Ocean County urges people to leave the fireworks to professionals

As the July 4th celebration nears, Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari is urging people to leave the fireworks to the professionals and enjoy the many public displays scheduled for the long holiday weekend.

In the state of New Jersey, only licensed professionals staging a show are allowed access to fireworks. It is otherwise illegal to purchase, possess or use fireworks.

According to federal statistics, fireworks injure nearly 10,000 people every year throughout the United States. Most of those injuries occur during the two weeks leading up to and following July 4, the freeholders stated.

“If you attempt to use these illegal devices, you are going to get hurt,” Vicari warned.

Possession of fireworks is a disorderly persons offense. Possession with intent to sell is a fourth-degree offense with a possible maximum penalty of 18 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

Freeholder John P. Kelly said local police departments will be on the lookout for illegal fireworks in the days and weeks leading up to the holiday. He is urging people not to travel out of state to buy them.

“It may be legal to buy them, but it is illegal to bring them back across state lines and use them in New Jersey,” he stated.

Many types of fireworks for sale in other states are often marketed toward children, with colorful wrapping and alluring names such as Conehead, Funky Fish and Rambo Kid.

But “the explosive power of these devices is astounding,” Vicari said. “Under those enticing wrappings are dangerous and volatile explosives and projectiles capable of maiming and killing. Even sparkler burns are nearly 1,000 degrees.”

Most fireworks are produced in China and often have unreliable fuses, said Kelly. Fireworks can be a danger to both users and those who may be close by when they are lit. Related injuries can range from severe burns to disfigurement.

“When you light that fuse, you never know what is going to happen,” Kelly said. “A rocket can fly out of control and strike a child, or land on a roof and start a fire.”

“We’ve seen reports across the country of people who have blown off their fingers or suffered disfiguring injuries because the seemingly harmless firecrackers they were holding suddenly exploded in their hand or near their face,” added Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Health Department.

There will be many opportunities for people to enjoy fireworks safely throughout the holiday weekend. A listing of professional fireworks displays held in the county is available on the county’s newly updated tourism website, oceancountytourism.com.

Vicari suggests leaving pets at home since many dogs and other animals are “terrified” of the loud noises made by fireworks.

The Humane Society of the United States suggests keeping pets inside at home in a quiet, sheltered area. Since some animals can become destructive when frightened, it is best to remove any items they could destroy or that could be harmful if chewed. Leaving a TV or radio on at normal volume can help keep them company.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


More than 2 dozen Portuguese Man Of Wars wash up on LBI beach

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One was bad enough.

But now more than two dozen Portuguese Man Of Wars washed up on Surf City beaches Saturday morning.

Lifeguards are picking up the creatures, putting them in Ziploc bags and then in the trash, Councilman Peter Hartney said.

“There must be a pretty good colony offshore,” he said. ”I would say they are about the size of a small rubber ball.”

Beachgoers who find a man o’ war should contact a lifeguard, who will dispose of it.

The Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol found a periwinkle-blue Portuguese man of war washed up on the beach last weekend, according to the patrol’s Facebook page.

“When the wind is coming from the northeast, warm water from the Gulf Stream comes to shore,” the post states. “With the warm water, often comes seaweed and critters from down south. Always be aware of your surroundings in the ocean and always swim near a lifeguard.”

Portuguese man of wars are covered with venom-filled nematocysts that can paralyze fish and other small creatures, according to Nationalgeographic.com

“For humans, a man-of-war sting is excruciatingly painful, but rarely deadly,” according to the website. “But beware—even dead man-of-wars washed up on shore can deliver a sting.”

According to NBC10, some experts predicted it’s very likely that more Portuguese man o’ war will show up on New Jersey beaches this weekend.

Reposted from the Barnegat-Manahawkin Patch


Schedule may change for some segments of beachfill project

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The timeline for beach replenishment originally slated for later this summer in the stretch of Long Beach Township from 56th Street in Brant Beach to 106th Street in Beach Haven Park may change due to mechanical issues with an additional dredge that had been scheduled to come to the Island in August.

“The dredge Liberty Island, which was working in Ocean City, N.J., on a different project, is currently undergoing engine repairs at a shipyard in Norfolk, Va.,” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Public Affairs Officer Steve Rochette explained.

“Our contractor may adjust the schedule in this area, and we’ll post more information as soon as we have it,” at nap.usace.army.mil.

Contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. began beachfill efforts in Ship Bottom in early May, utilizing the dredges Padre Island and Dodge Island. Work moved to Long Beach Township earlier this month.

As of Tuesday, June 23, operations were situated between 106th Street and 110th Street in the Beach Haven Park section of the township, for a segment of the project that will continue south through Haven Beach and end at 34th Street in Beach Haven Terrace.

The Corps’ schedule of replenishment shows the work in the current section ending at 34thStreet in late July, then continuing from there to 11th Street in Beach Haven through mid-September.

Eleventh Street to Ocean Street in Beach Haven should still see operations from mid-September to mid-November, and dredging is to run from Ocean Street to Joshua Avenue in Holgate from mid-November to mid-January. Then the project is slated to progress from Joshua Avenue down to the southern boundary of the project from mid-January to mid-March 2016.

Northern sections of the project – Loveladies, North Beach and a small section of Surf City – are expected to undergo construction in the winter.

The beach replenishment project, a joint effort between the Corps and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, involves dredging more than eight million cubic yards of sand from an approved borrow area approximately three miles offshore, with a series of pipes pumping sand onto the beaches in Ship Bottom, Long Beach Township, Beach Haven and a small section of Surf City, for a combined project construction length of 12.2 miles.

Initial construction of the project took place in Surf City in 2006; in Harvey Cedars in 2010; and in Brant Beach, between 31st and 57th  streets, in 2012, followed by repairs to the various sites after Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

“The sand is then built into a dune and berm system designed to reduce potential damages to infrastructure, businesses and homes that can occur from coastal storm events,” Rochette noted.

Township Mayor Joseph Mancini said Monday, though, that the recently created dunes in the current beachfill area “are too far out (east) in our opinion,” the result of a section of oceanfront homes that weren’t positioned on the building line when first constructed years ago. The dunes need to be scaled back 40 to 50 feet, the mayor explained, which would require bulldozing the excess sand to the side.

Approximately 33 homeowners in that area will have to sign a new easement to allow for this alteration, with the letters set to be sent out soon. Mancini said he doesn’t believe the township will have any issues acquiring these non-possessory right-to-use interests from owners who already signed previous easements.

Under the base contract, the replenishment project – which is fully funded by the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act – is required to be complete by April 12, 2016, with options on the contract for possible extensions due to additional workload or weather and or mechanical delays.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


LBI artist open studio tour offers art, music and food

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This year, find an expanded and re-energized LBI Artist Open Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., brought to you by the newly formed LBI Arts Council. The council has worked hard to get so many local artists to participate in the self-guided tour, including some from the mainland. Orange and purple signs mark the venues between Barnegat Light and Beach Haven. Some are galleries, some are shops, and many are at the artists’ own studios.

On the north end of the island in Barnegat Light, at North End Trilogy gallery, Fourth Street and Broadway, meet artists Andrea Sauchelli, Ken Stetz and others.

Wildflowers Too, at 506 Broadway, hostsLori Bonnanni, Kevin Coogan and others.

Drop into Connie Pinkowski’s LBI DreamMakers, 800 Central Ave., to learn how she manipulates pigment and wax to produce encaustic paintings inspired by her own photography.

Take a side trip to High Bar Harbor to visit the studio of painter Linda Ramsay. Ramsay has invited some members of the Pine Shores Art Association to paint the bay with her from her back yard at 26 Antioch Road. You are invited to watch.

Susan Hennelly will also be painting plein air at her studio, 30 Amherst Road in High Bar Harbor, but in the medium of watercolor. Hennelly also works in collage.

In Loveladies, drop into the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences and tour the clay studio with Sandra Kosinski, one of the Mud Ladies of Loveladies, and meet clay studio manager and artist Jeff Ruemeli. Painter Janet Nelson will demonstrate acrylic painting and will have her whimsical Birds on Wire and Coastal Land series on exhibit and for sale. (Restrooms available here!)

At photographer and sculptor Sandra Anton’s studio, 279 Riviera Drive in Loveladies, meet a gaggle of artists including Anton, felt-flock artist Sara Setzer, glass artist Yvonne Yaarand others.

On the Boulevard in Harvey Cedars at 6105, find Roberta Giannone’s studio. Giannone is well known for her rustic renditions of the shore, a master at capturing weathered cedar-shake cottages, wooden boats and the Barnegat Lighthouse.

James Cordasco at 5505 Holly Ave. in Harvey Cedars paints large-scale acrylic paintings of LBI subjects and abstracts.

There are many stops mid-island in Surf City. With seven galleries (eight if you count East on the Boulevard, too new to be in the Arts Council brochure), Surf City is turning into gallery row. Meet artist Franny Andahazy at her Solace studio and gallery, 2316 Long Beach Blvd. View her colorful, whimsical oil paintings and see her stable of artists’ wares by Linda Ramsay, Nancy Colella and more on display. Solace will be open late, till 9 p.m., with a wine and cheese artist reception.

Across the street is Jonathan Law’s Fine Art Framing and Gallery at 2000 Long Beach Blvd., where award-winning watercolorist Lisa Budd displays her work with other artists.

