The Jersey Shoreline: Sept. 25

September 25th, 2015

THE FORMER OFFICERS’ club at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, where New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium has its headquarters, is now among the buildings available to be leased, according to a report on  The National Park Service, which controls the former Army artillery fort, is looking for non-profit organizations and private investors to hold long term leases on the club and 35 other buildings.

This New Jersey Monthly article on invasive species may not be about the Garden State’s coastal ecosystems, but it highlights a widespread problem nonetheless. The consortium is attacking invasive species on two fronts.

Mike Danko, the NJSGC marine recreation extension agent, is involved in a multi-state campaign to convince recreational anglers to throw-out bait packed in seaweed rather than dumping into the water.

And Dr. Louise Wooton, of Georgian Court University in Lakewood, has researched Asian sand sedge which is thriving in places like Sandy Hook and Island Beach State Park. Her research, Assessing the impact of the invasive Asiatic sand sedge, Carex kobomugi, on coastal dune communities in New Jersey, helped her craft parts of the consortium’s Dune it Right manual.

Aquaculture & Commercial Fishing

Vote near on lifting ban on oyster beds in N.J. waters — The state Senate is poised this week to vote on a measure that could put the bivalves back into state waters. The bill would effectively lift a 2010 ban by the state Department of Environmental Protection and allow environmental groups and academic researchers to grow oysters in the lower Hackensack River, Raritan Bay and other contaminated waterways again. Read more at Record via

Coastal Concerns

FEDS SAY NJ OFFSHORE WIND LEASES TO GO UP FOR SALE STARTING IN NOVEMBER — The federal government announced plans to offer leases this November for wind farms off the coast of New Jersey, removing a key impediment holding up the development of wind generation offshore. Read more at

Community Resilience & Climate Adaptation

NJ in final stage of competition for up to $326M to pay for flood relief in 10 Meadowlands towns — New Jersey has reached the final stage of a federal competition that could provide up to $326 million for a project to help 10 communities in the Meadowlands reduce flooding from storm surge. Read more at the Record via

$237,000 Contract Awarded for Demolition of Beach Haven’s Borough Hall — The Beach Haven Borough Council has awarded a $237,000 contract to Yannuzzi Group Inc. for the demolition of its Superstorm Sandy-damaged borough hall. Read more at the Sandpaper.

Cape man cultivating the future of shore protection — The future is apparently a small plant called sea oats. It will grow on a sand dune where others die. It is drought-resistant and doesn’t seem to get diseases. The seaside grass thrives in full sun and blowing sand, stabilizing the dunes to help them stand up against coastal storms. Read more at the Press of Atlantic City.

Marine Recreation & Jersey Shore Tourism

Watercraft in Barnegat Light Marshes Due for Dec.1 Removal — Small boats on the shores of Barnegat Light regarded as trash will be cut up with chainsaws if they aren’t claimed by Dec. 1. Read more at the Sandpaper.

State Senate approves broadening of boat sales-tax cut — A tax break on luxury yachts was approved by the Senate on Thursday. It converts a $20,000 cap on state sales taxes paid on high-end boats into an across-the-board 50 percent sales tax cut on all boats. Read more at the Press of Atlantic City.

Water Resources & Coastal Access

Drought watch issued for 12 counties, 6 million people as N.J. water worries worsen — A drought watch has been issued in parts of 12 New Jersey counties, encompassing more than two-thirds of the population, after months of dry, warm weather that have driven the state’s water supply to worryingly low levels. Read more at

ENVIRONMENTALISTS, LAWMAKERS TRYING NEW TACK TO KEEP OUT FRACKING WASTE — Having failed — so far — to ban the disposal of fracking wastewater in New Jersey, the state is looking at dealing with the issue by tightening conditions when the material is disposed here. Read more at