Borough of Brielle, NJ Support for the Clean Ocean Zone
Status: Adopted on 5/8/06
Resolution No: 06-72-D
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE CLEAN OCEAN ZONE
WHEREAS, the New York/New Jersey Bight is defined as the waters from Montauk Point, New York, to Cap May, New Jersey, offshore to the outer edge of the Continental Shelf (out to 100 miles), and consists of over 1900 square miles of Atlantic Ocean; and
WHEREAS, the physical, hydrodynamic, and biological characteristics of the NY/NJ Bight are unique in the than 300 species of fish, nearly 350 species of birds, 7 species of sea turtles, and many marine mammals such as 10 species of whales and several species of seals and porpoises frequent the region. The NY/NJ Bight also serves as an essential migratory pathway for these species; and
WHEREAS, this ecological richness depends on protecting the quality of the environment; and
WHEREAS, the NY/NJ Bight also sustains the economy of the region through its bounty of natural resources and intrinsic values for millions of people through tourism, as well as being host to the nation’s largest east coast global port and its thousands of related industries; and
WHEREAS, recreation and commercial fisheries provide enormous economic benefits both in food production and recreational activities, the continued use of these renewable natural resources in accordance with existing laws must be supported and enhanced: and
WHEREAS, our waters were known as the “Ocean Dumping Capitol of the World” due to eight Ocean dumpsites, including an area called the “dead sea” (a 20-mile area created by excessive sewage and toxic muck dumping); had beaches littered with garbage, medical waste, and sludge balls; and suffered from water quality so poor that it was unsafe for swimming. These activities all caused an ecological and economic crisis; and
WHEREAS, organizations, businesses, and citizens rallying to defend these precious resources and working to improve and protect the waters of the NY/NJ Bight, resulted in an end to ocean dumping and dramatically improved water quality proving that citizens can make a difference to assure their quality of life; and
WHEREAS, the NY/NJ Bight is downstream of, and receives pollution from, the most densely populated, industrialized, and urbanized area in the country which spews millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater and toxic sediments into the ecosystem each year and threatens the vast ecological richness of the Bight, and public health through beach closures and fish consumption advisories; arid
WHEREAS, currently the NY/NJ Bight continues to he vulnerable to sources of pollution and threats to habitat on a permit-by-permit basis, which is often risky, unproductive, and not sustainable, These destructive activities undermine the ecological and economic potentialities to sustain living marine resources iii the NY/NJ Bight and must be prohibited: and
WHEREAS, current laws and regulations are insufficient to protect the vast value of this ocean region and its living marine resources from polluting and habitat destructive activities, elected officials must strive harder to protect the NY/NJ Bight; and
WHEREAS, it is time to lock-in the tremendous path of progress which has led to far-reaching improvements in our ocean water quality and lock-out environmentally harmful activities, thereby ensuring the continued protection of the ocean today and for future generations; and
WHEREAS, a logical and essential next step is to use federal and state regulatory and legislative opportunities to designate the NY/NJ Bight as the “Clean Ocean Zone (COZ),” which will:
1. Prohibit new ocean dump sites.
2. Mandate capping of the Historic Area Remediation Site (HARS) – formerly the Mud Dump Site -- with “clean material.” “Clean material” is defined as being as clean as the sediments found on the ocean floor outside HARS and that protects against adverse ecological effects, Ensure implementation of environmentally sound alternatives for managing dredged material to help keep harbor channels safe for navigation.
3. Prohibit new point sources of pollution and increases of discharge capacity (e.g., wastewater discharge outfall;, industrial discharges). Encourage environmentally protective beneficial reuse of wastewater.
4. Reduce pollution from storm water and sediments.
PROTECT MARINE ECOSYSTEMS:
5. Prohibit the permanent extraction (e.g. strip-mining) of natural non-renewable resources, including sand and gravel.
6. Prohibit industrial and non-renewable energy facilities and infrastructure, including oil and gas exploration and development.
7. Require the development of responsible regulations for renewable energy sources.
SUPPORT MARINE RESOURCES:
8. Support recreational and commercial fishing by acknowledging that federal and state laws for fisheries exist. Prohibit the COZ legislation from being used to adopt or enact fisheries management actions. The COZ legislation shall not be used to restrict or limit recreational or commercial fishing.
9. Support federal and state approved artificial reefs, and allow underwater research arid exploration, but not projects that will adversely affect the ecosystem.
10. Support, celebrate, and sustain maritime activities that depend on a healthy and clean oceans such as: boating, underwater diving, fishing, surfing, swimming, and the enjoyment of the sea. The COZ legislation will not be used to restrict or limit these activities,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that, on this date, May 8th, 2006 the Borough of Brielle hereby supports the Clean Ocean Zone that would permanently protect the waters of the New York/New Jersey Bight from the aforementioned polluting and habitat destructive activities, thereby safeguarding the waters in its region for present and future generations.