beaches are in good condition after a few relatively mild winters in a row. Not to mention that New Jersey has taken steps to improve resilience, including developing a statewide coastal resilience strategy, creating buyout programs and elevation solutions, and embracing living shorelines and other natural infrastructure.
In terms of coastal flooding, erosion, and wave activity, this winter was relatively uneventful. However, two large storms made quite the splashes in our home state. Although no longer a Category 5 by the time it reached New Jersey, Hurricane Ian not only caused billions of dollars in damages, but also created some of the largest impacts of the season. During a storm in a Spring tide in December, water levels measured by the tide gauge at Sandy Hook reached their highest since Hurricane Sandy.
The summer forecast is a bit more complicated and comes with a high level of uncertainly based on developing El Niño conditions and unusually warm surface water in the Atlantic Basin, which can both increase the likelihood of formation and the intensity of hurricanes. We will have to wait and see how the Spring and Summer season progresses, so please remember to be safe and prepared when it comes to the coast. Read more in this year’s State of the Shore Report.
Dr. Jon Miller gets interviewed by NBC News
From right to left: Dr. Tom Herrington, Dr. Peter Rowe, Shawn LaTourette, and Dr. Jon Miller.
Media at the State of the Shore
NJSGC invites media and tourism representatives to learn more about the ever-changing conditions of our shoreline from our group of local scientists and environmental managers. Like past years we hosted the State of the Shore press event at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club located on the iconic Asbury Park boardwalk, with guest speakers including NJSGC Coastal Processes Specialist Dr. Jon Miller, NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette, and Coastal Community Resilience Specialist, Dr. Tom Herrington.
As the days grow longer and sun shines brighter, New Jerseyans once again emerge from their annual winter slumbers to trade in their boots for flip flops and head to the coast. Leaving the dark cold days of winter behind, beachgoers look forward to another season of fun on the Jersey shore.
This summer is projected to be both hotter and wetter than usual due to weak La Niña conditions. This year’s State of the Shore Report will further explain and expand upon the causes of these conditions and more, but the bottom line is: pack an umbrella with your sunscreen and sunnies. Read more in this year’s State of the Shore.
NJSGC invites media and tourism representatives to learn more about the ever-changing conditions of our shoreline from a group of local scientists and environmental managers. Like past years we hosted the State of the Shore press event at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club located on the iconic Asbury Park boardwalk, with guest speakers including NJSGC Coastal Processes Specialist Dr. Jon Miller and NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette.
From left to right: NJSGC Coastal Processes Specialists Dr. Jon Miller, NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette, NJSGC Coastal Resilience Specialist Laura Kerr, and NJSGC Executive Director Dr. Peter Rowe.
Dr. Jon K. Miller (NJSGC/Stevens Institute of Technology) delivered a promising report at this year’s State of the Shore media event, announcing that NJ beaches are in prime condition heading into the Memorial Day Weekend (and more!). However, Dr. Miller warns of a busy hurricane season and the need for preparedness with climate change and sea level rise.
From NJSGC’s 18th annual State of the Shore Report:
Current times remain daunting and uncertain for most. But take a moment to close your eyes and just imagine – sandy toes, sun-kissed skin, gentle gusts of the warm, salty air . . . That’s the epitome of summers spent at the Jersey Shore. Despite the future’s unknown, one thing remains for sure. The beaches await our return – under whatever circumstances that might be.
And according to New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium Coastal Processes Specialist Dr. Jon Miller (Stevens Institute of Technology), the Garden State’s coastline is ready for just that.
We’re conducting the 18th annual State of the Shore event a bit differently for 2020. Over the past several years, media representatives throughout the region have gathered with local experts at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club (located on the iconic Asbury Park boardwalk) to receive accurate, science-based information on current beach issues and outlooks, including preparations for the Jersey Shore’s upcoming summer tourism season. But just as with any passing storm, we must change and evolve with the turbulent tides. Although we cannot celebrate the start of summer “together,” NJSGC’s mission will always be to promote the wise use of New Jersey’s marine and coastal resources through research, education, and outreach (whether near, far, or socially distant).
Due to a relatively mild winter storm season, beaches are found to be in extremely good shape throughout New Jersey. Please read on for more detailed, in-depth analysis of coastal storm impacts (nuisance flooding, beach erosion) and tropical outlooks. With everything else going on right now, please do not forget that rip currents in the ocean pose a dangerous threat to all swimmers, regardless of age or gender. Please visit the NJSGC website to learn more about our revamped “Ocean Hazards & Beach Safety: Sharks vs. Rip Currents” initiative, including materials on our Rip Current Awareness program.
UPDATE – New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s 18th annual State of the Shore event originally scheduled for May 21, 2020 is now postponed until further notice.
Prior to the Jersey Shore’s busy summer season, NJSGC invites media and tourism representatives to learn more about the ever-changing conditions of our shoreline from a group of local scientists and environmental managers. Over the past several years we’ve hosted this press event at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club located on the iconic Asbury Park boardwalk, with guest speakers including NJSGC Coastal Processes Specialist Dr. Jon Miller and NJDEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe.
Due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, organizers have made the difficult decision to postpone NJSGC’s State of the Shore event until further notice. We take the safety and health of our guests, staff, and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines continuously put forth by public health officials.
