The Jersey Shore Chapter has started a Ocean Illness campaign to document cases where local surfers and swimmers have become ill after surfing or swimming in the ocean. We are collecting data on any and all cases of people getting sick from the ocean. If you believe dirty water made you sick, please fill out our NJ Ocean Illness Form. We will use this information to make our state and local officials aware of this issue and work towards a solution. By sharing this information on you’ll be helping our Chapter take the first step in this important campaign.
NY Times – Gains, and Losses, Along the Shore
By COLEEN DEE BERRY
Published: March 6, 2009
A FEW days after the Army Corps of Engineers finished its beach replenishment project last month along the shore here, Andrew Mencinsky put on his wet suit and went surfing.
Mr. Mencinsky, the executive director of Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, was braced for bad news. Beach replenishment projects on the Jersey Shore in the past have destroyed good surfing conditions, in the opinion of many local surfers, because the newly added sand has altered the way the waves hit the beach. But this latest replenishment project, he said, left him “pleasantly surprised.”
This time, the Corps of Engineers had consulted with surfers and worked to repair erosion while maintaining a surfer-friendly beach. Though the $9.3 million project ultimately was less than advocates hoped for, Mr. Mencinsky said, “this project definitely represents a first step forward in changing how beach nourishment is done.”
“When they first did beach replenishment back in the 1990s, they destroyed every good surfing beach in northern Monmouth County for years,” said Rich Lee, a Long Branch resident and member of both the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance and the Surfrider Foundation, another surfing and environmental advocacy group. “This project’s far from perfect, but we got maybe 60 percent of what we wanted.”
Protecting our ocean from LNG!
Advocates: ‘We want to protect our ocean’ Pallone says LNG proposal is wrong energy policy
BY JAMIE ROMM Staff Writer – Independent – February 5, 2009
Ocean advocates used a public hearing on a proposal to build an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility to rally opposition to a project they have dubbed “Insanity Island.”
“Just remember, everyone, that the corporations whose projects, products and byproducts can result in permanent damage to ecosystems and health problems of thousands perhaps are portraying themselves as our friends who are lowering your rates for natural gas,” said Richard Lee, board director of the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, Jersey Shore chapter.
“Well, those of us who take nonviolent actions to oppose these projects are known as ecoterrorists, but we are not. We want to protect our ocean; it’s not their ocean.”
Wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan “Stop the Insanity” and chanting “No LNG,” Lee and other environmentalists weighed in at a public hearing held by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) on Jan. 27, as the agencies began the scoping process for an environmental impact statement as part of the official review of Atlantic Sea Island Group’s (ASIG) proposal to build an LNG facility 19 miles off the coast of New Jersey.
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Waves of thanks and CONGRATULATIONS to all for a remarkable turnout at the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) public hearing in Eatontown, NJ, held by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration!
Well over 500 friends of the ocean attended the hearing to blast the proposal to build a massive island that would bring us an unwanted, unneeded, foreign fossil fuel… LNG. You spread the word far and wide, and proved, once again, that grassroots organizing and the power of the people rule!
Over 440 chairs were packed, so students, parents, fishermen, surfers, divers, concerned citizens, and business leaders sat on the floor or stood three deep in the back. People came and went throughout the hearing.
Only a few elected leaders attended or sent representatives. In a statement read by staff, US Representative Frank Pallone (D-6) strongly opposed the island and LNG and requested an extension to the comment period. Monmouth County Freeholder John D’Amico and Town Council members Dina Long of Sea Bright and D’Arcy Green of Bay Head spoke-out opposed. Also attending in support of us were Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet and a staff member from US Representative Rush Holt’s (D-12) office. A meager showing, at best, of our elected officials, so be sure to contact your elected officials and tell them to KEEP US FREE FROM LNG!
Nearly 100 folks testified, and all but two flat-out opposed the project and LNG. One of the most compelling statements was made by 9-year-old Peter John Donnelly who said, “The Coast Guard’s job is to protect our waters. I look to you for leadership. How can you ever think of approving this disaster? Our President said we would find clean power through wind and sun-not LNG. It’s Un-American. It’s time we think about the future, not just the now. The world already has put a lot on our shoulders…please don’t add any more.”
Call to action:
– Make sure your comments get on the record. If you were unable to testify last night or would like to add to your remarks, submit them online, by fax, or by mail by February 9, 2009 (include Docket number USCG-2007-28535, your name and address):
/Fax: 202-493-2251 (confirm receipt by telephone at 202- 366-9329)
/Mail: Department of Transportation, Docket Management Facility, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
– E-mail Governor Corzine-tell him: NO LNG: Keep Us Free from LNG!http://www.state.nj.us/governor/govmail.html
– Sign the petition against Insanity Island and LNG at:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/689151878.
Sign up for the cause on Facebook at: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/193079?m=cc366e79
By DONNA WEAVER, Staff Writer
Published: Press of Atlantic City, Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The beach replenishment project that went awry in Surf City in 2006 has prompted the Jersey Shore Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Surfrider Foundation will be in federal court Thursday arguing for a preliminary injunction to stop replenishment on Long Branch beaches for fear of contaminated sand being pumped in off the coast.
The Surfrider Foundation filed a lawsuit a few weeks ago citing concerns that sand the corps will pump in from a site several miles off Sea Bright could be contaminated. More than 1,200 World War I-era military munitions were pumped ashore during the Surf City beach replenishment project. A cleanup of the beaches will cost $17 million, the corps has said.
The Surfrider Foundation is seeking a full battery of testing before the material is placed on the beach. If the tests show any contamination, the chapter wants the Army Corps to choose a different borrow area and thoroughly test there as well.
In the lawsuit, the Surfrider Foundation said a borrow site the corps will use for the Long Branch project is closed to shellfishing due to fecal coliform levels. Several miles farther east was the largest offshore sewage sludge dump site in the country, where sewage sludge was dumped for decades, according to John Weber, northeast regional manager of the Surfrider Foundation.
“All of this concerns us and makes us think the material should be tested,” said Surfrider volunteer Brian Lynch. “We are not saying this material is definitely contaminated. We just think it should be tested so we can know it is safe. Look what happened on Long Beach Island.”
After munitions were pumped ashore in Surf City, the Surfrider Foundation said the corps clearly doesn’t always know what is in the areas from which it takes sand.
“As a result, we got World War I munitions pumped onto the beach, closing beaches and leaving taxpayers with $17 million cleanup bill,” Lynch said.
Before a cleanup of this magnitude happens in Long Branch, the Surfrider Foundation said, the corps should test the sand for contamination.
“I think most people will be surprised to learn this sand is never tested for any chemical contaminants at all, and it is not tested for fecal bacteria or anything like that,” said Stephanie Rinaldi, chairwoman of the Surfrider chapter. “People, especially kids, come into close contact with sand on beaches, so we need to know it is clean.”
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