Nita Shapiro has moved her Art & Décor in Surf City gallery to the ocean side of the Boulevard at 1918, and both she and photographer Connie Beggs will be demonstrating their funky beach art that includes mermaid painting and embellished photographs on distressed dune fence.

Matt Burtons’ m.t. burton gallery at 1819 Long Beach Blvd. will show many of his own large clay sculptures inspired by shells and seaside critters in the sculpture garden along with the current exhibit, The Avian Abode and Bath show. Inside the gallery find James Steen’s large oil paintings inspired by the expansive horizons of LBI, Alice McEnerney’slush oil paintings of the saltmarsh and Greg Molyneux’s brilliant photography. Ceramics by the country’s leading artists are always on display.

Mary Tantillo’s SwellColors Glass Studio and Art Gallery has relocated from Haven Beach to 1715 Long Beach Blvd. in Surf City. Tantillo and her staff will demonstrate the art of stained glass, slumped glass and flame-worked glass beads and will stay late on Saturday evening, till 9.

Find Cathleen Engelsen’s historic home at 234 North 19th St. in Surf City, where she will display her historic Island paintings and prints of LBI and Jersey Shore landmarks. On Saturday at 11 a.m., enjoy a guided tour of her historic home and grounds. On Sunday at 1 p.m., girls will model authentic fashions of the early 1900s and tell a narrative of life on Tucker’s Island. Engelsen will also exhibit prints of photographs by grandfather W.C. Jones, whose postcards are collector’s items.

Joanne Dozor will be painting wet and wild watercolors, portrait artist Amy Kunze will be demonstrating her art, and Jason Huber will be crafting his colorful and imaginative mosaics at the Firefly Gallery, 15 Long Beach Blvd. in Surf City. The gallery stays open late on Saturday, when Frank Michael Childs sings and plays keyboard starting at 5 p.m.

The Ann Coen Gallery will be featuring works from Ann Coen, Chris Pfeil, Eric Hance, Terence Smith, Julie Goldstein, Bunkerfish, Brie Fagan and Crystal Froburg. Food and drinks will be available, with music from Nicotine and Brown on Saturday till 9 p.m.

In Ship Bottom at Things A Drift, 406 Long Beach Blvd., renowned watercolor artistsRobert Sakson, Carol Freas and Pat Morgan will demonstrate their artistry. Bring your sea glass with you as Susan McGarry will demonstrate making sea glass jewelry. Meet photographer Ryan Narchese. Author and editor Margaret Buchholtz will be signing her latest book, The Long Beach Island Reader. Sample Lighthouse rum cake plus cheese and crackers.

In Beach Haven Terrace, find Dick Jeffries’ studio at Jeffries Floor and Décor. Jeffries carves and paints whimsical sculptures and totems out of found tree logs and fabricates recycled art from found objects.

Visit with artist Judith Johnson at 15 East 16th St. in North Beach. Many of her cheerful beach paintings sparkle in the sun, thanks to her method of using glitter to create texture.

The new shop and gallery LBI Creative Minds at Schooner’s Wharf in Beach Haven will be open until 10 p.m. both days. Lisa Ball’s felted needlework and paper maché crafts will be shown. Linda Leboeuf and SRHS graduate Brooke Bilker will demonstrate painting.

At Just Bead It, 1305 Long Beach Blvd. in North Beach Haven, meet owner and artistStacey Fuessinger. Fuessinger will make hand-strung jewelry.

The beauty of this self-guided tour is it can be taken as a mapped-out, determined, artistic scavenger hunt or taken on a whim and in small doses whenever and wherever an LBI Artist Open Studio Tour sign is found. Brochures and maps are available at each of the 22 venues and also at the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce on the Causeway in Ship Bottom and Cassidy’s Fish Market in Barnegat Light.

A note on etiquette for the Artist Open Studio Tour: Park in legal locations and be respectful of the neighborhood and the artists’ property. But above all, ask questions and have fun.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Fat bikes taking to the beach

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Fat, fatty, fat butt. You can call this guy fat. He doesn’t mind.

It’s called the “fat bike,” or the fat-tire bike. It’s the fastest growing market in the bike industry, and you will be seeing them on LBI this summer, possibly in places you’ve never seen a bike before.

By definition, fat bikes are bicycles with oversized tires, about 4 inches or wider, specifically built for unstable terrain. The wide base distributes the weight of the bike, less poundage per square inch, if you will, to allow these bikes to go where road bikes and even traditional mountain bikes struggle.

“I actually rode one all winter,” said Doug Lawver, owner of Surf Buggy Bike Shops in Brant Beach and Surf City. “I have a Surley Pugsley 20 speed with 4-inch tires. It rides through anything – mud, snow, sand, you name it.”

Though enjoying a swift rise in popularity, fat bikes were actually developed in the 1980s – in Alaska for riding on snow and in the Southwest for riding on desert sand. Fat bike frames and tires started showing up in a few bike stores nearly a decade ago, but the last several years have seen growth around the country. Riding and racing have become hugely popular in areas with prolonged periods of snow and ice, giving cyclists year-round access to trails. And if these funny-looking bikes work on frozen tracks and arroyos, they might work on the beach, even our beach.

“Every single manufacturer offers a fat bike now. They all have them. They ride so nice and soft on the street; the wheels actually act as shocks,” said Tom Walters of Walters Bikes in Ship Bottom.

“Two or three years ago, it was hard for me to find a tire that was even 2.15 inches wide. But the Sun Bike’s Crusher and Spider models each have 4-inch tires,” said Darin Krewson of AJ’s Rentals in Beach Haven. “They really give you better traction, especially with the sand on our roads.”

The modern beach cruiser bicycles are actually similar to the cruisers developed in the 1930s. In the 1960s, cheap and secondhand bikes became synonymous with the laid-back beach lifestyle. They were too slow and heavy for real miles or trails, but they were an ideal way to get around beach towns and soon became a staple of boardwalks, boulevards and beach promenades, developing a stylish surf aesthetic. And while the fatter tires made riding on the beach possible, they just weren’t that effective on most beaches.

“The sand is too fine here for most traditional cruiser bikes, but on some beaches in North Carolina and Florida where the sand is packed down, people do ride them on the beach,” explained Krewson.

And on LBI, you do occasionally see a beach cruiser, down by the water at a lower tide. Every bike shop on the Island offers Sun Bike’s new fat-tire bike, either the Crusher or the Spider. So do these new bikes really work on the beach?

“There are definitely people who ride them on the beach,” said Lawver, who sells the Sun Bike at Beach Buggy. “The geared bikes with mountain bike frames work better than the beach cruiser frames. You have to lower the psi to 8 pounds per square inch and you can just romp through that stuff. We have a customer who would ride from 100th Streeet down to our Brant Beach shop on the beach, every day.”

Walters sells both pedal and electric fat bikes. Tom Walters was surprised that he sold six of these fat-tire electric bikes on the Island. He’s taken both kinds on the beach. He also sells the Sun Bike.

“The first pedal one I tried had coaster brakes, which don’t work that well when you’re standing up trying to get through soft sand. But with the new freewheel ones you can get through that stuff,” Walters shared. “I have people buying them specifically for a beach workout. It’s a new form of exercise.”

There’s also been an interest with fishermen, who can now be mobile on the beach even without a four-wheel-drive truck.

Rick Gebert, manager of Acme Surf and Sport in Brighton Beach, is a little skeptical about the practicality.

“We sell them more for riding on the road. It’s a smooth ride and anyone can ride it. I think they’d be a little hard to pedal on the beach, but if you were down by the water on a high-end multi-speed bike, it might work.”

Acme offers the Sun Bike, Phat Cycles and 3G, all in fat bikes.

Back in March, Wrightsville Beach, N.C., hosted the first U.S. Open Beach Fat Bike Championships with competitors doing laps on a 1-mile loop near the shoreline. The event has already garnered more support for next year.

But where are fat bikes going, and will sales continue to grow?

“We carried a few two years ago. We sent some out to our friends who are doing these 16-hour races in Colorado. I thought it was going to be a novelty, but there was more and more interest around them. So I rode one all winter to see, and now I think they’re going to be around for a while,” says Lawver.

He explained that mountain biking is going through a period of change right now. Wheels are getting bigger overall. If a rim is 26 inches in diameter, it’s going to be 29 inches with a fat tire, which is the direction bikes in the woods are trending toward.

“I don’t think it’s going to go away. On the beaches, I think it’s going to grow,” Lawver added.

“A few years ago, everyone wanted them. I had some Tomi brand fat bikes that are $800 retail, and they just sat around. But J&B’s Sunbike is $400 for the freewheel or $460 with gears. I didn’t sell as many this spring, but we’ll have to see what happens when the kids get out of school.”

One thing that all of the shop owners mentioned was the legality. There never has been a noticeable number of bikes on the beach before, and everyone is waiting to see how things pan out. They will not likely be an issue in mornings and evenings or on uncrowded beaches, but may take some common sense self-regulating during weekends in busy areas, so as to not require official municipal rules like dogs or off-road vehicles. Surf City, which currently has the most regulations of any beach on the Island, will be a good litmus test.

Walters also feels that maintenance will play an issue with beach riding. The salt and sand will be brutal to these bikes.

“You’d have to take care of it. You have to come back and clean it every time, which most people won’t do,” he explained.

