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Coastal Conservation Action Plan

Ocean City Solidifies its Commitment to the Environment by creating an action plan that emphasizes alternative energy use while reducing cost to the taxpayer

City’s Commitment:
Mayor Sal Perillo has become the first Mayor in Cape May County to sign the United States Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement.  This was done with the cooperation of City Council and the Administration that encourage the development of an action plan that has as its goal the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while controlling cost to the taxpayer.

Solar Energy:
The City expects to take the lead on a solar project with the potential to provide 1.3 Mw of power for four municipal buildings and all three schools located within the City.  The City and School District could see the potential savings of $100,000.00 in the first year with no cost to the taxpayer by using private partnerships, grants and rebates.
 
Hybrids and Biodiesel Fuel:
The City has already purchased two Hybrid vehicles and will encourage each department to look first at alternative vehicles when applicable.
Biodiesel fuel is made with portions of soybean oil and is available at a reduced rate due to rebates by the State’s Board of Public Utilities.

Parks and Bikeways:
The City will encourage the use of Recycled products and the expansion of Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM) program at various parks. 
Grant opportunities will be researched and application made for new bike and pedestrian ways throughout the city to help reduce traffic congestion and promote healthy living.
 
Greening of City Buildings:
All city departments have been encouraged to educate their staff to help reduce electrical consumption by 10% by recycling and conservation.
The City will look to retrofit old buildings with compact fluorescent bulbs. LED signage, thermostat controls, aerators, motion detectors, Energy Star Appliances and working towards a paperless office.

Outdoor Greening:
The City will work with other agencies in retrofitting traffic signals with LED lenses, public lighting, and using solar signs.
The Shade Tree Commission will continue to work with the City on tree plantings and tracking species.
Volunteers will work with the City on Beach and Bay service projects that will not only enhance the beauty on the barrier island but also promote its unspoiled natural resource.

Recycling:
A renewed campaign to help educated the public on the importance and the proper way to recycle has commenced.  By using outreach programs in the school and in the public, taxpayers will understand not only the environmental benefits but also the way it helps to control this budgetary expenditure.

Mayor Sal Perillo has created an Environmental Commission to help apply for grant funding and coordinated projects on behalf of the City.


What You Can Do:

To conserve energy and help with your community: 
Visit www.njcleanenergy.com for up to date listings of rebates.
Visit http://www.epa.gov/epahome/athome.htm for ways to retrofit your home and other conservation ideas.
Help spread the word on the importance of recycling to you neighbors and guest.
Sign up with the Mayor’s Commission on Volunteers to help with beach sweeps and other community service projects.

Adopt A Beach

General Information

The City of Ocean City coordinates an Adopt-A-Beach program that annually provides an opportunity for volunteers to participate in maintaining the beauty of the community's most treasured natural resource, the beach. The Adopt-A-Beach program is an educational project of the City's

Environmental Commission, aiming to bring about watershed awareness by allowing participants to see how pollution on personal property and in the streess ends up on the beach and in the ocean. Ultimately, by cleaning the beach, the participants should gain an understanding that a minor act in a confined area can have a greater impact on a much larger scale.

When pollution comes from a wide variety of sources that cannot be pointed to, it is called non-point source pollution, and it is one of the greatest threats to our coastal resources. During the clean-up events of this program, data are collected that may be used to help identify ways to stop beach and ocean pollution.

Program Details


Adopting a beach is simple, only takes a few hours of your time per year and is very flexible. "Adopters" commit to cleaning the beach of their choice (based on availability) in Ocean City as often as possible from April to November. "Adopters" will be required to hand in at least one data card from either the Spring or Fall Beach Sweep events that are two special days scheduled annually in coordination with Clean Ocean Action's Beach Sweeps. At these events, the general public is also invited to help participate in cleaning the beach.
Sign-up for the Program:
Step One: First you need to select the beach area you wish to adopt. To see
available locations, click here.

If you do not find your favorite beach location, then it has already been selected for the year. Areas are available on a first request basis. Once you have completed the online registration click on "Print and Call" to check out. Please note that there are no fees associated with the Adopt-A-Beach program.
If you experience any difficulty with registration please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 609-525-9290.
Step Two: Once a location has been selected, return to this webpage to download the documents that will need to be signed and returned to:


City of Ocean City, Division of Economic Programs
City Volunteer Coordinator
861 Asbury Ave., Room 214
Ocean City, NJ 08226

Download the necessary documents by clicking on the names below.

