After a brief hiatus last year as the state
continued recovery from Superstorm Sandy, voting for New Jersey’s Top 10 Beaches
is back. Given this snowy winter, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and
Richard Stockton College’s Coastal Resource Center are expecting a warm wave of
response to their beaches survey, voting for which is open now through midnight
on April 30.
The N.J.’s Top 10 Beaches project was
started in 2008 to encourage stewardship and pride in – and a little healthy
competition between – the state’s most beloved shore towns, and it has since
become a pre-summer occasion for residents and visitors alike.
According to Kim Kosko, NJSGC director
of communications, “We all have fond memories and personal favorites when it
comes to the beaches we love best. But this year we’re asking people to take a
little time to really think about the criteria that make the places they pick
worthy of winning a spot on the 2014 Top 10 list. We want them to realize how
important our beaches and other coastal assets are and that we’re all
responsible for their well-being. What we do today directly impacts the future
of shore communities.”
During last year’s voting lull, Kosko
explained, the Top 10 Beaches coordinators assembled a task force to review the
voting process and other project components. “It will change things up a little
and hopefully levels the playing field for all shore towns from Sandy Hook to
Cape May,” she noted.
The 2014 contest will also incorporate
an innovative tie-in project wherein 10 New Jersey artists paint sponsored rain
barrels with iconic shore images. Dozens of artists from throughout the state
applied for a chance to paint the containers and turn them into functional works
of art, which will be showcased at the NJSGC 12th annual State of the Shore
media event on May 22.
“The beautified rain barrels will then
roll out on tour around the state throughout the summer and be displayed at
selected New Jersey beach communities and special events,” said Kosko. “This
unique program promotes environmental awareness and stewardship of all our
coastal and water resources.”
The public will also be invited to
vote for their favorite barrel online after the barrels are unveiled at the
Details about the rain barrel project,
its cooperating sponsors and the selected artists will be featured on the New
Jersey Top 10 Beaches website, njtoptenbeaches.org.
The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is
an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing
knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. Learn
more at njseagrant.org. Courtesy of—J.K.-H.