“I would say that more people are going to want to take them on the beach, so eventually the companies are going to start designing them for softer sand,” opined Gebert.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


‘Jersey Four’ bring the sound of Frankie Valli to LBI library

t1200-the jersey fourWhile Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons had their biggest hits in the 1960s, the success of the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys” has sparked renewed interest in the group. The Tony Award-winning production relates the life and times of Valli and his bandmates, and includes many of the tunes featuring Valli’s signature falsetto that made their sound easily recognizable.

That was the impetus behind the formation of the Jersey Four, who bring their Four Seasons tribute show in an outdoor concert to the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County library in Surf City on Saturday, June 27, at 7 p.m. The program is part of the library system-wide highlighting of the decade of the 1960s, in celebration of the library’s 90th anniversary.

Jersey Four was formed five years ago by guitarist Joe Cilento and drummer Tony Newell.

“Not only do we re-create their songs, but we have the same style wardrobes and musical equipment, such as Fender Stratocaster guitar, Fender amplifier and Ludwig & Gresch drums,” said Cilento. “It’s an authentic stage show, right to the very last detail.”

The band’s musical director is Joe Long, who joined the Four Seasons in 1965 after original member Nick Massi left. Long is also the founder of the Jersey Bounce Horns, who make up part of the group’s back-up musicians. He also occasionally performs with the Jersey Four.

“We have a fluid lineup of singers,” said Cilento. “We have a few guys who sing the Frankie Valli lead. Some our singers have other commitments so they can’t always sing with us, so we have to be flexible with our lineup.”

Cilento said the concert would feature approximately 30 songs, spanning the group’s entire career. There are the early staples such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Candy Girl” and “Stay,” along with later hits including “C’mon Marriane,”  “Beggin’,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “Working My Way Back to You.”

Then there are two hits from their 1970s comeback, “Who Loves You” and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night).” The concert also features Valli’s solo work, including “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Swearin’ to God,” “My Eyes Adored You” and “Grease.”

Cilento, who serves as the event’s emcee, will also relate personal anecdotes about the Four Seasons as well as trivia. He said audience members are welcome to sing along.

“At our concerts, most of the people know the lyrics as well as we do,” he said.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Barnegat Light proposes smoking ban on beaches

Smoking on the beach in Barnegat Light would be regulated in an ordinance introduced June 10. (Click here to read it.)

Also introduced by title only was an ordinance for the managed care of feral cats. It concerns a spaying/neutering program – trapping, neutering, then returning cats – a protocol already in use to control the feral cat population.

Invasive bamboo was a third topic of talk, but this topic was raised by a resident who wants the borough to consider an ordinance regulating planting of the fast-spreading species, as Ocean City, NJ does.

The proposed rule against smoking on the beach stems from complaints from the public against smoke and odor, as well as litter of used cigarette butts, council members said. The exact wording is pending.

In 2013, Harvey Cedars and Ship Bottom banned beach smoking during hours when lifeguards are on duty, a move that was applauded by a Philadelphia magazine editorial. In Ship Bottom, the ordinance specifies no smoking between the surfside flags.

Two people in the Barnegat Light meeting audience stood up passionately for what they saw as the rights of smokers. They took issue with “singling out” smokers and of making new regulations for what not to do on the beach. Council members countered with their own reasoning.

“Why couldn’t you have some kind of soft landing that said when you’re going to smoke on the beach, you just take your cigarette butts with you when you leave or there is a fine,” said Connie Higgins of 11th Street. “Enforcement is going to be an issue whether you say ‘no smoking on the beach’ or ‘take your butts with you.’”

“Well, the issue is, if you leave your butts on the beach, it’s littering,” replied Mayor Kirk Larson. “I’m asking you why you are so against this.”

“I live with a smoker, so he will never go to the beach again … but I’m just thinking vacationers …” Higgins said.

Councilwoman Dottie Reynolds, who chairs the council’s beach committee, replied, “We were thinking, if people are outside the swimming areas…”

Higgins responded, “You’re treating these people like they’re pariahs. And the government is coming down against us with a hammer, saying, ‘you can’t do this; you can’t do that; ride with your helmets on.’ It’s all for our safety; I get it. But I just think, could we have a soft landing? If it doesn’t work, then we could have an ordinance.”

Councilman Scott Sharpless, chair of the public works committee, countered that an ordinance “gives a little more teeth” when a person on the beach asks another to stop smoking next to them.

“You can say, ‘Hey, listen, this is against the law. If you want to smoke, just walk away and do it away from the crowd,’” Sharpless said. “Because, it is a nuisance to a lot of people, and a lot of people complain about it.

“Last summer, I easily got 60 complaints from people – people walking up to me saying, ‘That guy with a cigar, it bothers me.’ Or, ‘This guy didn’t pick up his cigarette butts,’” Sharpless continued.

Larson added, to Higgins, that hypothetically, “If your husband walked away and had a cigarette, nobody is going to go chase him down and tackle him, and hold him down until the cops come.”

“No, but you’ve kind of singled these people out,” Higgins said.

“Well, I think you get rude people (smoking) that just stay in front of you,” the mayor said.

“Rude goes both ways,” put in resident Sarah Lambert. “Nonsmokers can be rude. Smokers do have rights; it’s not illegal.

“I agree with her,” Lambert continued. “I don’t think we should have any ordinance on smoking here, but that’s my personal feeling. You have a right to take your kids and put them someplace, but you can’t ban people from doing legal activities on the beach. Secondhand smoke, it’s not a problem; you’ve got the winds to push away the smoke.”

Sharpless remarked, “We’re not the only municipality entertaining this, either. Long Beach Township is entertaining this.”

Lambert answered, “Just because other municipalities are entertaining it doesn’t mean that you have to entertain it.”

At this point, the mayor asked Barnegat Light Taxpayers Association officer John Tennyson, who was sitting in the audience, whether the topic was mentioned in the recent survey of taxpayer concerns and suggestions.

“There was no mention of it at all. No one wrote a comment that was specific to smoking,” Tennyson said.

Higgins said that there might be more comments coming from the 25th Street beach than others “because it is such a crowded beach.”

The council’s next meeting is July 8, yet it was not decided whether the formal ordinance hearing would be that date.

Complaint about bamboo leads to consideration

The public comment portion of the meeting turned to another topic, bamboo, when West 12th Street resident Dolores Svelling said that since the council’s last meeting she dropped off a sample regulatory ordinance for consideration.

The ordinance from Ocean City, Cape May County prohibits planting of bamboo, and further, can require owners to contain their bamboo and pay for its removal if it encroaches on neighboring property, media reports summarized when Ocean City adopted the ordinance in October.

“It’s well written and I think it should be considered in Barnegat Light,” Svelling said, explaining that she faces a problem on her property from bamboo roots growing from a neighbor’s property. “They say in the ordinance that it can travel from one property to several.

“It can be invasive; it can go into your house from the neighbor’s yard,” she said. “I’m fighting it in my yard; I can’t plant my tomatoes this year. I feel that something should be done. I know it’s on other properties in Barnegat Light. Maybe they’re okay with it, but I don’t want it coming into my house or into my pool,” Svelling said.

After hearing what the Ocean City ordinance requires, Mayor Larson, who said he has a small patch of bamboo on his property, asked what happens if a neighbor claims that his bamboo came from the person’s property who is now complaining.

“They planted it; the original plant that’s there right now is about four to five feet tall. I have nothing other than roots that are coming from their property to mine,” Svelling said.

Borough Attorney Terry Brady said he hadn’t seen Ocean City’s ordinance, but he has seen others. “It’s very difficult to prove,” he said.

“Realistically what usually happens, the problem that develops, is that … it can be very difficult to tell where it originated. In one yard it may be cut down and mowed and in the next yard it might be big trees, but that doesn’t mean that the larger trees were the initial trees that were planted.”

Brady remarked, “From information that we’ve seen from other municipalities, it is very detrimental and extremely hard to contain.”

Svelling said that her neighbor had hired a landscaper about 20 years ago to come in with a backhoe and “they dug between the properties down six feet and they took it out,” but she said there still must have been some tubers there.

Svelling added that she got an estimate from a landscaper who quoted $4,400 to “have it dug out and put a barricade in.” She said, “The soil that’s taken out cannot be replaced.” She said she was not going to take that option now.

Brady said the council could “look at all of the ordinances and see how several different municipalities are handling the problem.”

Cat control: A success story

Second reading and public hearing is July 8 on the introduced ordinance providing for the managed care of feral cats. It establishes the “Barnegat Light Trap-Neuter-Return Program (TNRP) sponsored by the Friends of Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter” (FOSOCAS).

In the program, feral and stray cats are trapped and taken to the shelter, where they are sterilized and vaccinated against rabies. They are then returned to the area where they were captured, and they will be provided with long-term care by a “caretaker’ in accordance with the ordinance.

The purpose of TNRP is “to reduce the population of feral cats, benefiting public health, improving the quality of life for borough residents, and enduring the humane treatment of feral cats,” reads the ordinance.

A feral cat is defined as a cat that is not an owned cat and is not socialized to humans. A stray cat is socialized to humans but is not an owned cat.

“It actually isn’t changing anything from what we’re already doing, except that it is putting structure into it,” said Councilwoman Dottie Reynolds, who is active with FOSOCAS.

