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Letter: A Dying Barnegat Bay Diminishes Family Times

Resident explains importance of restoration

I am a resident of Toms River and former boating enthusiast.  I have fond memories of recreational boating on the Barnegat Bay for many years. Summer weekends at the shore with my grandchildren had been known as “Grandpa’s Camp” and we enjoyed boating activities on the Bay like swimming, tubing and waterskiing.

Sadly, those outings became less frequent as Barnegat Bay deteriorated in health. My grandchildren could no longer enjoy the Bay because of stinging sea nettles and algal blooms.  It was disheartening to of us that our use of the Bay was no longer a pleasant and memorable experience. It led me to realize that Barnegat Bay was dying and something needed to be done to help restore the bay so that we could all enjoy this magnificent resource again.  

As a representative of my homeowner’s association, Laurel Commons Condominium Association, I initiated a partnership with the American Littoral Society several years ago to make our community more “Bay Friendly”.

My community has since participated in a storm water basin study, created sample native plant gardens that don’t require fertilizers and pesticides that harm the Bay and soon we will have an existing lawn area in our community retrofitted into a bio-retention basin to reduce pollution loads in the Long Swamp Creek that drains to the Bay.  

Governor Christie has initiated a 10-Point Plan to protect and restore the Bay but much more can and needs to be done. All levels of government, individual homeowners, housing communities and municipalities can all play an important role in restoring the Bay back to health.  

On July 31, at 7 p.m. in the Mancini Room of the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library, The American Littoral Society and Pinelands Preservation Alliance will host a public forum and listening session to hear about your personal concerns and give you the tools you need to empower you to help protect and restore Barnegat Bay.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting these groups and attend this important event. Let your voice be heard. Because if we don’t speak up to save the Bay, who will? 

Paul Krauss

Toms River

Robert Bressman June 18, 2012 at 12:01 PM
I complained often and went to every environmental group in this state, I was blown off by everyone, I gave them a Disc with pictures of a contractor that Toms River township hired to do work, that was dumping illegally in and near the wetlands, runoff of fertilizer going into the sewer system because they planted seed to late, and nobody did anything about it. The DEP is an absolute waste of the taxpayers money. I sent pictures to a DEP rep, it took a week to answer me and when he did he suggested I send a letter and pictures to another person, that person was in the same building. I sent a letter to the Governor, it took a month before the DEP called me back, do you have any idea how much damage can be done in a month, Nobody really cares, not the Governor, not the DEP, not Green Acres, not the sierra Club, not soil conservation district and not the Press and certainly not the people in Toms River.
Wallace C Smith Jr. June 18, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I have lived on the Bay for 45 years. 10 years ago we swam wherever we wanted anytime we wanted. Now by the 2nd week in June the Bay is closed by the Nettles. I first observed them in the ice while running at Cattus Island in 2001. I would often run on the frozen Bay in the winter. When I saw them in the cold water I realized that we were screwed! Now the only areas open are south of the Toms River where the salinity is higher. I fly and do gratis photography for the Barnegat Bay Assn and any state or local offices that request it. I have often commented that just putting culvert pipes across the barrier island at the beginning of Island Beach Park would help raise the salt content of the bay but everything is a study. As a senior citizen now, I know that this problem will never be solved in my lifetime and most likely not in the lifetime of my children who spent their childhood swimming, fishing, wading and crabbing in Barnegat Bay. What a sad ending!!
Rontr June 19, 2012 at 06:42 AM
they should make a new inlet, to flush out the bay better , heard it takes 70 days to cycle now
Martin June 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Yes, culverts under the barrier island/peninsula would flush the stagnant bay and bring in ocean water. Start at the site of the former Cranberry Inlet. This season is over for swimming, and it's not even summer yet. Get the Guv to do more than lip service (that's ignored by the OC freeloaders because of their pals, the fertilizer lobbyists). It will take a lot more than a few stormwater retention basins.
George June 19, 2012 at 11:13 AM
"Call it the Battle of Barnegat Bay, the sequel: A state Senate committee Monday set the stage for a repeat of the fight over how best to stop pollution from fouling the bay, which runs along the marsh coast of Ocean County and is a key part of the county’s tourism economy. "Three Senate bills approved by the Environmental Committee mirror the same measures vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie last year... S-821 would permit Ocean County to require a fee for major developments to pay as a way to address stormwater runoff issues. "The Ocean County Board of Freeholders, along with Republican lawmakers, have opposed the bills, citing the increased taxes and fees." - from today's Press. Attend the meeting, and keep up the pressure on these Neanderthals!
MIC June 19, 2012 at 08:49 PM
yes the bay needs help , but will the money be spent on the bay. the sea nettles are over populated and are a certain risk. flush time is a huge Factor along with tidal area usage.
Mr. ? July 16, 2012 at 01:57 AM
"Now the only areas open are south of the Toms River where the salinity is higher." EXACTLY! The facts are still out on nettles and nitrogen and phosphate increases in the bay. "Non point source" pollution is exactly exactly that! The environmental indoctrinators know this, but will never be able to cure the many multiple causes. Their excuse is to start somewhere with storm water management and lawn fertilizer and soil compaction remediation....good ...but only part of the problem. Over population, over development, goose poop, traffic patterns and idling cars at traffic congestion exuding dirty fossil fuel combustion of airborne nitrogen, and all the results and effects and abuses of civilization contribute to the destruction of the bay. I do agree that until Mother Nature creates a new inlet or man constructs culverts, the bay will continue to deteriorate! Understand that the original topography and physical makeup of Barnegat Bay would have evolved into a stagnant vernal pond if it was not for the Point Pleasant Canal and its influx of fresh salt water. Right there is your answer....culverts! But why don't the environmental so called professionals of the B. bay almost never talk about this solution? Will Mr Kennish or.....report on the historic salinity of the bay? Oh, and I have fished, crabbed, and clammed the bay for over fifty years. Humans will continue to abuse and reduce our resources...education may help, but underdevelopment will continue.
Jack July 16, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Fill in the Pt P;easant canal and make it a park. It is the primary cause of the northern bays slow death. The northern bay used to be a brackish nursery for fish, ducks and plant life. The only reason for the canal is a convenience to the boaters; a small group relative to taxpayers. What is more important, the health of the bay or convenience?
Mr. ? July 16, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Ha! do you mean "like" your convenience? Do you live here? Do you pollute? Have you been developed? If the canal was not there, the bay would have been worse long, long ago!. "The northern bay used to be a brackish nursery for fish, ducks and plant life" ...until you and me moved here! ? And all the pollution comes through the canal? "What is more important, the health of the bay or convenience? " You mean like yours and mine?
Mr. ? July 16, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Forgot, and the canal! Guess the salt water intrusion into the Metedeconk river would not happen if the canal was not there? Try and figure that one out?.....???????????
jeff July 16, 2012 at 05:59 PM
STOP. THE. BOATS. AND. JET SKIS. But nobody wants to hear that because it brings MONEY into the towns.
Frederick John LaVergne for Congress August 18, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Mr. Krauss - please reach out to me and my fellow candidates. I would like to hear proposed solutions to the Bay issues - not arguments. Anyone else interested in discourse on this subject may contact me, also. http://www.facebook.com/FrederickJohnLaVergneForCongress?ref=hl

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