After taking a brief vacation in 2013 while New Jersey continued it’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy, voting for New Jersey Top Ten Beaches is back. Given this winter’s brutal below zero wind chill temperatures and seemingly endless string of snow storms project coordinators, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) and Richard Stockton College Coastal Resource Center are expecting a warm and welcoming wave of response when the voting opens for their 2014 New Jersey Top Ten Beaches (NJTTB) survey at noon on February 17th and continues through midnight April 30th.
Now in its seventh year, the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches project was started in 2008, to encourage stewardship and pride in the state’s beaches while promoting a little healthy competition between New Jersey’s favorite beach towns. It’s since become a pre-summer favorite with residents Jersey Shore visitors alike.
According to Kim Kosko, Director of Communications for NJSGC, “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 Ten 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.”
Kosko also noted that during the voting hiatus the Top Ten 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.” This year’s Top Ten Beaches will also incorporate an innovative tie-in project that has ten New Jersey artists painting sponsored rain barrels with iconic shore images. Dozens of New Jersey artists applied for a chance to paint the containers and turn them into functional works of art. The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium 2014 Top Ten Beaches Rain Barrels 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. 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 for People’s Choice after they are unveiled at the May 22nd media event.