The TNR process has resulted in “a significant reduction in every town,” Reynolds said.

In Barnegat Light, there were 20 feral cats reported in 2011 and only five last year. Beach Haven got down to one feral cat treated and they had 39 before the program started in 2012. Long Beach Township went from 53 to 22 last year.

After some more discussion about kittens going out for adoption through a program with PetSmart, two borough council members had questions on the returned adult population.

“What I’ve got a problem with is the “R,” the returning part,” said Councilman George Warr. “We don’t want them back.”

Reynolds said, “If you don’t return them, there’s the vacuum theory – you take a cat away, another cat will take its place. And the cat was already there. You cannot take cats from one location and locate them in a colony someplace else because those cats won’t let the new cat in sharing their food.”

Councilman Ed Wellington questioned the part of the ordinance that calls for a “caretaker” to feed the returned cats and be responsible for other care. The ordinance says that caretakers are responsible for making reasonable efforts to trap all cats in a colony, for instance.

“It seems to me that the ordinance says if you capture an adult, you become the caretaker.”

“That’s what we request, to find a caretaker for them. Because one of the things that makes this work is if they’re fed, they’re not hunting, not going in people’s garbage cans,” said Reynolds.

“That has me concerned. I’m all for taking them in and having them neutered, but I can’t be responsible for getting a herd of cats on the caretaker side,” said Wellington, joking, “I already have a herd of dogs.”

In the end, all council members voted yes to introducing the ordinance.

In other business, council moved to create the position of “safety officer” in the borough. The borough’s joint insurance carrier recommends the post, and it pertains to taking steps to insure safety in work practices and related matters. Second reading will be held July 8.

Reposted from the Sandpaper


Barnegat Light organist celebrates seven decades of music

557e0224ae90a.imageEleanor Crane played hymns with hands that have passed over keys since she was eight years old, in 1931.

Before each song, she turned to the right page in her book of sheet music, though she hardly needed to look at it. Not after more than 75 years of Sundays.

On the organ before her, lights illuminated switches with mysterious yet enticing labels — “gedackt” or “trompette” or “swell to pedal.” The melody joined the voices of those worshiping at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on Barnegat Light, constructed in 1942.

In all that time, hardly a worship service has taken place for which Crane hasn’t provided the music.

She will play at the church’s service on July 19 while celebrating her 92nd birthday. There will be a party for her after. And then, she’ll retire.

“Wouldn’t you, at 92?” she said with a smile, sitting on the organ bench under Zion’s simple rafters. Nearby mosaics depicted the Barnegat Lighthouse and a Viking ship, a reference to the peninsula’s first Old World colonists. “I figure it’s a good time to say, adios, amigo.”

Thinking back over her musical life, Crane, a New Jersey native, settled on the memory of a state-wide piano competition she won when she was 16.

All contestants played a piece by Edvard Grieg, as well as a selection of their choice. Hers was “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy. She received a small upright piano as a prize, and said she can still play the piece on the baby grand she has at home.

Crane said her mother was instrumental in bringing the Lutheran church to Barnegat Light. As a teenager, she began playing there, as well as at other churches.

After graduating high school, she wanted to be a doctor, but she had two brothers.

“At that time, it was more important that a boy got the education,” she said. So she spent two years working as a secretary for “the only lawyer in town,” while she saved enough money for nursing school.

She was a nurse for four decades, raised three children, gave music lessons and led volunteer community organizations focused on women’s issues and local beautification.

And she kept playing church services, weddings, and funerals.

“I had some wild weddings,” she said, thinking back. “I wish I had written a book.”

At one, the bride’s mother was an hour and a half late — weekend shore traffic, predictably — leaving Crane to fill the time with a seemingly endless cycle of wedding music.

Eventually, the bride, in tears, said she couldn’t wait any longer, and the ceremony began. The mother burst in just as the union was being pronounced.

“It was very dramatic,” Crane said.

Crane said she loves music and the church, but being counted on every week, year after year, presents its challenges.

“There were some times when I didn’t want to go, when I didn’t feel good,” she said. But she went anyway, evoking the mantra of professional performers everywhere: “The show,” she said, “must go on.”

“To have someone who’se been there from the very beginning is almost unheard of,” said Pastor Bill McGowan, who has led Zion for two years.

Crane, he said, is “a good example of someone who loves the gift God has given her, (the ability) to play the organ, and wants to serve.”

McGowan said the church has a few potential replacements in mind for when Crane steps down, though he acknowledged the commitment the job requires makes it a difficult fit for those who enjoy late-night activities on Saturdays.

Crane, who has friends who have attended Zion for many years, said she’ll keeping coming to services there, and that she’ll miss playing. “I’m very sentimental,” she explained.

And as her daughter Susan arrived to drive her home, the lifelong student of music offered advice to everyone starting out.

“Practice,” she said. “It doesn’t happen overnight. One day, you’ll be able to play well.”

Reposted from Down the Shore


How to spot, avoid, escape rip currents

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It’s surf zone awareness week, and we want you to be safe.

NOAA recommends that you memorize these five words: “always swim near a lifeguard.”

On a day when many will be flocking to the cooler beaches from scorching hot inland locations, forecasters are concerned about swimmers at unguarded locations.

There’s certainly a temptation to cool off in the ocean.

Here’s what forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly wrote in this morning’s forecast discussion:

For NJ, this is the kind of day that becomes dangerous for those not swimming in the presence of a lifeguard. Water temperatures, while still cool, are average or slightly above average for this time of year, and we’re going to be hot just a couple miles inland. For ultimate safety, all swimmers should swim in the presence of lifeguards.

According to NOAA, here’s how to identify a rip current:

  • A channel of churning, choppy water.
  • An area having a notable difference in water color.
  • A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward.
  • A break in the incoming wave pattern.

Rip current speeds vary, with an average pull of 1-2 feet per second, but some can move as fast as 8 feet per second, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer, according to NOAA.

Your first line of defense is to check the surf forecast before you head to the beach.NOAA updates the forecast daily.

In the meantime, watch this informative NOAA video on rip current safety.

If caught in a rip current, NOAA advises:

  • Stay calm.
  • Don’t fight the current.
  • Escape the current by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle—away from the current—toward shore.
  • If you are unable to escape by swimming, float or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, call or wave for help.

Reposted from Down the Shore


Boat tax rides stormy seas

A controversial bill limiting New Jersey sales tax on expensive boats and yachts passed through a Senate panel on Thursday and now heads to a budget committee.

The bill is being called a tax break for the wealthy by some but those in the southern New Jersey boat building and service industries argue it will mostly help blue-collar workers.

New Jersey currently has the highest boat taxes in the nation and this sends those purchasing or getting work done on boats to other states, said Jim Donofrio who heads the New Gretna-based Recreational Fishing Alliance. Donofrio said this ultimately costs the state jobs and revenue.

“Zero percent of zero is zero. By driving them out they’re getting nothing,” said Donofrio.

The proposal faces opposition in New Jersey, particularly because it would offer significant tax breaks to the wealthiest people. The New Jersey Policy Perspective said the proposal would help neither the average New Jersey resident nor the economy.

“This is just another tax break for the wealthy when we’re already struggling to improve our schools, build a better transportation network and ensure more New Jerseyans have a fair shot at the middle class,” President Gordon MacInnes said in a statement.

South Jersey state Senators Jeff Van Drew and Jim Whelan sponsored the bill that would collect no more than $20,000 in sales tax on non-commercial boats. The seven percent sales tax would only apply to the first $286,000 of the purchase price.

Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, said the cap would make the tax system more competitive with other states that have caps or lower sales tax. Van Drew said the current boat tax policy means New Jersey is losing revenue and a cap will help spur the economy and local boating and fishing industries.

Sales tax policies vary by state. Delaware, for example, has no sales tax or boat tax. New York just instituted a sales tax cap in an attempt to draw more business and it appears to be working.

New Gretna-based Viking Yachts is delivering an 82-foot custom boat to a customer in Manhattan with a list price of just over $9.2 million. That boat would have gone to Maine for the summer but instead is heading to New York after the state approved eased sales tax burdens earlier this year, said Joe Schwab, Viking’s vice president of sales.

“It’s the exact reason why New Jersey needs to get on board with the sales tax. Right now we’re fighting with both arms tied behind our back,” he said.

“Many people say it’s a tax break for the rich. It’s not. The rich will go and use the boats in other places. New Jersey’s not gaining anything by keeping the current tax rate the way it is,” Schwab said.

The smallest Viking Yacht, at 42-feet, starts at $1.2 million, Schwab said; the largest, at 92 feet, goes for $10 million.

Schwab said a change in New Jersey’s sales tax policy on boats would help boost the industry here and will have ancillary benefits for fuel, dockage and provision costs.

Viking has a service facility in Palm Beach County, Florida that services 500 boats a year and employs 120 people, Schwab said, while the company’s similar-sized one in New Greta does about 70 boats a year and employs about 40 people.

“If we can get more service to our facility here, now we can employ more people. These repair jobs we’re doing, a refit, can run $100,000 to $400,000,” Schwab said.

Rick Weber, owner of South Jersey Marina in the Port of Cape May, said only three states in the nation charge the full sale tax on boats. The other two are Connecticut and Massachusetts, but even they can offer better deals than New Jersey because they have a lower state sales tax.