The Adopt-A-Beach Pledge Form
Adult Volunteer Waiver and Release of Claims
Child Volunteer Waiver and Release of Claims (for under 18)

The City of Ocean City facilitates the Adopt-A-Beach program through the Environmental Commission by providing all supplies and training for volunteers to carry out the beach clean-ups in coordination with Clean Ocean Action's Beach Sweeps. A free educational presentation by the City's volunteer coordinator is available upon request. This presentation will cover a range of topics from understanding the consequences of litter and storm water pollution to the importance of collecting vital information for the provided data cards.

Volunteer as a Beach Captain

Beach Captains set-up and hand out supplies at the cleanup location, talk with participants about the causes and consequences of ocean pollution, give a beach safety speech, and provide participants with instructions for cleaning the beach. 

Volunteer captains are needed regularly for the Clean Ocean Action's Beach Sweeps in the spring and fall. Captains can also assist with dune grass planting projects and other projects.

To become a Beach Captain or if you have any questions, please contact the City's Volunteer Coordinator.


Be Prepared

The City of Ocean City wants participants to be as comfortable and safe as possible for their cleanup events! The guidelines below will help to prepare for a fun and enjoyable experience.

Safety first!

- Don't take any risk that can get you or anyone else hurt. (Ask questions)

General Comfort

- Please wear comfortable clothes that can get wet or a little sandy. Dress warmly and in layers.
- Contact the Volunteer Coordinator to see if restroom facilities are available.
- Be prepared for foggy or sunny weather. Remember it is always cooler on the beach than inland.
We suggest...

- Long pants that can be rolled up, or shorts for hot weather. An extra pair of pants is a good idea.
- T-shirt and a sweater or sweatshirt.
- Closed-toed shoes that can get wet or sandy. Water shoes or an old pair of tennis shoes for cleaning along the water's edge.
- Sun protection: a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
- Liquids (juice, water).
- Snacks and/or lunch.
Bringing your lunch?

- Make it environmentally friendly!
- Minimize the packaging.
- Place trash in city trash cans.

Cleanup Guidelines

What is Recyclable?

- Yes: Glass, aluminum cans, tin cans, plastic drinking bottles.
- No: Paper, plastic wrappers, Styrofoam, dirty items.

What NOT to pick up

- Dangerous items: Do not touch syringes, needles, any sharp objects, condoms, tampons, waste materials, weapons, heavy items, or anything of which you are not sure. Mark the area and notify the Beach Captain, City Volunteer Coordinator or a lifeguard. When in doubt, don't touch it.

- Natural items: Natural items (such as algae, kelp, driftwood, shells, etc.) are part of the ecosystem that the volunteers are working to restore and should be left alone. Please avoid disturbing plants, animals and fragile dune areas.

Data Cards

You may feel that recording data takes away from collecting trash. However, by collecting data, volunteers can help identify the sources of pollution and work toward developing permanent solutions. The information volunteers collect on the data cards is being shared by Clean Ocean Action, the City of Ocean City, and the Ocean City Environmental Commission.

When filling out cards, tally items in groups of five. At the end of the cleanup, record the total in the boxes for each category.

Do not write words such as "Lots" or "Many." Only numbers of items can be used. When finished cleaning the designated area, place trash bags and recyclables in street ends and notify the Volunteer Coordinator in order for the City to arrange for collection of bags.

It is important to mail or drop off data cards to:

City of Ocean City, Division of Economic Programs
City Volunteer Coordinator
861 Asbury Ave., Room 214
Ocean City, NJ 08226
Ocean City wants to thank all volunteers for their support

Biodiesel

The City of Ocean City will soon begin purchasing biodiesel for use in City vehicles with diesel engines when applicable.  Traditional diesel fuel causes significant pollution that is both harmful to the environment and public health.  Diesel exhaust emits fine particles called soot and various toxic gases that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers one of the greatest public health risks of all air pollutants. 

Biodiesel fuel is most often used as a blend with pure diesel and as such does not require alteration of diesel engines.  A common biodiesel blend is 20% biodiesel or B20 and its use results in substantial reductions of unburned hydrocarbons (-20%), carbon monoxide (-12%), and particulate matter (-12%) when compared to traditional diesel emissions.  

Biodiesel fuel is made from vegetable oils and sometimes other fats such as used grease or even animal fats.  Ocean City will be using B20 with biodiesel made from soybeans. 

