Today, 30 organizations called on the federal government to stop delaying and deny the Liberty Natural Gas project that has been lurking at the Maritime Administration – despite the fact that the Governor of New Jersey issued a clear, timely, legal veto of the project more than a year ago.
In February of 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed the last active application for an LNG port, called Liberty Natural Gas, in the NY/NJ Bight, saying that LNG imports and exports, and the facilities that allow for those practices, have no place in New Jersey’s clean ocean economy. This decision was based on a thorough review of several thousands of pages of application documents and studies, and was made fully within the letter and spirit of the Deepwater Port Act.
Now, one year later, the federal agency in charge of LNG port applications – the Maritime Administration (MARAD) – is continuing the review of the Liberty LNG application. In fact, the federal agency officials posted another iteration of Liberty Natural Gas proposal in the federal register announcing that the project was moving further away from New Jersey and closer to New York. This has fueled speculation that the federal agencies believe the project has life.
“Liberty can run but they can’t hide,” said Cindy Zipf, executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “This project is dead in the water, and has been since February 2011. Governor Christie issued a firm, legally valid veto rejecting this Liberty Natural Gas project and the Maritime Administration must stop wasting tax-payer dollars by allowing the Liberty Natural Gas project to linger,” Zipf added.
MARAD publicly denounced Governor Christie’s veto last year as “not legally significant” and it is now working off a newly revised application that moves this port closer to New York State and, ironically, square in the middle of proposed offshore wind.
“We are very disappointed that our federal government officials are not living up to the responsibility. When Governor Christie says no, I think he means ‘no’,” said Richard Lee, East Coast Director of Surfers Environmental Alliance.
“Consistent with our conviction that water has the right to flourish and evolve organically, WATERSPIRIT is asking for a ban on any and all Liquid Natural Gas projects in the ocean, said Joan Carey, ssj., Assistant Director of WATERSPIRIT. “We hope for a future where water is treated as the gift of life it is and not as a mere resource for gas and oil exploitation!” she added.
In this letter to MARAD, groups urge the agency to officially end the application process for this facility instead of letting the applicant skirt the interests of the people of the region and avoid the finality of Governor Christie’s legal veto.
Recently, LNG facilities around the nation have been put in the spotlight for the new push to export domestically produced natural gas overseas. Ports like Liberty LNG which have historically build business models around LNG imports are now asking to be allowed to export gas to higher-price-paying markets in Europe and Asia.
“Liberty refuses to go away, continuing to push for their LNG export pipeline off of the NY/NJ coast by pretending this facility will be used to import LNG. The natural gas industry is greedily working around the clock to get an export facility close to the Marcellus Shale deposits,” said Captain Jim Lovgren of the Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative in Point Pleasant, NJ. “They will do or say anything to export our domestic natural gas resources overseas; but to what end? They will deplete the US of our energy independence future, increasing the costs to US consumers and pollute our environment by fracking – all in the name of corporate greed. Frack that,” he added.
For several years, foreign energy companies have looked to the New York-New Jersey ocean as a site for offshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ports. For several years, a coalition of citizens, fishermen, business-owners, boaters, civic associations, and environmentalists have banded together to protect the clean ocean economy from the fossil fuel industry. With this letter, these organizations are continuing this vigilance.
- Click here for a copy of the April 3, 2012 Coalition Letter to MARAD.
- Click here for the May 11, 2011 Letter to Liberty Natural Gas from MARAD saying the Governor’s veto has “no legal significance.”
- Click here for the revised Liberty Natural Gas application on the federal docket.
Clean Ocean Action’s Annual Family Beach Ball for the Ocean!
You are invited to join hundreds of sea-friends and enjoy live reggae music, fabulous picnic and sea fare, and beachy fun for children of all ages at the 8th Annual Family Beach Ball for the Ocean, a benefit for Clean Ocean Action (COA), Sunday, May 20, 2012. This spring event will take place at the Ship Ahoy Beach Club, Sea Bright, from 3-7p.m.
The event supports Clean Ocean Action, a nonprofit ocean advocacy organization that has been improving ocean water quality for more than 27 years. Recently, COA leads the campaign to protect the region from pollution, sea-borne trash, medical waste, offshore Liquefied Natural Gas facilities, and offshore drilling.
In our third year as a “no waste” event, the Beach Ball will celebrate with ocean enthusiasts, corporate partners, and elected officials. It is a great opportunity for businesses and citizens to demonstrate their support of a clean and healthy ocean. The event will feature live music by Random Test; a delectable raw bar by Lusty Lobster Seafood Market and Catering; scallops by Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative; catering by Brennan’s Delicatessen; artisan cheeses by Wegmans; and tiki bar by Holly Crest Wine Cellars, Hunterdon Brewing Co., and Island Margaritas. Dessert will be provided by The Flaky Tart, and Sugarush; and ice cream by Gracie and the Dudes.
