Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, August 2005

Nicole Simmons & Chris Ackerman, 732-872-0111,

Heading to the beach for some summer relief?

COA will help release a national report on 2004 beach closures

due to pollution in late July. 

Check out the beaches that are closed in your area

this summer by visiting NJDEP’s website at or calling 1-800-648-SAND,

or logging onto

NJ Governor Wisely Delays Fast Track

     Acting NJ Governor Codey signed an Executive Order (EO) on July 12 further delaying the Fast Track Law.  The law weakens public health and environmental standards, eliminates public participation, and permits polluters to write their own permits.  The original EO, which was set to expire in mid-July, prohibits the review of any expedited permit, permit-by-rule, or general permit under Fast Track until “the federal government and NJDEP reach agreement concerning the impact, if any, of NJDEP’s proposed rules implementing [Fast Track].”  Essentially, this EO puts Fast Track on hold.  The state says it will not implement the law until the federal government outlines how the law will affect federal programs in which the state must comply, and the federal government will not take action until the state outlines the regulations that will be used to implement the law. 

     This action follows previous actions at the state level.  In December 2004, Governor McGreevey issued an EO putting a temporary moratorium on Fast Track’s implementation to provide an opportunity for the law to be properly debated.  Also, bi-partisan bills in the NJ Senate and Assembly were introduced in December 2004 to repeal the Fast Track law.

     In addition, many actions have been taken at the grassroots level to put the brakes on Fast Track.  The Save NJ Coalition ( is working to repeal the law and encourage municipalities, environmental commissions, community groups, and citizens to express their concerns with this environmentally-destructive law. 

Plans to Improve Wreck Pond Water Quality

     Two important meetings were held in July on the Wreck Pond Restoration Project.  Brad Campbell, NJDEP Commissioner, hosted a general information meeting on July 12 in Spring Lake to brief the community on the latest proposed plan to improve water quality at Wreck Pond.  Citizens raised concerns about the need to extend the outfall pipeline an additional 300 feet into the ocean, and many citizens were concerned about the future availability of funds to complete the project.  COA presented overriding concerns including the dumping of dredged materials that are only 75% sand on the beach.  Wreck Pond sediments contain very high levels of bacteria. 

The original permit application stated only material that is 90% sand or greater would be used for beach replenishment. 

     A formal public hearing was held on July 18 in Sea Girt to specifically discuss the outfall pipe extension and sand dredging projects that are currently under permit review.  Official testimony was taken from the public, including environmental commission members of surrounding communities.  COA presented concerns about conclusions made in a Steven’s Institute of Technology Report on the impacts of the proposals, including the

appropriateness of the model used to determine the probability of the plume from the outfall pipe reaching the beach.  COA will submit comments (due August 2) on these projects.

Update on Shark River Regional Dredge Management Plan

     On June 29, COA, Brian Hegarty of the Shark River Cleanup Coalition, and members of the Wall Environmental Commission toured the potential de-watering facility site, which is part of a plan to dredge the Shark River.  The de-watering site is approximately 11 acres of wetlands near Camp Evans and InfoAge.  The concept plan has been presented to NJDEP, who expressed reservations about the size and locale.  NJDEP requested that the Shark River Bay Environmental Planning Committee submit an alternatives analysis that would list all the available alternatives to filling the 11 acres of wetlands, and submit a delineation of the forested wetlands within the site.  COA also awaits a written document describing the plan. 


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

Candid/Guidestar "Essential nonprofit data, tools, and resources"

Charity Navigator, "Your Guide to Intelligent Giving"