Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, October 2004

Save NJ - Fast Track Law Must Be Repealed

The Save NJ Coalition continues to battle the Fast Track law.  The key focus of Save NJ is repealing the law.  Legislators, federal and state agency officials, lawyers, technical experts, and executives from environmental, public health, and civil liberties organizations have all documented and demonstrated that elements of the Fast Track Law: 1) threaten public health and the environment, 2) are contrary to good government policies, and 3) undermine due process.  Legislation is required to address these fatal and fundamental flaws.  While a legislative initiative to outright repeal the law would be preferred, a comprehensive legislative package to address the major problems within the existing law could retain a workable framework for better growth management supporting development in appropriate places.  For information about Fast Track and Save NJ, visit, or call COA, a member of Save NJ.


Aerial Spraying of Herbicide at South Jersey Park

Several local and state environmental and citizen groups, have expressed opposition to the use of aerial and ground spraying of the herbicide glyphosate (Rodeo) with the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine, to remove Phragmites australis, the controversial species, at both Cape May State Park and Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge.  According to USACE, the purpose of applying this herbicide is to eliminate Phragmites, commonly called Reed, from this area and establish other emergent wetland vegetation types to provide "improved" habitat for wildlife and other plant species.


The proposed "eradication" procedure has been in use by Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) since 1996 at several Salem County Estuary Enhancement sites. Despite eight years of repeated aerial spraying and spot treatments with glyphosate, PSE&G has failed to rid the areas of Phragmites.  As soon as PSE&G ends the spraying regime, Phragmites quickly recolonize the areas.  In addition to spraying, PSE&G has tried burning, mowing, and even goats to eliminate Phragmites, with no success.


Failures, such as at the Salem County sites, show that this procedure is ineffective and will not produce the desired results of eliminating Phragmites and establishing other emergent vegetation types.  The current habitats within the State Park and Refuge appear to be functioning adequately as they are inhabited by a wide variety of plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects, and invertebrates including several rare, threatened and endangered species.  The use of glyphosate at the State Park and Refuge will only result in long-term habitat management and a need for repeated application of the herbicide in an unsuccessful attempt to alter a functioning habitat.


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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