Ecotourism

Bring your binoculars and your camera to enjoy Ocean City’s beautiful natural vistas and the wildlife that also love this beautiful barrier island. Seize the opportunity to experience why the New Jersey coastal region is a popular destination for wildlife viewing. As a stop along the Atlantic Flyway, Ocean City’s birding sites offer spectacular views of dozens of resident and migrating species including shore birds, wading birds, and waterfowl. Marine mammals such as dolphin, seals, otters, and whales can be observed from beach areas. Protected species such as the osprey, piping plover, black skimmer, least tern, and northern diamondback terrapin can be found nesting in our beach and marsh habitats

Ocean City has several locations especially suitable for wildlife viewing: Corson’s Inlet State Park, Howard Stainton Wildlife Refuge, Cape May Coastal Wetlands Wildlife Management Area, and, of course, 7 miles of beautiful beaches. Ocean City’s open water Peck Bay, Great Egg Harbor Bay, and adjacent saltmarsh habitat environment supports a variety of plant and animal life. Ocean City is located within the world famous birding region of the Cape May peninsula, between Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and Cape May Point.

Cape May Coastal Wetlands Wildlife Management Area

Corson’s Inlet State Park, Strathmere Natural Area, and the Cape May Coastal Wetlands Wildlife Management Area, are located at the south end of the island, and are managed by NJDEP. Corson’s Inlet State Park encompasses both beachfront and inlet access, with a parking lot and boat launch off of Ocean Drive by the Rush Chattin Bridge. The Strathmere Natural Area is an area of undeveloped beachfront and undisturbed sand dunes. The Cape May Coastal Wetlands Wildlife Management Area is passively managed and contains ecologically sensitive tidal salt meadows and marshes, interspersed with shallow coves and bays. These areas are important for their breeding populations of osprey, American oystercatcher, least tern, black skimmer and peregrine falcon. This estuary complex provides seasonal or year-round habitat for marine and freshwater fish and shellfish, nesting and migratory waterbirds and raptors, migratory and wintering waterfowl, and rare brackish and freshwater tidal communities and plants.

Birding, boating, sun bathing, photography, hiking, and biking are seasonal activities available here. Guided beach walks occur twice each week during the months of July and August. Migrations of dolphins, ducks, geese, and monarch butterflies also pass through this area every year.

Corson’s Inlet State Park is a destination on the NJ Coastal Heritage Trail. Further information about the Trail’s route can be found at:

http://www.nps.gov/neje/planyourvisit/abseconandcapemayregiondestinations.htm

Bayside Center

Located at 520 Bay Avenue, The Bayside Center is an activities and education facility dedicated to the environmental and cultural aspects of Ocean City’s bayfront. Along with great views of the bay, the multi-use building houses environmental displays, a lifeguard museum, a collection of ship models constructed by Stephen Hutsko, a collection of to-scale models of historic Ocean City buildings created by former local resident Al Burch, and several meeting spaces. The grounds host summer environmental camps and free summer evening nature programs. The docks allow bay access to the public on a year-round basis for fishing and crabbing. Kayakers may use the slips to launch or dock on a short-term basis. Be sure to stop in to observe nesting osprey on the new OspreyCam, installed in conjunction with the Wetlands Institute.To contact the Bayside Center please call 609-525-9244 (summer) or 609-525-9301 (winter).

Ocean City Beachwalk

Join our naturalist guides as they lead walks in July and August along our beautiful beaches. Explore the southern and northern ends of our island while learning about the plant and animal life of the Atlantic coast.

South End Location
59 th Street & Central Avenue
(Entrance to Corson’s Inlet State Park)
Tuesday 9:00 AM
Wednesday 6:30 PM

North End Location
Ocean City / Longport Bridge
Parking Lot ( Gardens Parkway)
Tuesday 6:30 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM

Tickets may be purchased on-site. Adults $1.00 Children $.50.

Howard Stainton Wildlife Refuge

Howard S. Stainton Wildlife Refuge is located on Bay Avenue between 23 rd and 30 th Streets. The acreage of this property is about 16 acres. This refuge supports waterfowl and marshland birds that can be easily observed from the viewing platform. Daytime parking for personal vehicles can be found at the Ocean City Airport at 26 th and Bay Avenue.  

