On Sunday, June 19, the Lavallette Municipal Alliance will sponsor the annual Dog Walk along the bay from the fire company parking lot on Philadelphia Avenue, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
There will be judging, and prizes awarded after the walk in categories such as cutest, biggest and best dressed dogs.
For a fee of $5, guests can pre-register at Lavallette Borough Hall on Grand Central Avenue, or register the day of the event.
This year, northern Ocean County’s Adopt-a-Pet bus will be at the dog walk. Visitors as well as potential adoptive pet parents are welcome.
For more information, call Pat Hoffman at 732-793-7007.
In a continuing effort to provide up-to-date, reliable, scientific information to decision makers, managers and the general public, the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) recently released its 2011 State of the Bay Report, an examination of the status and trends of key indicators of the bay’s condition from 2005-2009.
Information for the report was generated by nine government agencies and other organizations, compiled by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, analyzed by regional scientists, and reviewed by members of the BBP’s Science and Technical Advisory Committee.
The report examines 19 indicators in three general categories (Water Quality, Water Supply, and Habitat and Living Resources) to assess the overall condition of the bay.
For the years 2005-2009, most indicators in all three categories were average to poor, and reflect the high nutrient loading to the bay, widespread algal blooms, decreased streamflow and loss of the bay’s critical wetland and eelgrass habitats upon which many species depend.
Eleven of the 19 indicators show long-term negative trends. Dr. Stan Hales, the Partnership’s Director noted, “The bay’s poor condition is due to extensive water quality, water supply, and habitat problems. The bay’s protection and improvement will require broad and sustained efforts by all of the stakeholders interested in the economy and quality of life in the region.”
Program scientist Jim Vasslides noted the Partnership does not have enough or consistent data to evaluate trends in roughly one-third of the indicators.
“Without additional commitments to monitoring and indicator assessment, we hinder decision making about improving the bay and, in the future, will not be able to assess the effectiveness of our efforts to improve the bay,” Mr. Vasslides said.
Through the collective efforts of the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Program, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres Program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Trust for Public Land, and other organizations, open space continues to be purchased and protected at an impressive pace.
Closures of bathing beaches and shellfish beds have generally declined. Some threatened species, most notably osprey, are doing well locally. These improving conditions give hope for the future.
In conjunction with the release of the report, the Barnegat Bay Partnership is hosting a one-day 2011 State of the Bay Conference at Ocean County College to allow researchers to present key findings from the report.
The conference’s afternoon session is focusing on seagrass ecology and restoration.
The 2011 State of the Bay Report can be viewed on the Barnegat Bay Partnership’s website at http://bbp.ocean.edu or at your local branch of the Ocean County Library.
The sixth-grade class of Lavallette Elementary School continued its quest to call attention to the problems facing the Barnegat Bay this Arbor Day by planting 103 beach plum seedlings in pots.
The students plan to sell the seedlings this spring, summer and fall to fund their philanthropic activities. Last year, the students’ efforts allowed them to donate $200, each, to local environmental groups like Save Barnegat Bay and Friends of Island Beach State Park.
Native plants like the beach plum are the perfect plants to use on barrier islands, according to special education and sixth-grade homeroom teacher Donna Faxon.
Ms. Faxon said native plants like the beach plum do not require fertilizer and need very little extra watering. Also, their roots help prevent excess runoff from flowing into the bay and, thus, allow rain water to filter back into the water table, according to Ms. Faxon.
On Sunday, a fire damaged an Ortley Beach oceanfront residence at around 12:30 p.m
Lavallette native, Denise Wirth captured the blaze on her cellphone Sunday afternoon. Although the Lavallette Fire Department was not directly involved in responding to the fire, it caused quite a commotion in town, according to Ms. Wirth.
“The fire did cause a lot of interest from Lavallette residents. I would say 75 or more people were on the beach concerned about the fire,” Ms. Wirth said. “As you can see in the photo, the fire was a couple of houses south of the Lavallette boardwalk.”
Toms River Fire District No. 1 responded, and extinguished the fire in half an hour. No injuries were reported.