SBB and several other groups launched an effort to get the excess nitrogen out of Barnegat Bay. Get some background on the nitrogen problem. View photos of our Lavallette press conference here
Clean Ocean Action
Ocean County Sierra Club
Save Barnegat Bay
Sedge Island Natural Resources Education Center
June 1, 2007
Tim Dillingham (ALS) 732-291-0055
Cindy Zipf (COA) 732-872-0111
Greg Auriemma (OCSC) 732-451-9220
Willie deCamp, Jen O’Reilly (SBB) 732-830-3600
Helen Henderson (SBB) 908-278-9807
Jim Merritt (SINREC) 609-658-7965
Groups Kick Off Campaign
To Reduce Nitrogen Pollution in Barnegat Bay
A coalition of environmental groups has launched the Nitrogen Pollution Action Project, a campaign to free Barnegat Bay from the excess nitrogen that scientists say is radically altering the ecology of Barnegat Bay and coastal estuaries nationally.
Most of the bay’s environmental problems, including possibly the prevalence of stinging sea nettles, result from this excess. (See backgrounder release on causes and effects of nitrogen in the bay.)
Representatives from five of the groups outlined their plans to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the bay, at least half of which flows off the land surfaces of Ocean County. The groups aim to solve this problem with projects that will fall into three broad categories:
– Educating the public and elected officials;
– Holding individuals, businesses and government accountable; and
– Encouraging changes in public policy.
“We will create pledges for homeowners, businesses, and towns so that they can promise to adhere to practices that minimize the use of the fertilizer that gets into the Bay,” said Helen Henderson, Project Manager for Save Barnegat Bay.
Proper management of storm water will also be a focus of the group. “Controlling what washes off the land at homes, businesses, and at the end of the pipe is now mandatory by state regulation,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “Each town must develop a stormwater management plan. Herein lies the remedy that will help cure Barnegat Bay.”
“We look forward to rallying citizens to ensure stormwater management plans are directed at controlling the problems affecting Barnegat Bay,” commented Zipf.
Greg Auriemma, Ocean County Chair of the Sierra Club, stressed the need for reducing additional development, citing Jackson Township as an example. “There is no way we can restore the health of Barnegat Bay if the current rate of development in Ocean County is not curtailed.”
The Sierra Club recently submitted to Jackson officials a list of ten policy tools that can be used to limit development, including stream corridor buffers, transfer of development rights, and rezoning to lower density.
Other groups participating in the informal coalition are the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program, Re-Clam the Bay, NJ Peer, the Bay Head Environmental Commission, the Mantoloking Environmental Commission, and the Friends of Island Beach State Park.