An official “State of the Shore” report will still be made available to the public later this month. As more beach towns start providing information and protocols in regards to social distancing, NJSGC will make the decision to release a remote State of the Shore update (likely a live broadcast from Sandy Hook). Please view coverage from 2019 here.
We will share more details as the situation develops. Please contact NJSGC’s Communications Specialist Danica Bellini with any further questions or inquiries.
Get the shades and sunscreen out! Several early weather forecasts already predict a hot-and-dry summer season throughout New Jersey, with much less rainfall compared to last year. With sunnier days and warmer temperature ahead, even more people will be flocking to the Garden State’s beautiful coastline over the next several months.
And thankfully, we’re ready for them. — Danica Bellini, NJSGC Communications Specialist
Dr. Jon K. Miller (NJSGC/Stevens Institute of Technology) delivered a promising report at this year’s State of the Shore media event, announcing that NJ beaches are in prime condition heading into the Memorial Day Weekend (and beyond).
“Overall, New Jersey enters this summer season with its beaches in extremely good shape. The past two winter storm seasons have been relatively mild which has allowed the beaches to remain fairly robust. Many communities have benefited from the addition of sand through beach nourishment projects since [Hurricane] Sandy, and the majority of that sand remains in the system, ready to absorb the impact of future storms. As is typical in the late spring/early summer, the beaches are currently in their most narrow configuration; however, they will likely regain their width in the coming months as offshore sand bars migrate towards the coastline and reattach. Due to the relatively mild winter, it is likely that the beaches will regain their full width early on in the summer season which is good news for coastal residents, businesses, and visitors.”
NJDEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe expressed similar views:
“The beaches are in great shape. The water quality is in great shape. Come to the beaches and enjoy yourselves. And everyone that’s not from New Jersey, come to enjoy and discover out beaches.”
Dr. Amy Williams, NJSGC’s Coastal Ecosystems Extension Agent from Stevens Institute of Technology, also promoted the program’s Rip Current Awareness campaign during an impassioned speech about beach safety and ocean hazards.
“More than 80 percent of surf-related ocean rescues are attributed to rip currents,” said Dr. Williams. “It is critical that swimmers not panic if caught in one and that they swim parallel to the shoreline until they are no longer in its grasp. At that point, they should be able to swim safely back to shore.”
New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium hosted the 16th annual State of the Shore press event at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park, NJ on Thursday, May 24th. Along with the Consortium’s Executive Director Claire Antonucci, NJSGC’s Coastal Processes Specialist Dr. Jon K. Miller spoke to members of the media about current beach conditions at the Jersey Shore after a rather stormy and severe winter. NJDEP Acting Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe attended as the guest speaker and assured that the Garden State is fully prepared for yet another busy and successful summer season.
For Dr. Miller’s full State of the Shore report, along with an introduction by NJSGC’s Communications Specialist Danica Bellini, please go here.
Media coverage was widespread this year and included additional information on Rip Current Awareness thanks to NJSGC’s Coastal Ecosystems Extension Agent Dr. Amy Williams, who was also available for comment during the event.
The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium would like to extend a huge thanks to all those who attended and reported on the 2018 State of the Shore event, and we look forward to seeing everyone out on the beach this summer at the wonderful Jersey Shore!
Earlier this week, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium hosted its 15th annual State of the Shore media event overlooking the gorgeous surf in Long Branch, NJ. According to NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin, public beaches throughout the Jersey Shore are in great condition and ready for the influx of summer visitors starting this Memorial Day Weekend.
After outlining the current status of several coastline restoration projects following the devastating effects of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, Martin also noted that overall water quality is “excellent” and that the forecast for the 2017 season continues to look very promising.
Dr. Jon K. Miller – NJSGC’s Coastal Processes Specialist and a research associate professor at Stevens Institute of Technology – also presented his official State of the Shore Report with assistance from Mid-Atlantic Coastal Storms Graduate Research Fellow, Laura Lemke.
Thankfully, the Garden State only experienced two semi-major Nor’Easters (including Winter Storm Stella) that did cause some noticeable beach erosion. Dr. Miller’s keen focus on observed water levels and coastal wave heights during such storms helped construct the newly-developed Storm Erosion Index (SEI). Hopefully in the future, this index will assist shore communities in recognizing and therefore better preparing for incoming storms before they even reach the coast.
This yearly report remains an invaluable tool for those interested in the ever-changing conditions (whether good or bad) of NJ’s beloved shoreline, especially leading up to the fifth anniversary of Sandy. As the Commissioner enthusiastically sums it up – “Please come to the Jersey Shore; we have beautiful beaches and we want you here this summer.”
We would like to thank all members of the press who attended and posted coverage of this event. We would also like to thank McLoone’s Pier House in Long Branch for hosting this year’s gathering. For more local coverage:
** NOTICE DATE/LOCATION CHANGE: No longer at McLoone’s Asbury Park on Thursday, May 25th.
About: NJSGC’s State of the Shore Media Event is your opportunity to meet with coastal expert Dr. Jon Miller (NJSGC/Stevens Institute of Technology) and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin to learn how New Jersey’s shorelines fared over the winter and hear their forecast on conditions for our state’s beaches during the 2017 summer season.
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance by emailing Danica Bellini, NJSGC Communications Specialist at [email protected].
Voting for New Jersey’s Favorite Beaches is underway for 2017!