At its meeting on January 10th 2019, the Township of Ocean Environmental Commission heard a presentation by Deborah Kratzer, an environmental consultant. Ms. Kratzer was hired by the Township to complete the Township’s first-ever Township-wide Environmental Resource Inventory (ERI), using a $20,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey. In attendance were Environmental and Shade Tree Commission members, approximately a dozen members of the public, as well as the Chairman of the Township’s Planning Board. During the meeting, Ms. Kratzer presented an outline of the many components of an ERI along with information on how the document may be used by the Township in the future. A PDF version of the Presentation has been placed on the Township website for the public to view. Please click here to view the presentation.
The ERI is a baseline documentation of the natural resources and environmentally significant features of an area. It will cover a wide array of subjects pertaining to the Township’s natural environment. Although the ERI is an objective document and does not interpret facts nor make recommendations, it will serve as an important component to the soon-to-be updated Master Plan for the Township. Additionally, the ERI will be an important tool for the Township’s Environmental Commission, Shade Tree Commission, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Council. This project will also contribute to the successful completion of a Natural Resource Inventory which will earn the Township of Ocean 20 points towards the renewal of its Sustainable Jersey Certification.
Once a draft version of the ERI is completed by Ms. Kratzer, the document will be posted on the Township website for public review and comment sometime in April of this year. A hard copy of the draft will also be available for in-person review during the Township’s Annual GreenFest scheduled for April 13th 2019 at the Township Library. Members of the Environmental Commission will be available that day to answer any questions. Similar to the request for public input that was made by the Commission in March of 2018, the request for public comment on the completed draft will be for factual information only that may have been missed during the research phase.
It is anticipated that the final version of the ERI will be completed in September of this year and a presentation will be provided to the public that same month.