Environmental Commission gives update on initiatives

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BAY HEAD — Bay Head Environmental Commission members are providing updates on various reports, submissions and other initiatives being conducted over the last several months.

During the commission’s Zoom meeting Sept. 8, members spoke about attending the recent “Art in the Park … and Beyond” event in Centennial Park.

“[Borough Administrator] Chris Parlow reached out to the Bay Head Environmental Commission and asked if we would host a table to promote the commission but also to [hand out] pamphlets from the National Flood Insurance Program,” Chair Dan Paulus said. “We did have some people ask questions on flooding, which is something the commission has looked into in the past, and also we had people interested in the commission, so it was a good day for us to be out there.”

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Member Tom Charlton spoke further about the day at the event.

“Our job, as well, was to hand out information and talk about the Community Rating System [CRS] and … we probably had 25 people that stopped by the table during the course of the day,” he said. “It was interesting, because some of the people may have heard about the Community Rating System, but they didn’t realize how it worked or what it did, and they were all interested in it though so we spent time talking to them about it. 

“The reason Chris had asked us to go was that [it helps] to get points towards our certification to maintain and improve our rating in the CRS. We did have several people stop by that were interested in the environmental commission. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good day and we handed out a bunch of literature.”

Another topic of discussion during the Zoom meeting was the creation of a Natural Resource Inventory for the borough and the progress toward its completion thus far.

“We distributed a draft version of the Natural Resource Inventory, which is very near completion and quite impressive also,” Mr. Paulus said. “We’re looking forward to getting this completed. Not only is it a great document that we will have for ourselves, it is also a goal and initiative in the Sustainable Jersey program, so we’ll have that to use for it as well.”

The commission has enlisted the aid of resident Courtney Jacobs, a senior at Barnard College studying economics and environmental science, to help make the Natural Resource Inventory a reality.

“We just completed the physical resources section of the report, so now we have the three main components of the report finished and we’re working on revising those now,” Ms. Jacobs said during the meeting.

“The recent copy of the draft was shared with the commission, so we would love it if you have time and want to look it over and have any feedback or comments on things we should change or add that would be greatly appreciated. We’re working on filling in any remaining gaps. There are some sections that still need to be filled in [such as] the environmental issues section of the report, which focuses a lot more on the work of the environmental commission and their objectives on different environmental issues in town. It is almost done, which is exciting.”

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