“A $3 million boat will pay $18,000 in sales tax in Florida, $15,000 in Maryland, $15,000 to $20,000 in New York and $210,000 in New Jersey. The variance is just too great right now. They will buy elsewhere,” said Weber.

It isn’t just purchasing boats. Service on the boats is also lost as this also involves sales taxes. This hurts those in marine electronics, welding, fiberglass work, and other marine trades. Donofrio said upgrades run up to the $400,000 range, but there is no incentive to get them in New Jersey.

With New Jersey tax personnel combing the docks looking for vessels bought out of state but registered here, Weber noted the state is quickly losing entrants to fishing tournaments. He sponsors the richest billfishing tournament in the world, the Mid-Atlantic $500,000 held here every August, but has seen local entrants dwindle while they skyrocket at the tournament’s other dock in Maryland. This translates into millions in lost revenue.

Boat buyers can buy in New Jersey and avoid the tax by signing a form that the boat will never dock here. That may not hurt boat builders but it hurts all the businesses that cater to boats ranging from dock fees to fuel sales. It also hurts hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that get patrons during fishing tournaments.

“We’re happy the bill passed out of committee,” said Donofrio. “It’s not a bill to help the rich. It’s actually a bill to help the blue-collar worker.

New Jersey Policy Perspective said the sales tax cap progressively benefits the wealthiest people buying the most luxurious vessels. The buyer of a $1 million yacht would save $50,000 in sales tax under the cap, the N.J. Policy Prospective noted.

Weber, however, noted most yacht sales in New Jersey are generally in the $500,000 range. While places like Newport, R.I. are known for 150-foot yachts, most in New Jersey are around 36 feet. Few ports even have deep enough water for the larger yachts.

“It’s not easy getting sympathy for one-percenters who own a $3 million boat. The people buying our boats are your neighbors,” said Weber.

The bill, S-2784, passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee on Thursday and now goes to the Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“By limiting consumers and businesses with our current sales and use tax, we are driving residents and companies to other states where they can save tens of thousands of dollars when purchasing their boats,” Whelan, D-Atlantic, said in a statement.

Donofrio recalled a federal luxury tax instituted years ago, and ultimately repealed, that was meant to tax the rich but killed the little guy. He noted Viking Yachts at that time went from 1,400 workers to just 66.

Commercial boats, such as those made by Yank Marine on the Tuckahoe River in Upper Township, are already exempt from the sales tax. The family also has a boatyard in Dorchester, Cumberland County, where the recession caused so many small recreational boats to be abandoned by their owners that they were crushed and sent to the dump. Bette Jean Yank said something should be done for these boaters.

“I understand what Van Drew is doing, but it’s the smaller boater that needs some help,” said Yank. “I understand trying to help manufacturers so we don’t lose more jobs. At the same time, if you can afford a $300,000 boat, how much more help do you need?”

Reposted from Press of Atlantic City


Fishing-related businesses sharing over $2M in post-Sandy grants

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Over two million dollars in federal funds are helping New Jersey’s fishing-related businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy, state officials announced today.

266 smaller fishing-related businesses are sharing $2.1 million in grants provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

According to a state release, owners of bait-and-tackle shops, commercial dealers, commercial fishermen, for-hire party and charter boat operators, marinas and those involved in shell-fish aquaculture businesses were eligible to apply to the Department of Environmental Protection for grants of up to $10,000 to help offset some of the costs post-Sandy.

Slightly more than half of the funding went to marinas and commercial fishing outfits, with the second largest share to bait-and-tackle shops and for-hire businesses.

“The DEP and our Marine Fisheries staff have worked tirelessly since Sandy to help these businesses get back on their feet,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “Our economically vital commercial and recreational fishing industries are coming back after the devastation caused by Sandy. This grant program will help our smaller fishing-related businesses recover some of their losses.”

Applicants were required to show a minimum of $5,000 in losses, and grants were awarded to help with repair and replacement of equipment that was not covered elsewhere as well as reimbursement of out-of-pocket recovery expenses.

“Every little bit helps, that’s for sure,” said Jason Durante, General Manager of Ocean Marina, which received a $10,000 grant for damages sustained at its Lavallette marina, one of three the company owns. “We’re starting to see more and more people on the island. We’re seeing the industry come back.”

Recreational fishing supports approximately 10,000 jobs and $1.74 billion in annual sales, according to the state.

Reposted from Down the Shore


New Parkway ramps open this week in Ocean County

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Featuring three new ramps, Interchange 89 on the Garden State Parkway will open this week, providing improved access to major thoroughfares in Brick and Lakewood, officials announced.

According to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the new ramps are as follows:

  • Northbound Exit 89 A will provide access from the northbound Garden State Parkway to Route 70.
  • Northbound Exit 89 B will provide access from the northbound Garden State Parkway to Cedar Bridge Road (CR 528)
  • Southbound Exit 89 A will provide access from the southbound Garden State Parkway to Route 70 westbound.

Southbound Exit 89 B, providing access to Route 70 eastbound from the southbound Garden State Parkway, and southbound Exit 89 C, providing access from the southbound Garden State Parkway to Cedar Bridge Road via Airport Road, opened last year.

The construction of two service roads along the northbound and southbound lanes of the Parkway facilitate improved access to Cedar Bridge Road and Route 70, according to the Turnpike Authority. Drivers can now exit the Parkway onto the service roads and then utilize exits 89 A, B or C to access the local roads.

In addition, northbound traffic will now be able to access Route 70 and Cedar Bridge Road, which only previously existed in the southbound lanes. Until last year, southbound drivers could access Route 70 at Exit 88. Access to Route 70 from both directions is now provided through Interchange 89.

Reposted from Down the Shore


Beach access free in Beach Haven on Wednesdays in July and August

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In honor of the year-long celebration of Beach Haven’s 125th anniversary, residents and visitors will have free access to the beach as well as to the borough’s tennis courts and public boat ramp every Wednesday throughout July and August.

As part of Wednesday Fun Day, the borough is also allowing folks to offer yoga and other exercise classes as well as surfing lessons at the beach and parks without having to fill out paperwork or pay a fee.

Visitors and residents will be given access to exclusive Wednesday deals, including coupons toward many of the town’s best restaurants, shops and nonprofits. A list of merchant-provided discounts and other offers can be found on the borough’s website as well as in participating stores.

“There will be many new things to see and do, including pickleball games, exercise classes, demonstrations and fun activities for children,” said Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis. “We anticipate more activities on Wednesday because instructors do not need permits to use the public parks. The (Long Beach Island) Historical and New Jersey Maritime museums will be offering rain-or-shine Wednesday activities for all ages.”

A free concert, sponsored by the Beach Haven Community Arts Program, will also be held every Wednesday at Veterans Bicentennial Park, at 7 p.m.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


LBI school board still weighing whether to consolidate

The Long Beach Island Board of Education is still deliberating whether to consolidate its two facilities, and at its meeting last week offered a presentation to the public outlining the district’s three options moving forward: sell the LBI Grade School and expand the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School, sell the E.J. School and expand the LBI School, or keep and renovate both schools.

A consolidation discussion began in spring of 2010, and a feasibility study of the two buildings soon followed, after which the board voted to sell the LBI School, in Ship Bottom, and build an addition on the E.J. School in Surf City. The LBI School has been for sale since fall 2011, when it was listed for $9.5 million. Earlier this year, the board received its highest bid yet for the property.

Recently, though, there has been pushback against that plan. Both the borough of Ship Bottom and Long Beach Township oppose selling the LBI School. Ship Bottom passed a resolution last month stating that the school, built in 1951, represents “a significant cultural landmark … The school serves as a focal point of the borough that has positively touched the lives of several generations of families in the borough and throughout the district.

“Due to its unique and important role in the borough, the governing body wishes to go on record as supporting the continued operation of the school.”

Long Beach Township subsequently passed a resolution supporting Ship Bottom in its opposition to the sale of the LBI School.

Surf City, meanwhile, has offered to pay up to $2.5 million for the E.J. School property.

Some Island residents are open to possible consolidation – but had asked the board for a comprehensive report on the numbers, the construction time frames and other logistical details, and were glad to see the recent report – while others would prefer the district continue to operate two schools.

At the Tuesday night meeting, a few residents voiced concern about the loss of open space should one property be sold to a developer. “Our kids are here 12 months a year,” said Bill Mills of Ship Bottom. “Once you do something with the LBI School, there are no parks left.”

Willy Kahl, also of Ship Bottom, agreed. “It’s important (to have open green spaces). It would be a shame to lose them.”

Kahl, a Realtor, also believes that if the board sold a school now, it would be at a loss due to market conditions. “In 10 years, the LBI School might worth $40 million rather than $10 million.

“There’s no hurry whatsoever.”

Ship Bottom resident Steve Moser pointed out that constructing dozens of homes on the LBI School lot would also prove a concern for Ship Bottom’s infrastructure. Another resident stated that if either school were torn down and a number of homes were built in its place, the enrollment numbers could increase.

The board, which says it is contending with two undersized, aging facilities and decreasing enrollment, explained in its presentation that a “single site solution” at E.J. would comprise a 23,000-square-foot addition to the building, for a total square footage of 55,000 square feet.

Cost for the project would come in at $10.7 million, including $850,000 for modular classrooms during construction and $880,000 for immediate repairs cited in a recent report on the two facilities conducted by Frank Little, the engineer for all Island municipalities.

