Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, January 2006


Overall, 2005 was a challenging and successful year for the ocean.  What follows is a brief overview of 2005 and a glimpse of next steps.


Long-time ocean champions US Representatives Jim Saxton (R-3) and Frank Pallone (D-6) agreed to be prime sponsors of the Clean Ocean Zone (COZ) legislation drafted by citizens.  The official version of the bill in Washington is ready and will be introduced shortly.  Next steps will be to gain strong co-sponsorships from NJ and NY delegations and to begin the process of getting the bill passed.  See more inside.


NJ Governor Codey launched “Coast 2005” which included important coastal and ocean pollution abatement actions.  Next steps will be to ensure Governor Elect Corzine embraces and improves these initiatives. 


Federal proposals to weaken ocean protection were thwarted thanks to the strong leadership of NJ’s Congressional Delegation.  These included USEPA’s sewage blending policy (which could have released raw and partially treated sewage into our waters) and opening of our ocean waters to offshore oil and gas drilling.  Next step is to pass the COZ, which will lock out these activities.


Federal funding of the NY District Army Corps of Engineers Floatable Action Program (which works to skim garbage slicks before they leave the harbor) was lost, found, and then went missing in the budget process.  Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-11) has assured the funding of this critical program will be restored.  Last year the skimmers collected 536,400 cubic feet (that’s enough to fill 1000 garbage trucks, which would snake along for 4.5 miles).  Next steps are to ensure that the funding is secured and in a timely manner. 


The NJ Department of Environmental Protection proposed a draft permit to require the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Plant (in Lacy Township) to install a “closed cycle” cooling system.  The current system uses 1.4 billion gallon of estuarine rich waters and is responsible for the death of trillions of marine critters each year including the rarest sea turtles, Kemp’s Ridley.  Next step is to ensure that NJDEP stands firm on this permit that would nearly eliminate the marine environmental impacts.


COA launched many programs to improve awareness and citizen action: 

  • A 30 second Public Service Announcement (PSA) and a 6-minute vignette and a poster. These can be viewed on COA’s revitalized website, and were also played, shown, or printed on radio, television, and publications.  
  • A new “sewer sleuth” program is being piloted to help track down sources of pollution. The kits are easy to build and use and can find sources of illegal waste-streams in waterways by identifying optical brighteners found in laundry detergent. 
  • Efforts to find solutions to meet regional dredge material management needs are underway. 
  • COA is building consensus on beneficial reuse of wastewater to improve treatment and protect the ecosystems.

For information on these activities or other questions, please call COA.


Cheerio to all, and to all a wonderful new year. 


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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