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May 10th 2006

Meeting Minutes

Point Pleasant Beach Environmental Commission

Meeting came to order at 7:05 pm and concluded at 9:30 pm. Members present were Anne Lightburn, Jim Harper, Amy Mercuro, Kathleen Foley and Joel Cooper and alternate Rosa Crowley. Councilman and liaison Mike DiCicco also participated. Guests from the public were residents Kitty Philipp, Peggy Buccino, Rich and Marla Williams, Ed and Candace Donoughue, and Craig Jones. Members Denise Lord and Rob Autenrieth had excused absences.

Secretary’s Report / Review of Minutes
Minutes from the April 12th meeting were reviewed, discussed, and approved as written. In Rob's absence, Ms. Foley agreed to take the minutes of the May meeting.

Financial Report
Joel reported that no other charges have been incurred since last meeting.

Lake Study: Councilman DiCicco advised that Council has submitted an application for a NJDEP General Permit 16 which authorizes habitat creation and enhancement activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas and State open waters. These activities are necessary to implement a plan for the restoration, creation or enhancement of the habitat and water quality functions and values of wetlands.

A conference call to Brian Marsh of the US Fish & Wildlife Service (609)383-3938, x22, was made and comprised the majority of the meeting focusing on lake rehabilitation details. He explained that their office has a Volunteer Restoration Program which towns can take advantage of, to create or enhance wildlife for the benefit of fish and wildlife. The name of this program is "Partners for Fish and Wildlife". To request assistance through this program, we are to submit a draft to them with a copy of the restoration plan in a landowner agreement. A signatory of how long restoration efforts would be left in place, as well as the approximate cost and budget including volunteer time are required in the request. Brian's e-mail is Brian_Marsh@FWS.gov . FWS applies the pesticide and provides plants, maintenance of wildlife during restoration. To ensure privacy for the resident wildlife, leave the phragmites dead in the fall and cut in the spring. Beach plums and choke berry don’t grow more than 4 feet high and are good for foraging. Hackberry and Holly are also recommended which provide shade to the waterbody, thus increasing dissolved oxygen in the water, necessary for aquatic life. Dogwoods are great for wildlife.

Other comments made by FWS were that herbicide is best method applied on their property. He feels comfatably applying this in sensitive wetlands and environments. The surfactants can have adverse affects on wildlife. Round-up can harm amphibians. LI 700 is the surfactant used by USFWS for mixing the pesticide prior to application. Glyphosate is a widespread killer includeing other grasses, shrubs, etc. Don’t want to use this when it’s windy or high in the air. Spray in September so the movement is from leaf to roots. Needs a pathway and 100% coverage on the leaf; every leaf w/herbicide on it. Early August, we should CUT down the phrag to stress it out (and leave it alone for one month). In winter, mow it down. Knotweed is more aggressive with larger roots. So, cut in Aug., spray in Sept., Mow in December.

Resident Candace Donoughue inquired whether the Boro Council had solicited any free help from such services as the Rutgers Agricultural Resource Center with experts in environmental restoration.

Goose Control comments to Shoor DePalma's recommendations. Marla Williams didn't think there were too many geese to bother with a plan. Councilman DiCicco advised that silhouettes work well at his office complex, without much cost or effort. Brian advised that a buffer of plants around the lake works best to deter geese. Also shrubs, both low-growing and high-growing, provide physical buffers at low cost. Grass around the lake should be mowed about once every two years which provides habitat diversity both vertical and horizontal, with flowers for pollinators and fruit for migratory birds and nesters, finches, orioles etc.

Resident's disapproval of spraying - some residents are still against use of pesticides of any type, despite the lengthy presentation by Mr. Marsh, a Contamination Specialist w/US FWS.

Comments to drafts of a Lake Restoration Task Force were discussed based upon information submitted by members. Kathleen sent her comments to members via e-mail. Rosa brought a copy of her draft for discussion with the group. Comments were provided by the group to include all of the lakes, and to be more encompassing of the goals of the task force.

Tree Ordinance
The June 20th Caucus portion of the Council meeting will be our Shade Tree Preservation presentation to Council with guest Michael LaManna of Heartwood Consulting. He will be the main presenter during the 20 -25 minute window that we have. If time allows, other comments will be made on the benefits of trees in neighborhoods, including flood protection, traffic calming and increased value of homes.

Rob wrote an article on the importance of trees on Arbor Day for the Ocean Star. Members were able to critique it prior to its release.

We received one announcement of training courses which had already been held. The mail is received late sometimes.

Committee/Task Force Status Reports
A. Recycling Task Force – Ms. Foley provided a brief update. They are close to hiring a part-time Recycling Coordinator.
B. Open Space Committee – Anne advised that members have been selected and notified. The first mtg date is May 24th?
C. Ocean County Shade Tree Grant - ted above under “Tree Ordinance.” Members again discussed the need to seek advice from Member Anne Lightburn (absent from meeting) along with the need for guests and speakers to prepare for Caucus presentation.

Old Business

New Business

A. Dunes – Members discussed the need for a Dune Inspector, which was held years ago. Citizen Jane McCrohan will be approached to gauge her interest and to seek advice for the situation. Member Anne Lightburn e-mailed the local dune ordinance to all members, which is now being reviewed.
B. Water Conservation – Members discussed publishing tips on improving this issue in the Ocean Star.

Upcoming Dates
O.C. Shade Tree Grant – due May 15
Pontoon Boat Tours - Sept. 8-10
Seafood Festival - Sept. 17

Meeting Adjournment – 9:30

Published October04, 2006 | Environmental Commission Minutes | 310

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