BRADLEY BEACH – Earlier Monday, with the help of elected officials, organizations, and volunteers, Clean Ocean Action (COA) announced the introduction of “The NJ/NY Clean Ocean Zone Act” or H.R. 2854 into the 110th Congress at the official kick-off event for the annual Clean Ocean Action Shore Tips (C.O.A.S.T.) campaign.
While those activities of Clean Ocean Action are based in Monmouth and Ocean counties, it is vital to remember that the state’s beaches stretch for only about 127 miles, thus all beaches benefit from the clean ocean action advocated by the group.
This summer, volunteers will educate shore residents and visitors about ocean pollution and engage citizens in actions to support Clean Ocean Action.
“The C.O.A.S.T. campaign serves as a terrific platform to educate both beach-goers and local residents on current issues. It is essential to reach out to the public and bring awareness since it is our bad behaviors that not only negatively effect marine life, but the quality of life for beach-goers and businesses,” said Michele Plantamura, 2007 C.O.A.S.T. coordinator.
“Clean Ocean Action has created a series of useful tips, under various categories, to provide direct action, on a person-by-person basis, to help keep our ocean clean and our environment safe,” said Stephen G. Schueler, mayor of Bradley Beach.
“A clean and healthy ocean is the continuing responsibility of us all.”
“The New Jersey shore is not only a major source of revenue for our state, but a major source of fun for residents and tourists alike,” said US Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
“Keeping our beaches clean is of the utmost importance for the economy, the environment, and the people who enjoy them. Clean Ocean Action’s educational campaign and the creation of a Clean Ocean Zone are important steps towards protecting one of New Jersey’s favorite natural resources,” the senator added.
“For two decades we’ve had great success at cleaning up our beaches, but the future is always uncertain, and that’s why we want to permanently write critical protections into law,” said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6th), prime sponsor of the bill. “The Clean Ocean Zone moves us into a new phase of protecting the Jersey Shore, and will help us preserve the New York Bight as a healthy marine environment for all residents and visitors to enjoy.”
“We have made great progress over the years working to clean up and protect our beaches from pollutants, debris and other harmful activities. The creation of a Clean Ocean Zone is the next logical step to ensuring that the quality of New Jersey’s shoreline is no longer in jeopardy and best protected for generations to come,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th).
“As we are poised to celebrate Independence Day, the NJ/NY Clean Ocean Zone is a remarkable example of how the framers of our Constitution intended our democracy to work. It is a bill of the people, by the people, and for the people to ensure the protection and improvement of the marine ecosystem, and thus, our quality of life,” said Cindy Zipf, COA executive director.
“An army of volunteers and groups will be working hard this summer to build on the broad support that already exists for the COZ,” said Kari Martin, COA policy communications director. “This support is essential to the migration of the bill in Congress.”
This summer, C.O.A.S.T. launches its 17th summer campaign in a continued effort to educate citizens living in or visiting Monmouth and Ocean Counties about ocean pollution problems and solutions.
The 2007 C.O.A.S.T. campaign builds on efforts to protect the New York/New Jersey Bight. This area encompasses 19,000 miles of ecological richness that boasts over 350 species of birds, more than 300 species of fish, 25 species of whales and dolphins, seven species of sea turtles, and several species of seals and porpoises.
According to ocean advocates, though progress has been made, the Bight continues to be vulnerable to sources of pollution and destructive activities. Recent threats to the ocean such as offshore oil and gas drilling, decreased dissolved oxygen concentration levels, and the algal bloom on Memorial Day weekend have needed vigilance and action. This summer also marks the 20th anniversary of the infamous summer of 1987 when New Jersey’s beaches were closed due to pollution.
To help build excitement and support for the summer campaign, the official 2007 C.O.A.S.T. T-shirt, produced with the assistance of AdPro Imprints of Ocean Township, was also unveiled today and is available for purchase at the 30 C.O.A.S.T. sites. The “We Want You to be the Solution to Ocean Pollution” T-shirts raise funds to help COA continue efforts to stop ocean pollution.
“This year’s T-shirt reminds citizens and beach-goers that the solution to ocean pollution is an ongoing effort, and that everyone is accountable for their behaviors. We want you: beach goers, residents, and volunteers to be part of the solution,” said Plantamura.
For a list of 2007 C.O.A.S.T. sites, to volunteer for C.O.A.S.T., or for more information about the summer campaign, visit www.cleanoceanaction.org