The cost of long-range facility upgrades at E.J. – conversion from electric to gas, lighting upgrades and window replacements – were not included. The estimated price for this was $2.2 million in 2014. Some improvements would be eligible for grant money.

A single-site solution at LBI School, meanwhile, would add about 12,000 square feet to the building, for a total of 57,000 square feet. The estimated project cost is close to $5.7 million. The board also calculated $2.7 million in repairs from Little’s study, bringing the total to approximately $8.4 million.

Both single-site solution numbers include soft costs and contingencies. Numbers for possible grants, though, were only researched for the E.J. School, not the LBI School.

Finally, option three, to renovate both schools, would cost approximately $3.6 million based on Little’s report. Total existing square footage for the two facilities – with 32,750 for E.J. School and 46,500 for LBI School – is about 79,000 square feet.

Ship Bottom resident Rick McDonough asked if the district would have to act on all the renovations in the Little report immediately, or if some of the improvements could be considered long range, but the board did not provide an answer to the question.

Stacey Fuessinger, of Ship Bottom, pointed out that building an addition onto either school would not solve the problem of the aging, existing part of whichever school received the addition.

Moser wondered if, should the district consolidate, the board would be “putting a quality school in place” for the students. “A Buick, a Chevrolet or a Cadillac?” he asked.

“We’re making the best school facility for the best cost,” Board President Jennifer Bott responded.

The board’s estimates for potential annual savings via consolidation – a total of about $360,000 or $373,000 for the single-site solutions – as well as financing possibilities, were also discussed, and are detailed in the presentation posted online at lbisd.schoolfusion.us.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Barnegat Light applying for dredging permit around municipal dock

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The borough of Barnegat Light is working on an application for a state permit to dredge the area around the 10th Street boat ramp where Superstorm Sandy aggravated shoaling.

Looking westward from the borough boat ramp, the shallow conditions are in the creek between the public dock and a grassy island, and also at the bulkhead at the dock itself. (The Oyster Creek Channel lies on the westward side of the island, and that is deeper.)

The application process is a step by the borough to improve conditions for customers of the borough’s boat ramp, and for adjacent livery operations at low tide.

“Because of the predominant northwest wind in the wintertime and the effects of Sandy, we have sand that has migrated into the creek from the bay,” said Borough Councilman Ed Wellington, chairman of the Docks and Harbors committee.

“What we’re intending to do is apply for the maintenance permit so that we can dredge it out and make it easier for the boaters to get in and out,” he pointed out on a June Saturday at the dock.

The possible time frame is not for this summer season, due to the extent of the application process and then bidding.

The technical details are in the hands of Borough Engineer Frank Little and associates, but the overview was mentioned by Wellington at a recent council meeting.

“Sandy made a big difference,” Wellington said. “During Sandy, the water came up over all of this (grassy) island and pushed a lot of the marsh in towards the creek.”

Referring to boats docked along the bulkhead at the borough dock, “We’ve lost one or two of our tenants with larger boats because they can’t get in and out at their convenience; they have to wait until a higher tide or mid-tide,” Wellington said.

In the tidal creek itself, depths vary from 7 or 8 feet at the center, to “a foot or 2 deep” at some spots, he said.

From 10th Street, “looking up the creek towards the north, the center of the creek has plenty of water, but if you look to the south a little bit, there is a very shallow area. As soon as the tide goes out another foot or so, you’ll see it is unnavigable out towards the island. And as we come in here toward the bulkhead, in some cases because of the storm sewers, the sand and water from the streets runs off in here and makes shallow water up against the bulkhead,” Wellington pointed out.

“And then when you get up at the other end of the creek, up towards the Coast Guard station, it’s very narrow.”

Depths were plotted last spring for the maintenance dredging application.

“We were out there in April with the town engineer’s guys and we actually plotted the depth and that’s what the engineers are using to help us apply for the permit,” Wellington said.

“Then we’ll have to go out to bid and see who responds to the bid and how much it’s going to cost.”

Asked whether grants are available, the councilman said that is one of the possibilities the borough will seek through the engineering firm. “There might be some Sandy money available, hopefully.”

The timeframe of the application extends beyond the summer.

“I’m sure it will be another month or two before we have all the data together so we can apply, and Frank (Little) thought it might only be a few months, but could take up to a year before they would give us a permit,” Wellington said.

“It’s long overdue; we’re trying to do the right thing, play by the rules, and get it right for the boaters and the two liveries,” the councilman concluded.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the grassy island, boat traffic has a clear way to bigger marinas including High Bar Harbor Yacht Club, Bayview Marina and Viking Village commercial dock. “And anybody transiting to the mainland wouldn’t come this far down; they’ll make the turn and go out into Oyster Creek channel to the bay,” Wellington observed.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Water temp swings, legends surf entrepreneurs, what to see at the Lighthouse Film Festival

Shea Puskas showing off her boyfriend, Shawn Casey’s, photography work that has been on display in Barnegat Light. There’s a new generation of business owners on the Island staking their claim.

Shea Puskas showing off her boyfriend, Shawn Casey’s, photography work that has been on display in Barnegat Light. There’s a new generation of business owners on the Island staking their claim.

Here’s a funny statistic. During the coldest part of the year in San Diego, the ocean temperature dips to about 58 degrees. On a really cold year, it might bottom out at 57. All you need to wear on those frosty winter days is a 3 mil wetsuit and maybe boots. Now just to qualify – West Coast surfers will wear all manner of hoods, webbed gloves, wool earmuffs, wing suits, funny hats and heated wetsuits, but since the air temperature there barely drops into the low 50s, a standard 3/2 is pretty much all you need.

Then in the summer, the ocean water will top out at 68.  Being as they don’t really have weather and it’s pretty much always warm out, you can get away with surfing in trunks. Again, you’ll see all manner of surf apparel including designer wetsuits combined with sun hats, eyewear, colorful sun block and button-down jackets. But all you need is a pair of trunks or a long sleeve spring during a California summer.

Essentially the ocean water off San Diego ranges from 58 to 68 degrees, a yearly temperature swing of 10 degrees.

California’s got consistent water temps, consistent surf and a taco shop on every corner. But the merits of East vs. West Coast living are not my point. It’s the water temperature.

By comparison, our ocean hit 28 degrees in February, and by August, don’t be surprised to see it spike at 78. That’s a 50-degree swing, probably greater than any other surfable region in the world.

At the start of Memorial Day weekend, our local surf temps were just about nipping at the 60-degree mark, considerable warmth gained since it was still about 30 at the start of March. Sixty is generally where we jump in the water in trunks for the first time. We usually go back to a light wetsuit for a few weeks after the initial plunge, but you can bear a few waves without it.

But right around May 23, the wind went south and it has stayed south, pretty much ever since. In fact, the only time it hasn’t been honking south was when it dropped out. And anyone who has a few LBI summers of waves and French fried lobster tails under their belts can tell you that south wind means cold water.

For the umteenth summer in a row, I am again explaining the properties of upwelling, a combination of the Earth’s rotation and persistent winds moving the surface water away from the coast. Blue lips, ice cream headaches, “shrinkage,” blah, blah, blah …. If you really want to get technical, look up terms like Ekman transport, wind driven currents and Coriolis effect. Then come explain it all to me. In my dummy terms, the translation is: south winds = colder water. The frigid inshore water then has a ripple effect on the sea life, fishing, local economy and pretty much every other aspect of life on a barrier island. And it stinks. (No, literally; it’s full of stinky, decomposing matter from the bottom of the sea.) Bruce Jenner is a woman now … Who cares? This is what’s important.

Every year, we say the upwelling is worse than the year before. This year we’ve been in a classic pattern of south winds. And after that knockout of a winter, there is no lack of icy deep ocean water.

And then on Tuesday, the wind finally went east/northeast. By Tuesday evening, it was pretty much honking north. The weather may not have been ideal; in fact, what San Diego folks call May Gray and June Gloom, we simply call May and June. But there’s a potential late week for the north wind to push that warm water back to shore. We could see a 12-degree difference in a matter of two days. That’s more swing than Southern California has in a full year.

NEW JERSEY SURFING HALL OF FAME: This weekend is the 2015 Saltwater Festival at the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan. In addition to the normal revelry, local food and music, this year’s festival will feature the first ever New Jersey Surfing Hall of Fame induction. Included in this first class of inductees are three influential surfers from LBI in Henry “Stretch” Pohl, Ron DiMenna and Richard Lisiewski. All three are automatic inductions because of their current status in the larger East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame, but it is a serious honor, nonetheless.

Pohl, a noted football coach under Vince Lombardi, wound up settling on LBI ,where he helped legitimize the sport to a society that wanted nothing to do with waveriding hooligans. He started the LBI Surfing Association in 1964 and was an accomplished swimmer, surfer, clammer and all-around waterman.

Few LBI surfers are as polarizing as Ron DiMenna. He opened the original Ron Jon (after selling boards out of his attic and a butcher store on the mainland) in the early ’60s and went on to create a global empire. Anyone on the LBI surf scene in the ’60s and ’70s has, well, let’s say a “strong opinion” on DiMenna, one way or another. And while he lives an eccentric existence in Florida today, you can’t argue that he has had a lasting impact on the surf world from his start in Ship Bottom.