Kayaking  

Kayaking is a terrific way to explore the natural areas of Ocean City that may not be accessible by land. Always be sure to follow these safety rules:

  • • Lifejackets should be worn at all times.
  • • Always carry drinking water and sunscreen.
  • • Some areas may be unnavigable due to changes in tides and wind. Always check a tide chart, and don’t paddle into shallow areas when the tide is going out.
  • • Beware of strong currents, especially near inlets.
  • • Be aware of power boat traffic, especially near boat ramps and in the Intercoastal Waterway. In high traffic areas, stay out of the center of the channel, and try to stay close to other paddlers for maximum visibility.
  • • Do not disturb or feed wildlife. Maintain a respectful distance from nesting birds.
  • • Many marsh creeks are dead ends. Be sure to leave room to turn around.
  • • Keep an eye on landmarks. It’s easy to get lost in the twisting backbay creeks, so use references like watertowers and bridges to help you find your way.
  • • Give a float plan to someone on shore. They should know where you’re going and what time you expect to return.

Safety Checklist courtesy of The Wetlands Institute’s Jersey Island Blueway Map

Ocean City launching areas: Tennessee Avenue Municipal Ramp off of Bay Ave, 34 th St, Municipal Ramp underneath bridge, 51 st St Railroad Bridge at end of dirt road, Corson’s Inlet St Park Ramp in state park next to bridge.

The New Jersey Island Blueway map provides a comprehensive guide to Cape May County's back bays, marshes, creeks and channels. The map covers Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Corson's Inlet, Townsend's Inlet, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Hereford Inlet, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and Cape May. The map also has symbols that designate points of interest, areas of heavy boat traffic, launching ramps and safety tips. Maps are on sale for $2 each at Bay Cats in Ocean City.

Kayak Rentals and Nature Tours

Bay Cats

316 Bay Avenue
Ocean City , NJ
(609) 391-7960

http://www.baycats.com

Ocean City Water Sports
109 34th St
Ocean City, NJ 08226
(609) 391-8700

The Wetlands Institute

1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard , Stone Harbor, 609-368-1211. www. wetlandsinstitute.org

The Wetlands Institute is partnering with Ocean City to provide enhanced environmental programming and displays at the Bayside Center. Since 1969, The Wetlands Institute has been teaching visitors about coastal ecosystems. The kids will get a kick out of the Terrapin Station, which shows why there are "turtle-crossing" signs all along the causeway into Stone Harbor, and why The Wetlands Institute works to save these creatures that are so important to the wetlands. Everyone will enjoy bird-watching from the observation tower. It's one of the best spots around to watch the species that touch down at the Shore during the summer.

Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area

The Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area is just north of the Ocean City – Longport Bridge and provides a great area for fishing, hiking, or walking a dog. The area was recently restored to its natural state with the planting of marsh grasses, bayberry and birch, juniper and oak trees. The scrubs and trees provide a natural barrier to protect coastal birds and to attract songbirds to the park. The fishing pier is a popular spot to catch tautog, bluefish and kingfish.

Energy Conservation

Goal: To ultimately reduce energy consumption between 5% and 10% in all City departments. The program will begin with a pilot program for City Hall and then the energy conservation strategies will be implemented in all City-owned buildings.

The program uses a two-phase approach:

Phase 1

a. Public Education and Behavior Modification: This effort will help gain employee support and encourage employee creativity. Instead of mandated guidelines or directives, employees will refer to a user-friendly energy checklist. This initial encouragement will be followed by incentives and rewards for employees who offer solid energy-impacting ideas.
b. Energy Usage Monitoring: City utility bills will be reviewed monthly and compared to historic figures. This comparison will allow for the City to take corrective action, improve billing accuracy, and measure the impact of conservation steps.
c. Building Maintenance and HVAC Operational Modifications:

Building Checklist

1. Replace all conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
2. Replace fluorescent exit signs with LED exit signs.
3. Install aerators on all faucets to reduce water output.
4. Purchase only energy star equipment and appliances.
5. Install motion detectors to activate lights in public restrooms.
6. Install thermostat control devices.
7. Place solid item (brick) in toilet holding tank.
8. Install or replace weather striping and door moldings.
9. Set sleep mode for all computer monitors.
10. Set sleep mode for copiers.

Phase 2

a. Energy –Performance Contracts: These agreements will improve the energy efficiency of City buildings by way of system overhauls and retrofits. These contracts are also dollar-wise because the City's payment to the vendors is directly linked to the guaranteed cost savings of the system improvement. In essence, reductions in energy costs will be used to cover the costs of energy-related building improvements. Therefore, the City receives a better functioning system without having to commit any additional funds.

