An unprecedented collaboration of environmental, commercial, industrial and political minds are coming together to map out how to use the ocean constructively tonight at Monmouth University and on the 22nd on Long Beach Island and screen a documentary on the subject then discuss possible solutions. 



You can watch the full documentary at the bottom of the page or on YouTube.

The documentary explains how we can work together to find solutions to conflicts facing the Atlantic Ocean.

"Surfers are probably a great example of people who use it but actually work hard to also try and protect it," said Tony MacDonald with Monmouth's Urban Coast Institute. "They realize that if it's not clean water, they're not going to be able to surf."

People take our Jersey beaches for granted, he adds, and most of that sand comes in from off-shore.

"We want to make sure that it doesn't conflict with fishermen...they might have some habitats they don't want impacted," said MacDonald. "We also want to make sure when the Army Corps of Engineers designs the projects they consider things like recreation and impacts on beaches."

The documentary being screened and the discussion that follows it tonight and on the 22nd, Ocean Frontier Part Three, dives into how the plan orchestrates effective compromises for environmental, commercial and industrial concerns.

"If the people can't express their perspective, it's not going to work," said MacDonald. "They need to be heard and they need to see themselves. I think it's a great accomplishment that we have a plan but the greater accomplishment is that we have specific actions that we're committed to."

He adds we need to continue having a dialogue to find solutions.

"That's what we try to resolve and hopefully it's a net benefit in the end," said MacDonald.

The Mid-Atlantic Ocean Plan is a collection of efforts from various organizations such as the military, environmental groups and commercial and industrial concerns.

"We want to make sure that we understand how our recreational users, whether they're surfers or boaters, are using the oceans," said MacDonald. "Then make sure that they don't have conflicts with other things like off-shore windy energy."

He adds it's also about how climate change is affecting the fishing industry whose constantly heading out to sea.

MacDonald believes that this has a much greater impact than just one or two groups of people.

"Those who are more interested in issues having to do with jobs and labor...labor groups might be very interested on the impacts on making sure that the navigation channels stay open for trade," said MacDonald.

Tonight's event begins at 6:30 p.m. at Pozycki Hall Auditorium at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ and it's free admission, you just have to RSVP ahead of time.

The panelists for tonight's discussion following the screening of the documentary are:

  • Tom Fote – Commissioner, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Comm.; Legislative Chair, Jersey Coast Anglers Asso. & NJ State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs
  • Tim Dillingham – Executive Director, American Littoral Society
  • Ronald Rapp – Director, TE SubCom
  • Tony MacDonald - Director, Urban Coast Institute (moderator)

The event on April 22nd begins at 6:45 p.m. at Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Station, 2006 Central Ave, Ship Bottom, NJ and it's $5.00 admission, you just have to RSVP ahead of time.

The panelists for that discussion following the screening of the documentary are:

  • Liz Semple – Manager, Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning, New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection
  • Jay Mann – Managing Editor, SandPaper; Nature Writer and Tracker
  • Tim Dillingham – Executive Director, American Littoral Society
  • Angela Anderson – Sustainability Coordinator, Long Beach Township
  • Amy Williams - Coastal Ecosystem Extension Agent, New Jersey Sea Grant/Stevens Institute of Technology (moderator)


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