The third, Richard Lisiewski, made the first surfboard in New Jersey, in the 1940s. He became a premier East Coast shaper in the 1960s with the Matador and Collier labels, and opened what is now Brighton Beach Surf Shop. His son Michael continues the tradition with Matador and the shop, and you can still find Richard, in his mid-80s, sitting in front of the shop greeting folks with a smile. Talk about a legacy? His grandchildren are now surfing LBI.

The actual induction is Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Algonquin Theatre. Tickets are $25. While there will be a pop-up museum in honor of the inductees in ’Squan, Island surfer and artist Jack Ryan has been curating a new exhibit related to the Hall of Fame at the New Jersey Surfing Museum at the Tuckerton Seaport.

The museum opened in 2010 and was a very solid first step, but the renewed interest in New Jersey surf history will be very good in updating the museum and bringing together all that great memorabilia from Cape May to Sandy Hook. It will definitely be worth a trip to Clamtown this summer to get learned on where we come from.

THE SURF’S BEEN A CRAPSHOOT (OR JUST CRAP): Once again, the surf has been pretty much terrible for the past week. The only break in the losing streak was when it went from terrible to poor last Friday. The wind died and there was a weak waist-high pulse, not even enough to break through high tide. There was a bit of swell again on Sunday, but the southerlies put an end to that fun by late morning. Other than that, it’s been pretty lame. But hey, this is New Jersey, where we thrive on junk, right?

Not this year. I have heard of a few surfers who’ve put up with the unfavorable conditions to get wet. But most of the waveriders I know have pretty much been shunning it. We’ll endure the coldest of water to get waves, and we’re all for making lemonade when life gives you rotten, disgusting lemons. But when the surf is this bad and the water dips back into the 40s in May and June, it hasn’t seemed very worth it. Add in the fact that there’s been other stuff going on and everyone I know is full to the gills with work, and not much surfing happening.

WHAT TO SEE AT THE FILM FEST: The Lighthouse International Film Fest returns to LBI this weekend with a really fantastic program of features, shorts, docs and events right here on our often culturally challenged sandbar. There are a few selections that this column’s readers might find interesting. The last two years I have attended really great opening nights of the Fest at the Surflight Theatre, in 2013 to see “Shored Up,” and in 2014 for “This Time Next Year.” The fest also hosted the New Jersey premiere of the City Gardens documentary “Riot on the Dance Floor,” at the Surflight. No doubt this venue will be missed.

As for the Liquid Lines universe, check out “Luis Eyre – Alien Invader” as part of the shorts block on Friday at 4 p.m. at the LBI Historical Museum in Beach Haven. It’s a British surfing mockumentary (those three words together should signify that it’s funny stuff) that follows a human alien surfer in his invasion of Earth. Stick around for the rest of the shorts and you might leave feeling a little smarter.

At 8 p.m. on Friday, you can watch the documentary “Far from Home,” also at the LBI Historical Museum. It’s about Brolin Mawejje, Africa’s competitive snowboarder and also a pre-med student, in his quest to represent his entire continent in the Olympics.

Clearly the action sports blockbuster of the fest is “The Search for Freedom,” which I previewed two weeks back in Section II. This visceral action doc showcases amazing high-def footage in the world’s most beautiful and intense venues exploring the pioneers, legends and cultural curators of surfing, snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding and mountain biking. It shows at 10 p.m. Friday, also at the LBI Historical Museum – definitely worth staying up late for.

One doc that might raise some local eyebrows is “Antarctic Edge: 70 Degrees South,” which explores climate change on the West Antarctic Peninsula, where the rate of warming is happening faster than anywhere else on Earth. This one deals with the global effects and the accelerated rate of change. Rutgers University’s film and science departments were a big part of this one. Catch it at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences at 3:30 on Saturday.

“Skateboarding’s First Wave,” part of Short Block #7 at 1:15 on Sunday at the LBI Historical Museum, is a documentary that explores the early days of skateboarding as an offshoot of surfing in Southern California. The trailer for this one is just full of vintage footage. Also on Sunday, you can catch “Sex and Broadcasting,” another film of local interest that features the trials and tribulations of independent radio. It plays just before “Learning to Be Fearless,” on Sunday at 1:30 at the LBI Foundation. Those of us who have ever sought out anything besides pop music in the past know how important this North Jersey radio station (WFMU-FM) is.

Tickets for individual films or all access passes can be purchased at LighthouseFilmFestival.org. This fest is truly a feather in our LBI cap, and supporting film and art tends to make for better communities. Plus the surf won’t be anything stellar.

COOL CRAFT, NORTH AND SOUTH: If you haven’t yet gotten a chance, there are two very exciting, unique new businesses on LBI, representing the very northern and southern ends of the Island, both by local surfers. Up in Barnegat Light, charger Shawn Casey had his photography and craft work on display with his girlfriend/jewelry designer, Shea Puskas, in front of Vintage Gray at Viking Village during the Memorial Day weekend craft and art show. Not only is Casey one of the guys you see pushing into the deepest barrels every winter swell in Harvey Cedars, but he’s coming out with some amazingly artistic color photos right now that show LBI in its very best light. You can check out a lot of them at SJCImagery.com.

And down in Beach Haven, Jared Temple and his wife, Jesse Wolf Temple, have launched the super creative Bunkerfish. Temple is one of the best surfers on the Island in terms of riding pretty much anything from a tiny fish to a big log, and he did it long before it was fashionable. In addition to the Bunkerfish Etsy store and custom installations they do all year, they will be running a kiosk in front of Bay Village this summer, primarily with Jesse’s illustration, Jared’s design and hand-painted signage. Jesse’s kids’ gear has been hotter than the Beach Haven Elementary School blacktop in the middle of an August day.

Both Temple and Casey embody a particular LBI spirit. They’re both hard-working laborers and talented waveriders, but have a very creative side that they are making work for them. They also happen to have very talented better halves. Definitely check them out when you’re far north or deep south.

It’s part of a burgeoning movement right now where a new generation is claiming a little piece of LBI. Just look at Surf City alone and what’s going on with the new shops, eateries and galleries. It’s definitely a move in a great direction and could be a banner season to launch some young businesses. (Now if they could just do something about their “no fun on the beach” ordinances …)

OTHER GREAT THINGS LOCALS ARE DOING: Jetty ran another pretty successful Hop Sauce Festival last weekend. In addition to the standard New York, Philly and New Jersey demographics, I met people from Virginia, Pittsburgh and Montreal who came out. The weather could not have been more perfect, and there were nearly 5,000 people in attendance, including most of the local surf populace. And so far as we can see, there were thousands of people tasting beers for hours, and no one puked.

Prior to the festival, South End Surf N’ Paddle ran its Hop Sauce Tune-Up race. The winds were light and the turnout was good as Rob Mitstifer won the Men’s 12’6-and-under division. Diane Wilson collected top honors among the Women’s Division.

Surf City artist Kristin Meyers started her artist residency this week at the Torpedo Factory Artist Association in Alexandria, Va., where she will be presenting her work, speaking to audiences, meeting the public and making contacts with key folks in the art scene. She will be living and creating there for the entire month.

This weekend the m.t. burton gallery hosts the Summer Art Opener. Matt Burton started this tradition last year and has a whole weekend of food, music, entertainment and art planned, including a performance by Nicotine and Brown at Saturday night’s clam bake.

We’ve got only another month until the full summer zombie apocalypse, so enjoy your weekend, and let’s see if we can’t get a break from the south winds.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Avert theft: Tips from Long Beach Township police

With summer more or less underway, the Long Beach Township Police Department reminds the public of a few important safety tips to help avoid becoming the victim of theft during this busy season on LBI.

Officer Megan Keller says the police advise residents and vacationers to “secure all valuables out of sight, and keep your vehicles locked when you are away from them, even if it is only for a brief moment.”

Bicycles and other recreational items – surfboards, kayaks, standup paddleboards – should be stored in a secure place, and bikes should be locked when left outdoors for any period of time, especially at beach entrances and outside of businesses.

The police also recommend that homeowners and renters keep residential doors locked, and, said Keller, “Do not leave your key in the outside shower! Instead, buy a lock box with a code if you must store spare keys outside.”

Keller added, “Do not bring valuables to the beach. They can be easily lost or stolen.”

To stay informed while on the Island, sign up for text or email alerts at nixle.com, and visit the township police website, LBTPD.org, or the department’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Stolt Dagali, Sinbad artifacts donated to NJ Maritime Museum

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Artifacts from a dramatic crash off of Barnegat Light and from the story of a history-making Coast Guard dog buried in that borough are among new acquisitions at the New Jersey Maritime Museum in Beach Haven.

William Steinman, a former New Jersey resident who now lives in New Hampshire, recently donated an original life jacket and photos he acquired while responding to theStolt Dagali, a 583-foot Norwegian tanker carrying vegetable oil that sank 17 miles northeast of Barnegat Light after Israel luxury liner Shalom crashed into it, shearing the tanker in two, on Thanksgiving in 1946. Steinman captured the photos with a small Kodak camera and a pair of binoculars, he said.

“We’re very excited about this donation because we have had an exhibit on the Stolt Dagali, and this life jacket is a major addition to it,” said Jim Vogel, executive director of the museum. “It is something there will be no more of; it is extremely rare, and I doubt that we’ll ever come across a new one.

