If Toms River doesn't look sparkly clean to you, that might soon change - and one township woman's spearheading effort makes it possible.

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection recently granted
Toms River over $185,000 in Clean Communities funding to improve litter cleanup projects.

Dorothy Alexander is credited with undertaking the research and documentation that was needed to qualify for the sum, one of the highest in New Jersey under the DEP program.

Dorothy was recognized by the Toms River Township Council with an honoring resolution at their regular meeting on June 10.

Funds will be used to "buy equipment for the express purpose of keeping communal areas neat and litter free," said Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher.

Lou Amoruso, Director of Public Works for Toms River Township, said efforts have been made to improve the quality of the area by providing supplies for 25 clean-ups last year and partnering with the DEP, Clean Ocean Action and Ocean Conservancy-International Cleanup, providing man-power and supplies.

The Toms River Township has started informing elementary school students about keeping the area clean with "Rocky," the Recycling Robot, who has performed at state-wide seminars and Rutgers University.

Amoruso also said some of the grant funding has been used to purchase educational coloring books, crayons, pencils and "Rocky" backpacks to give to students at Rocky performances.

The DEP awarded NJ counties and municipalities over $17 million.

"This money is used for cleanup efforts that show the Christie Administration's commitment to protecting our natural resources, enhancing our quality of life and building pride in our cities and towns across the state," said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.