OCEAN GROVE – After receiving advice from experts in the field, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) – which has twice been denied frunding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) because of its nonprofit status – has announced that it will file a third appeal with FEMA.
The association is seeking to obtain funding for boardwalk and beach reconstruction.
The announcement was made just as the community’s Together Campaign surpassed its half-way goal to rebuild and repair Ocean Grove’s boardwalk/beachfront and the Great Auditorium – both severely damaged by Super Storm Sandy – and finance long-needed architectural/ structural repairs and improvements to restore historic Thornley Chapel.
“Ocean Grove is the only community on the entire Jersey Shore that has not received FEMA funding, and we believe that the right decision will still be made and funding will ultimately be obtained from FEMA, said OGCMA Interim COO Ralph Del Campo. “As we have stated in the past, OGCMA operates and maintains the beach in Neptune Township and provides the same related municipal services on behalf of Neptune that every other shore community does: Life-saving emergency benefits including lifeguards, complete public beach access and a public thoroughfare that supports emergency services and enables connections to other communities.”
OGCMA President Dr. Dale C. Whilden said, “In 1908, the state of New Jersey declared the boardwalk in Ocean Grove to be a public thoroughfare, and it is also part of the interconnectivity of the economic engine of the Jersey Shore. The boardwalk is an absolutely critical asset to the viability of the Ocean Grove business community and our community residents.”
Faced with the financial challenges of rebuilding, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association launched its Together Campaign in April with a fund-raising goal of $1.5 million.