“The pictures are certainly one of a kind because they were taken as it occurred,” he added.

A seaman apprentice with the U.S. Coast Guard cutterCape Strait for just three months at the time, Steinman recalls arriving on scene, searching for survivors and wreckage.

“There was a lot of fat or tallow floating that had congealed because of the cold water, with bits of wood and paper,” he remembered.

When he spotted the life jacket, he initially thought it belonged to a deceased crewmember floating in the water.

“It did make me think of the crew that did not make it, and I wondered who it was close to at the time,” he said.

Nineteen crew members died as a result of the crash. The tanker’s stern sank almost immediately, settling 15 miles east of Belmar in 130 feet of water with the bulk rising to within 65 feet of the surface.

After the crash, the bow remained afloat, providing a temporary haven for Capt. Kristian Bendiksen and 10 of his men. Steinman was part of the rescue crew that helped escort the bow section to Gravesend Bay in New York.

“I only had a small Kodak 127 camera that I had gotten as a birthday gift in October, just in case that special picture would happen,” Steinman recalled. “We had to stay a certain distance away from the bow, and circled it several times in an hour, doing this for eight hours and being relieved by another Coast Guard unit. So I used a pair of 7-50 power binoculars, put the camera against the lens and hoped it would work, and it did somewhat.”

A few days later, Steinman also acquired the life jacket he had picked up since “it had no evidence value,” he said. He kept it for 51 years before finally donating it to the Maritime Museum, after reading about its Stolt Dagali exhibit, which, in 2009, received the tanker’s stern auxiliary anchor after it was recovered in June 2009 by Captains Maureen and Stephen Langewin.

Steinmen has also donated an original news article of the crash, which his parents saved. He hopes to see his mementos in the fall, when he plans to visit his brother and sister-in-law in Barnegat Light.

The Maritime Museum also recently acquired the last 49 Sinbad stuffed animals in existence, which are now on display and for sale. Copies of the original 1946 news reel regarding the pooch are also now available for viewing and purchase.

Sinbad, a mixed-breed dog who served during World War II on the Coast Guard cutterCampbell for 11 years before retiring in September 1948, was an official member of the crew complete with all the necessary enlistment forms and other official paperwork and uniforms. He even had his own bunk.

The pup became an international celebrity after his biography, Sinbad of the Coast Guard, was published by Dodd, Mead and Co. of New York during the war.

The pup was well known for consuming beer in waterfront bars around the world, including Kubel’s on Seventh Street in Barnegat Light.

He earned the respect and affection of his shipmates during one famous battle, when theCampbell fought it out with the Nazi submarine U-606. The cutter was severely damaged during the fight, and the commanding officer ordered all but essential personnel off the ship. They transferred to a nearby destroyer, but Sinbad and a few others stayed aboard while the cutter was towed to safety.

Sinbad wore his extensive collection of service ribbons and awards around his collar. He earned each of the five ribbons he wore, just like his shipmates.

After passing away in December 1951, Sinbad was buried at the base of the flagpole of the now-decommissioned Barnegat Light station, which now houses borough hall on Seventh Street. His remains were later moved to the grounds of the current station.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Fishermen’s Energy loses appeal, goes to NJ Supreme Court

Last week, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court ruled against Fishermen’s Energy in its claim that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities wrongly denied approval of its wind power project off the coast of Atlantic City. On Friday, Chris Wissemann, chief executive officer of Fishermen’s Energy, said in a press release, “We are disappointed by this decision. The project meets the spirit and letter of the Offshore Wind Development Act, bringing jobs and investment into the state and improving the environment.”

Paul Gallagher, chief operating officer of Fishermen’s Energy, stated, “While we will review the opinion carefully over the next few days, it is our intention to bring an appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

The Appellate Court’s decision upholds the Board of Public Utilities’ denial of the company’s essential OREC (Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credits) application in March 2014.

The NJBPU based its rejection of Fishermen’s Energy Windfarm when it determined the cost of supplying the wind power would adversely impact consumers, a charge the energy company denies.

A month after the BPU’s rejection, in May 2014, Fishermen’s Energy was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy as the only New Jersey wind energy project and one of three projects nationally to receive up to $46.7 million of funding over four years to accelerate the commercialization of innovative offshore wind technologies in the United States.

Fishermen’s Energy had hoped this additional funding and sign of confidence by the federal government would have an effect on its appeal to Superior Court.

In 2010, the New Jersey Legislature approved the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act and instructed the BPU to develop offshore wind renewable energy credits that would function like solar energy credits and would make financial assistance and tax credits for existing businesses that construct, manufacture, assemble and support the development of qualified offshore wind projects. When Gov. Chris Christie signed it into law, he said his administration was committed to making New Jersey a national leader in wind power, and state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin noted, “We would rather have wind turbines and the economic benefits they offer, than oil rigs off the Coast of New Jersey.”

Fishermen’s Energy LLC was founded in 2005 by a group of commercial fishermen with the goal to develop the ocean for clean, renewable wind energy that would not impact the fishing industry. The consortium includes Viking Village in Barnegat Light; Daniel Cohen, chief executive officer of Atlantic Cape Fisheries; Cold Spring Fish and Supply Co. of Cape May; Dock Street Seafood of Wildwood; Eastern Shore Seafood of Mappsville, Va.; plus other investors.

Fishermen’s Energy is trying to finalize construction planning, fabrication, and deployment of a demonstration wind farm of five turbines 2.8 miles off Atlantic City, potentially the first offshore wind farm in America. They had hoped operation of the turbines would be completed by 2016.

According to the consortium’s publicity, the 25-megawatt wind farm would generate enough electricity to power 10,000 homes; the cost of implementing the project would be less than a dollar a year for the average consumer, and ratepayers would be isolated from construction cost risk, performance risk and decommissioning risk.

Building and placing the five turbines would also provide 200 direct construction jobs and 500 total jobs.

Oddly, in 2009, the consortium received a $4 million grant from the N.J. Board of Public Utilities to develop the technology for two pilot wind turbines. The group was one of five companies applying for state grants to build upward of 200 windmills within 20 miles of the New Jersey shore.  PSE&G (Public Services Enterprise Group Inc., the state’s largest utility) was also awarded a $4 million grant. Both companies received 10 percent up front to help with developing plans studies and getting permits with the rest to be awarded after construction.

If the pilot program was successful, the second phase of the wind farm would include 65 five-megawatt turbines in federal waters at a cost of $1.5 billion.

“Offshore wind holds great promise for New Jersey,” Wissemann said in 2014. “We just need the BPU to honor the intent of the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act and take action to approve this project. Just as Iowa has become the center for jobs for the on-shore wind industry, approval of the Fishermen’s Energy project – instead of rejection – can be the first step in making New Jersey the center of the new American offshore wind industry.”

For more information, visit fishermensenergy.com.

Reposted from The Sandpaper


Research vessel moving to Rutgers’ seismic survey site

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The R/V Marcus G. Langseth is currently on its way to the site of a seismic study, approximately 15 to 50 miles southeast of Barnegat Inlet. The project, led by scientists from Rutgers University and the University of Texas at Austin, will examine the geologic record of sea level change and effect on shoreline stability.

“We’ve been funded by the National Science Foundation to start our survey as soon as we are ready, and to continue for 36 days or until our 12 km by 50 km survey grid has been examined with acoustic profiling,” Gregory Mountain, professor of earth and planetary science at Rutgers, said Monday. Mountain is also adjunct senior research scientist for the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which operates the research vessel.

Many along the coast oppose the study – originally slated to take place last summer, but postponed after the Langseth experienced equipment problems – because of concern over the seismic airguns’ potential effect on sea life and fisheries commerce. The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection legally challenged the project last year, but was unsuccessful, as the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied the DEP’s request to stop the venture.

Last month, after the National Marine Fisheries Service granted an Incidental Harassment Authorization, allowing the project to move forward, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.-6th) and Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) were among those voicing disapproval. “As the New Jersey coastal economy continues to rebound from the effects of Superstorm Sandy, our fisheries cannot afford to take a hit this summer,” the legislators said in a joint statement.

Nonprofit Clean Ocean Action, which has fought the study all along, was also disappointed by the IHA, issued “despite loud opposition from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, federal and state elected officials, fishermen, community members and concerned citizens,” said COA’s Nicole Dallara. COA is still calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to stop the project as the Langsethapproaches the survey location.

On board the ship, Mountain noted, “The technical and scientific staff is rested and ready to begin a challenging and scientifically bold documentation of Earth history. With the help of the highly experienced crew of the R/V Langseth we all hope that results will benefit scientists, planners and residents along the Jersey Shore and other coastlines of our planet at risk due to rising sea level.

“The five protected species observers are ready to begin their 36 days of monitoring for any unintended disturbance to protected marine life,” he added.

As explained online at nmfs.noaa.gov, “The primary purpose of a PSO is to reduce the potential for injury or harassment to protected species by ensuring mitigation and monitoring requirements are followed during industry activities, and to monitor any take of protected species. … Current PSO measures generally call for monitoring of species presence and behavior within defined zones of influence, the implementation of specific mitigation requirements and protocols during the activity, and data recording on species and the specified activity.”

More information on the seismic project is available at http://eps.rutgers.edu/slin3d-home.

Track the R/V Marcus G. Langseth at marinetraffic.com.

Reposted from The Sandpaper