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Wildwood Voted NJ’s Top Beach [AUDIO]

There are many dynasties worth mentioning; The New York, The Romanovs, and now Wildwood can join those ranks as it secures another top spot on the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches Poll sponsored by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium.

2012 Top 10 Beaches
2012 Top 10 Beaches (Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

This is the fourth time the Wildwoods, which is marketed as Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and North Wildwood, have gotten the number one spot in the last five years. Receiving it’s only second place in 2009 when Ocean City was voted #1.

Wildwood is only one of three beaches statewide to boast free entrance to visitors, something Wildwood Marketing and Tourism Director Ben Rose believes gave them the edge.

“When you look at beach fees it can cost up to 80 dollars for a family of four for a week and that’s a lot of money for a family that they’re saving.”

Rounding out the remaining ten, Ocean City captured the second spot weeks after the borough held a vote to continue their BYOB ban.

The six municipalities within Long Beach Island (Barnegat Light, Long Beach Township, Harvey Cedars, Surf City, and Beach Haven) came in at the number three spot.

(L-R) Grace Hanlson, Executive Director of Travel & Tourism State of NJ & Ben Rose, Director of Marketing and Tourism For Wildwood
(L-R) Grace Hanlson, Executive Director of Travel & Tourism State of NJ & Ben Rose, Director of Marketing and Tourism For Wildwood (Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

Sea Isle City placed fourth, while Belmar rounded out the Top Five. The Borough of Belmar spent the last year positioning themselves as the spot for families looking to enjoy the shore, renovating their boardwalk, revamping cleaning procedures in all public bathrooms, and installing more handicap and stroller accessible entrances on the beach.

Cape May, Manasquan, Island Beach State Park, Sandy Hook, and Seaside Heights completed the list at numbers 6 through ten respectively.

The contest has been run to have beach goers feel more connected with their favorite spots along the shore and its 127 mile coastline. Participants were able to vote online and the results were weighed against several factors including environmental and geography.

While participants were voting, they had a chance to voice their opinion through a question asking them “What issue do you feel has the biggest impact on the state’s coastal future?”

Out of the Top Ten responses, “Clean Water” came in at number one with a 29.6 percent response. Almost twenty points higher than the number two answer “over development.”

Stewart Ferrell, Director of Richard Stockton College’s Coastal Research Center and project Co Sponsor of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s Top Ten Beaches Survey says the results aren’t particularly shocking.

“It’s certainly reasonable to not have e-coli and other kinds of floatables in the water. And the water is the first thing everyone seems to focus on.”

He notes the biggest issue with water quality now deals with storm water runoff, which needs to be mitigated through ground water filtration and education to let residents know not to let many of the common things fall into the sewers which can harm the oceans.

“It’s got animal feces, it’s got organic compound from vehicles, stuff from the streets and roads, plus the ever popular green thumb stuff that’s sold for grass fertilizer and pesticides.”

The results of the questions of the question go towards steering the direction of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s future research, education, and outreach projects.

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