In an effort to enhance workplace atmosphere and reduce the energy consumption of municipal office buildings that have suffered from years of deferred maintenance, the City has engaged private firms to begin a careful review of the energy systems in the City's principal downtown buildings. This review will likely generate several comprehensive proposals for how the City can upgrade its energy systems; each plan will be predicated on the understanding that any contracted improvement, namely retrofits and new equipment installation, must be justified by a corresponding reduction in energy costs.

Energy-performance contracts are an innovative way many states and municipalities have improved the energy efficiency of government facilities. These agreements do not function like traditional business contracts, where up-front payments are made for specific services. In this case, the service provider must first prove that engineering and construction tasks will have a cost-cutting impact on the City's utility bill before any work is performed.

In other words, the City's payment to improve its energy systems will be directly linked to the extent of the guaranteed utility savings achieved by such an upgrade. The City expects energy performance proposals of this nature by 2008.

Environmental Action Plan

Ocean City Solidifies its Commitment to the Environment by creating an action plan that emphasizes alternative energy use while reducing cost to the taxpayer

City’s Commitment:
Mayor Sal Perillo has become the first Mayor in Cape May County to sign the United States Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement.  This was done with the cooperation of City Council and the Administration that encourage the development of an action plan that has as its goal the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while controlling cost to the taxpayer.

Solar Energy:
The City expects to take the lead on a solar project with the potential to provide 1.3 Mw of power for four municipal buildings and all three schools located within the City.  The City and School District could see the potential savings of $100,000.00 in the first year with no cost to the taxpayer by using private partnerships, grants and rebates.
 
Hybrids and Biodiesel Fuel:
The City has already purchased two Hybrid vehicles and will encourage each department to look first at alternative vehicles when applicable.
Biodiesel fuel is made with portions of soybean oil and is available at a reduced rate due to rebates by the State’s Board of Public Utilities.

Parks and Bikeways:
The City will encourage the use of Recycled products and the expansion of Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM) program at various parks. 
Grant opportunities will be researched and application made for new bike and pedestrian ways throughout the city to help reduce traffic congestion and promote healthy living.
 
Greening of City Buildings:
All city departments have been encouraged to educate their staff to help reduce electrical consumption by 10% by recycling and conservation.
The City will look to retrofit old buildings with compact fluorescent bulbs. LED signage, thermostat controls, aerators, motion detectors, Energy Star Appliances and working towards a paperless office.

Outdoor Greening:
The City will work with other agencies in retrofitting traffic signals with LED lenses, public lighting, and using solar signs.
The Shade Tree Commission will continue to work with the City on tree plantings and tracking species.
Volunteers will work with the City on Beach and Bay service projects that will not only enhance the beauty on the barrier island but also promote its unspoiled natural resource.

Recycling:
A renewed campaign to help educated the public on the importance and the proper way to recycle has commenced.  By using outreach programs in the school and in the public, taxpayers will understand not only the environmental benefits but also the way it helps to control this budgetary expenditure.

What You Can Do:

To conserve energy and help with your community: 
Visit www.njcleanenergy.com for up to date listings of rebates.
Visit http://www.epa.gov/epahome/athome.htm for ways to retrofit your home and other conservation ideas.
Help spread the word on the importance of recycling to you neighbors and guest.
Sign up with the Mayor’s Commission on Volunteers to help with beach sweeps and other community service projects.

Hybrid Vehicles

The City of Ocean City has as a policy to purchase hybrid vehicles when new vehicles are to be purchased as long as the vehicle can perform its necessary functions as a hybrid.  The City is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and hybrid vehicles are one way to help achieve this goal.  Most hybrid vehicles have near zero emissions and can travel much farther than traditional vehicles on a single tank of gas, thus saving money as well as the environment. 

Hybrid vehicles use both electricity and gasoline to run their engines.  There are different varieties of hybrid engines.  One type enables both the gas and electric motor to start the transmission causing the wheels to turn.  The other type has the gasoline engine turn a generator that supplies energy to charge a battery or power an electric motor that then turns on the transmission.  In this second design style, gasoline does not directly power the vehicle.  Some hybrids combine both types of design. 

Another feature of hybrids is a regenerative braking system where the energy from the wheels stopping is captured and stored as energy in the battery for later use.  Hybrids also have automatic start and shutoff features that enable the car to automatically shut off when it comes to a stop.  The car then automatically starts again when acceleration begins.  This feature is key to reducing emissions during idling which is especially helpful in city traffic.  In certain models, the vehicle runs on the electric motor only until the speed reaches 25 miles per hour. 

Calendar of Environmental Events