Monday, September 17, 2012

Wall Township Environmental Summit 2012

With the exception of the new makeup and legislators for New Jersey's 30th Legislative District, this year's Wall Township Environmental Summit was very similar in content to last year's.  What environmental issue is most concerning to the residents in District 30?  Wreck Pond.

A photo showing a nearby street after Wreck Pond flooded last year in the wake of Hurricane Irene.  Photo courtesy of Shelly Banjo for the Wall Street Journal
Senator Robert Singer, who's district previously spanned more of Ocean County, but is no stranger to representing coastal constituents, and Assemblyman David Rible were on hand to patiently listen to and address their constituents' concerns.  

The evening was kicked off by members of the Wreck Pond Homeowners Alliance, who went into detail about issues concerning the pond, stormwater management, flooding of their homes and associated health concerns, as well as the breakthroughs and shortcomings that they have had in dealing with the county, the state, and the federal government.  Asm. Rible stressed that both he and Asm. Sean Kean (also of District 30) were working closely with the DEP and Congressman Chris Smith's office on the issue.  "This time next year, we are not going to have this problem," offered Senator Singer to a round of applause, adding that he's not one to deem any task "impossible."

Fortunately, the NJDEP Action Plan that COA called for last year continues to be implemented. See here for more information. 

Clean Ocean Action was in attendance and echoed the concerns of the Wreck Pond Homeowners Alliance, but also brought a few additional issues up briefly.  With the looming cuts to federal programs that test water quality at swimming beaches, we asked the District 30 legislators to work with the DEP to ensure that funding for testing programs continues and that additional funding for storm event testing and source tracking is maintained. 

We also took the opportunity to provide information on the Tour for the Shore and the Clean Ocean Zone to Sen. Singer and Asm. Rible, keeping in mind that a number of towns in District 30 including, Point Pleasant, Howell, Manasquan, Lakewood, Bradley, Spring Lake, Belmar, Brielle, and Wall are already supportive.  We urged Senator Singer to co-sponsor a state-wide resolution in the NJ Senate supporting the COZ, while urging Asm. Rible to do the same in the Assembly.

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