Voting officially opens today for the 24 finalists who've submitted their best Jersey shore photos and memories for the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches -- Making More Shore Memories contest.


Flickr User Dylan Steinberg

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium Spokeswoman Kim Kosko says they received hundreds of pictures that were reviewed by a panel of professional photographers.

"They run the gamut from old nostalgic, some wonderful black and white photos, vintage photos to some very new things. What we wanted people to do was to grab in their mind, the essence of what the Jersey shore was and what image best symbolizes that to them, whether it was an old family photo or whether it was something that was near and dear to their hearts."

Twelve winners will be featured in a special edition Making More Shore Memories calendar that will debut in June. Kosko says the top vote-getter will also be featured on the calendar's cover and all the winners will get prizes from sponsors.

"There'll be restaurant tour tickets, tickets to Tuckerton Seaport, there'll be a CD the 12-12-12 New York Madison Square Concert. We want to encourage people to continue with their interest in rebuilding."

Kosko says they gave up their usual friendly but fierce competition that pits beach communities against each other annually for the coveted "Best Beach" title.

"This year we decided to focus on making more shore memories based on the fact that after Sandy obviously a lot of what everybody recognizes or perceives the shore to be is just a little bit changed this year."

She says they also received a lot of support from the Governor and he's got a nice memory and a nice passage that will be included in the calendar as well.

"In addition to the photos that have been submited on the web site, we've been asking people to share some of their very special memories and those memories will be included in the calendar as well. So every month is going to feature a special photo and a special memory."

Kosco says the calendars can be purchased at the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches website. She says some of proceeds will also go toward shore recovery efforts. "A percentage of those sales will be going to the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund."

Cast your vote here.