Clean Ocean Action’s Municipal Blue Star Program was established in 2014 to encourage towns in coastal regions and beyond to prioritize water quality protection measures, while achieving Sustainable Jersey Certification. The Sustainable Jersey program is an action and point-based certification for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, reduce costs, and take steps to improve their quality of life over the long term. These two programs encourage communities to promote healthy waters, resilient communities, and environmentally sound practices.
On Friday, July 24th, Clean Ocean Action awarded the first of two inaugural Clean Ocean Action Municipal Blue Star Certifications to Long Beach Township, NJ, to recognize their effort to improve water quality. Long Beach Township has been a pioneer in their region for sustainability work and planning for resiliency. They are influencing success in their neighboring towns, which ultimately is in the best interest of the watershed and estuary.
Long Beach Township achieved 140 of the necessary 75 points to attain the Municipal Blue Star certification. Examples of the actions that they completed include Community Education & Outreach, Education for Sustainability Programs, Rain Garden Installation, and Recycling Education & Enforcement. In addition to Sustainable Jersey projects, towns are required to choose one of COA’s additional actions. Long Beach Township completed the Climate Adaptation: Flooding Risk action. Outcomes from this project include infrastructure upgrades for water and sewer piping, as well as finalized plans to rebuild all pump stations above base flood levels to avoid storm damage and shut downs.