This year’s event includes hours of free fun for the kids, including entertainment by Mr. Scott the Music Man, and Ray Anderson (Mr. Ray). Kids will enjoy eco-friendly crafts, game and face painting, as well as learning (on-sand) surfing techniques from Summa Love Surfing and Yoga!
The Family Beach Ball has expanded its menu and will feature Lusty Lobster’s famous Raw Bar, and a wonderful assortment of items from local favorite, Brennan’s Delicatessen whose sustainability initiatives align with our Beach Ball’s “no waste” theme.
FamilyBeachBall for the Ocean is generously hosted by Ship Ahoy Beach Club. This year’s Salt Water Taffy Sponsor is Medallion Financial. Skee Ball Sponsors are Becker & Poliakoff, LLP, The Huber Family, and Shore Point Distributors. Cotton Candy Sponsors are Gordon Litwin, Monmouth Memorial Park Cemetery Association, New Jersey Natural Gas, and, Victor Maisano, CPA – German, Vreeland and Assoc. Frog Bog Sponsors are Kennedy & Ward Insurance Company, Main One Marina, The McDonald Family, Chip and Maria Schulz. Our thanks to additional sponsors who committed after this press release was sent.
In-kind support is generously provided by Guaranteed Plants & Florist, Mr. Scott the Music Man, Ray Anderson, Ship Ahoy Beach Club, Summa Love Surfing & Yoga, Sperry Tents of New Jersey, Waste Management, WasteNot Solutions, and all of our generous auction donors.
Admission is $75 per adult (until May 13th), which includes admission for two children. The event is a BYOB&C (Bring your own blankets and chairs).
For more information, including opportunities for sponsorship, please visit www.cleanoceanaction.org. The latest information about the Family Beach Ball can also be followed online via facebook and twitter.
Clean Ocean Action Releases 2011 Annual Beach Sweeps Report
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly featuring the Roster of the Ridiculous
WHO: Clean Ocean Action
WHEN: Wednesday April 11, 2012
WHAT: The release of the data results from the 2011 Annual Beach Sweeps. The data will highlight the trends, unusual items collected, and other observations from Clean Ocean Action’s 26th Annual Beach Sweep. The Beach Sweeps are a bi-annual statewide event that cleans New Jersey’s beaches and waterways. Volunteer’s record data on the items collected.
WHERE: Parking Lot D at Sandy Hook, SeaGulls Nest
WHY: Clean Ocean Action’s Annual Beach Sweep Reports provide evidence of the local pollution problem and call citizens, elected officials, and corporations to action for pollution prevention initiatives.
The Press Event will also invite citizens to participate in Clean Ocean Action’s 27th Annual Spring Beach Sweeps Saturday, April 21 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Directions: From the Garden State Parkway – Southbound: Take exit 117. Follow Route 36 east for approximately 12 miles. Cross the Highlands Bridge. Follow signs to Sandy Hook. *On Sandy Hook, pass through the entrance gates and follow the main road to Parking Lot D on the right.
From the Garden State Parkway – Northbound: Take exit 105. Follow Route 36 east for approximately 5 miles. When road ends, take a left on to Ocean Avenue. Follow Ocean Avenue approximately 7 miles to Sandy Hook. Follow from * above.
HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS TO GET SANDY, WET, AND WISE
AT TWO-DAY SEASIDE SUMMIT
Sandy Hook Beaches, Trails, and Marshes Become Outdoor Classrooms
Clean Ocean Action’s Student Summit – May 15th and 16th
WHO: Over 500 middle school students (grades 5-8) & teachers from 20 schools in Northern and Central New Jersey (see list below with locations ranging from Dover to Newark and Long Branch to Washington); students from the Marine Academy of Science & Technology High School, Sandy Hook; local educational professionals and volunteers.
WHAT: 24th Annual Clean Ocean Action Spring Student Summit
WHERE: Gateway National Recreation Area – Sandy Hook, Parking Area D.
Activities occur within Parking Area D and throughout the park
WHEN: Tuesday, May 15th and Wednesday, May 16th
Program starts with group lecture about Horseshoe Crabs at 9:15am.
Activities and Field Trips: 2 sessions (9:45-11am; 11:15am-12:30pm).
WHY: To teach students—the leaders of tomorrow—about the marine environment in order to foster stewardship and responsibility. Many students will be experiencing the beach for the first time.
PHOTO-OP: Students enjoying 6 hands-on workstations and 12 field activities, including learning how to properly handle horseshoe crabs; test water quality; identify birds, fish, and other marine life; track ocean pollution; and make scientific observations.
May 15th Participating Schools: St Vincent DePaul, Good Shepard Christian Academy, Belvidere Elementary School, