After THIRTY-FOUR YEARS of effort, Save Barnegat Bay joined with Brick Township, Ocean County, the NJDEP Green Acres Program to announce acquisition of Traders Cove in Brick Township as a PARK!
– Read about it in the Asbury Park Press
– Read about it in the Observer.
906-B Grand Central Avenue, Rt. 35 North
Lavallette, NJ 08735
August 22, 2005
Contact: William deCamp Jr.
Thirty-four year effort by Save Barnegat Bay
Today’s announcement by the Township of Brick, the County of Ocean, the State of New Jersey, Paramount Homes, and Save Barnegat Bay that the Traders Cove site in Brick will be purchased for a public park caps a successful thirty-four year battle by Save Barnegat Bay to protect Traders Cove and its surrounds.
Save Barnegat Bay was founded in 1971 as the Ocean County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America with the purpose of protecting Ocean County’s natural resources and with an express focus on the land surrounding the Traders Cove site, according to its president, William deCamp Jr.
DeCamp added that he personally has been active in opposing proposals to develop the site since August 1985. “Some of the most meaningful friendships of my life were made battling development proposals at Traders Cove, and many of those friends have since died of old age,” deCamp said.
“We are extremely grateful to the leadership of the several levels of government involved here today for their participation a project that we believe will be of enormous benefit to this and future generations,” said deCamp.
Among the honor roll of deceased persons essential in preventing development on and around Traders Cove, deCamp cited:
– Charles Hetfield, first president and founder of the Ocean Izaak Walton League, which is now known as “Save Barnegat Bay”
– Chuck Schroth, formerly of Brick Township and active in the Congress of Concerned Citizens of Brick,
– David Oxenford, a retired teacher who resided in Brick and an historian of Ocean County,
– William Jenks, a bayman and Brick resident,
– Jack Cissel, a past Vice President of Save Barnegat Bay instrumental in strengthening the organization,
– Robert Weldon, Thomas Fenton, William Koar, and Carl Menger, all formerly of Mantoloking and active in protecting the area north of Traders Cove now known as the “F lagoons”.
“The most important person of all,” said deCamp, “was the late Evan R. Spalt, of Bay Head, who during the 1980’s and 1990’s successfully led the effort against 134 condominiums, a restaurant, and an expanded marina onsite under the name ‘Pelican Cove'”. Mr. Spalt died in March 2000 at the age of ninety.
“Everything you need to know about battling overdevelopment I learned by following Evan around like a mother duck,” said deCamp, “except that Evan was unfortunately unable to transmit to me his substantial powers of diplomacy.”
Other individuals instrumental in preventing overdevelopment of this and other sites were Nancy Heidt, then-president of the Ocean County Izaak Walton League, and Jean Schroth, founder of the Congress of Concerned Citizens of Brick. Mrs. Schroth was a successful champion of lower density zoning along Brick’s waterfront and of numerous other civic improvements, including the Princeton Avenue Bike Trail. Mrs. Heidt and Mrs. Schroth presently live in retirement in Wall Township, NJ and Fort Myers, FL respectively.
A concept plan depicting the many types of public use appropriate for Traders Cove was created by Save Barnegat Bay Associate Executive Director Jennifer O’Reilly and may be observed here. Further background on the Traders Cove controversy may be found at Save Barnegat Bay’s website www.savebarnegatbay.org, including the early history of the Save Barnegat Bay, which is reviewed here.
“Thirty-seven years is quite some time,” said deCamp. “By comparison the Peloponnesian War between the Greek city states of Athens and Sparta lasted just twenty-seven years, from 431 to 404 BC.”
“That controversy ended with a victory by the Spartans, but, thanks to the court-mediated settlement, Traders Cove should work out as a victory for everybody,” said deCamp.
Save Barnegat Bay is a not-for-profit grassroots environmental group open to the public and relies on support from over 1,500 families each year.