SANDY HOOK _New Jersey residents and beach lovers will once again be asked to
help rank the state’s favorite shore destinations in the Fifth Annual New Jersey Top Ten Beaches Poll. Visitors to njtoptenbeaches.org, which officially opened for vote collecting at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 21, will also be invited to take part in a simple, single-question poll that asks them to select which issue they feel will have the biggest impact on the future of coastal New Jersey. This year participants can opt to enter a special drawing for one of four Jersey Coast Prize Packages that will celebrate not only New Jersey’s beaches but other area attractions and activities to enjoy during their next visit “down the shore”. Jersey Coast Prize Package sponsors will be donating merchandise, gift certificates and coupons for restaurants and iconic shore eateries, hotel or bed & breakfast establishments, amusement piers, theme park, festival or aquarium passes, winery tour passes, and more! “The New Jersey Top Ten Beach Survey has really become a popular seasonal competition,” said Kim Kosko, director of communications for the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) in a press release. Kosko, along with Dr. Stewart Farrell, Professor of Marine Science at Richard Stockton College and director of its Coastal Research Center, created the survey five years ago to promote stewardship and pride in New Jersey’s beaches. “We try to add new twists to the project every year and use it to remind residents and visitors about the importance of New Jersey’s coastal resources and their critical connection to New Jersey’s economy,” Kosko said. Tourism representatives from Sandy Hook to Cape May have been supportive of the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches project from the beginning because it puts a pre-seasonal spotlight on the benefits of visiting and vacationing at New Jersey beach communities and helps boost local shore economies. The Jersey Coast Prize Package drawings were added as a way of showcasing individual coastal tourism regions and thanking survey voters.
“This year we’ll also be taking the No. 1 issue from the mini-poll that people feel will impact the state’s coast the most and develop a special product or event that focuses on that issue. It’s all part of a NJSGC initiative to reach out to residents and specific segments of the state’s population to see what they feel the important coastal issues and priorities are and use that input as a driving force to develop the organization’s future research education and outreach projects.
The results of the mini-poll as well as the winners on the Jersey Coast Prize Packages will be announced at NJSGC’s annual State of the Shore showcase media event on May 24 when the top vote getters in the Top Ten Beaches survey will be revealed.
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. NJSGC meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs. For more information about NJSGC, visit njseagrant.org