Click here to download the pdf of our 2021 Annual Report Executive Summary.
From the Director’s Desk
The Ocean County Soil Conservation District strives to build and sustain a conservation legacy through implementation of the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, and through a robust Education & Outreach Program. The District views its role in protecting soil and water quality as integral to the health and vibrancy of our community. Through effective regulation and innovative education programs we can ensure a flourishing watershed that serves our constituents and sustains the natural resources of the region. As one of 3000+ soil conservation districts in the United States, and one of 14 in New Jersey, OCSCD embodies its role as a local conservation voice. The District is proud of our many accomplishments!
Through open and effective communications with many partners and local community leaders, the District addresses critical and priority issues pertaining to the protection of soil and water. OCSCD welcomes in put and participation and seeks opportunities to engage with constituents and enhance our effectiveness.
This Executive Summary is a snapshot of the success stories of the District. We hope that you will find our stories of interest and we welcome your comments and input. For an in-depth view, please use the QR code to connect to our Annual Report, or visit our website to learn more: www.SoilDistrict.org. We look forward to 2022 and the ongoing opportunity to do our part in protecting the resources of Ocean County.
Soil Erosion & Sediment Control
New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts are semi-autonomous locally-led government regulatory agencies that implement conservation programs in consultation and cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Agri culture and other state and federal agencies and organizations. The Ocean County Soil Conservation District came into existence in 1952 through a group of passionate citizens who wanted to set themselves apart from the previously established “Camburton Soil Conservation District”, comprised of Ocean, Camden and Burlington Counties.
Following the rules and regulations of the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act of 1975, the District regulates construction projects involving greater than 5,000sq ft of soil disturbance. Disturbance is defined as any activity involving clearing, excavat ing, storing, grading, filling or transporting of soil. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) current ly regulates stormwater runoff from certain construction activities under its Construction Activity Stormwater General Permit (NJPDES Permit No. NJ0088323).
The primary operational funding of the District is obtained through regulatory permit fees for development and construction. In addition, the District continually identifies and investigates diversified funding opportuni ties, including grants and partnerships that support delivery of an enhanced conservation effort. OCSCD staff receive quality professional development that increases knowledge and skills, and enhances efficiency and effectiveness. An overview of revenue and expenditures are reflected in the charts below for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
Education, Outreach, Partnerships & Projects
OCSCD understands the importance and power of education. OCSCD is the only Soil Conservation District in New Jersey to boost a full-time educator among staff. The District is passionate about engaging with our constituents to instill an appreciation of the soil, water, and natural resources within Ocean County that are essential to a healthy and vibrant community.
The District regularly works with local and regional partners to coordinate and collaborate on numerous natural resource projects and programs. We welcome opportunities to leverage resources, share expertise and assist with initiatives that benefit not only the agencies and organizations involved but, importantly, the natural resources of Ocean County. Together we accomplish more than we can alone.
Over the past 30 years, Ocean County Soil Conservation District has developed an Education Program designed to heighten awareness about the importance of healthy soil and clean water, underscore the benefits provided by our natural resources, and inspire stewardship of our native landscapes throughout Ocean County. The District offers a variety of educational programs for community members, including students, scouts, teachers, environmental commissions, garden clubs, green groups and professionals. OCSCD is an active participant in statewide educational initiatives including the annual Poster Contest and the New Jersey Envirothon, administered by NJACD. In addition, each April the District hosts our annual signature event – the Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable that serves to bring together local educators and provide an evening of professional development in a fun, interactive, outdoor setting that emphasizes and showcases the Barnegat Bay watershed’s unique natural resources.
Partnerships and combined efforts with agencies such as the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, USDA-NRCS, sister Soil Conservation Districts, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, South Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council, Barnegat Bay Partnership, Ocean County Parks & Recreation, and the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education have served to enhance our efforts.
OCSCD Grant Projects
The Ocean County Soil Conservation District staff are involved in several grant pro jects that seek to further our mission and diversify our funding sources.
OCSCD has received generous funding from the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) in support of a unique collaboration between the two agencies to expand and grow education, outreach and stewardship efforts within the Barnegat Bay watershed. Efforts are focused on two flagship initiatives: Jersey-Friendly Yards and the Barnegat Bay Master Naturalist Program. In addi tion, OCSCD is assisting BBP with the Jersey-Friendly Yards certification program, through a 319(h) Water Quality Restoration grant, awarded by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to BBP.
The District is partnering with Camden County Soil Conservation District, South Jersey Resource Conser vation and Development Council (SJRC&D), and Lakewood Township Department of Public Works on the Lakewood Township Stormwater Basin Retrofit Project (WM20-008), funded by a Federal 319(h) Wa ter Quality Restoration grant, awarded by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to SJRC&D. The 4-year grant focuses on retrofitting stormwater basins within the North and South Branches of the Metedeconk River watershed. The Metedeconk River provides over 100,000 residents with a source of clean water for drinking and personal use.
OCSCD was awarded a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) that allows the District to assist NRCS in conserving natural resources on private farm land and forests, and begin the process of training required for Conservation Planner Certification as well as working with a unique group of producers in the shellfish aquaculture industry.
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Ocean County Soil Conservation District
714 Lacey Road
Forked River, NJ 08731
(609) 971 – 7002