Shore environmental leader lauds NJ blizzard response
As someone who's pushed, lobbied, cajoled and crossed swords for ever-greater protection of New Jersey's beaches, and someone who absorbed the lessons of Superstorm Sandy into her views, Jersey Shore Partnership Executive Director Margo Walsh issues praise sparingly, and when it's earned.
That is what adds dimension to her kudos for response, on all levels, to the weekend blizzard that nearly crippled the coast, created ravaging floods and stripped some beaches almost bare.
As previously heard on WOBM-AM's "Townsquare Tonight," the leader of the Sandy Hook-based organization continues to press the new legislature to double the Shore Protection Fund. Currently, the state budget sets aside $25,000,000 a year, a figure that hasn't changed in well over a decade while costs have spiraled.
The complete text of her comments follow. Quotation marks are ours.
"BRAVO to you, our Shore Mayors, EMS staffers, Municipal employees, Residents, Police and Fire departments Volunteers, Utility companies and NJ DEP for your response to Winter Storm Jonas that hit our beaches and flooded our roadways. We’ve come a long way since Sandy in learning to be pro-active in readying for coastal storms. Towns prepared their beaches to lessen damage from the wind and surf and heeded the advice to stay off the roads to prevent accidents and allow access for emergency vehicles."
"Once again we learned that beaches that had been replenished with wide beaches and a dune system helped to protect shore line properties. Coastal towns including Point Pleasant that declined to have the Corps of Engineers provide the beach protection needed were featured throughout the day on weather reports with the wind and sea lashing at their boundaries. The question is, 'How many storms will it take for the lessons of Sandy and now Jonas to demonstrate the need for property owners to allow their beach fronts to be restored to protect not only their properties but those adjacent and behind them?'”
"We thank Governor Christie for his leadership in tracking the storm with frequent media updates, and for reaching out to residents. The Jersey Shore Partnership thanks our Shore residents that exhibited once again the community spirit that is the essence of life at the Jersey Shore."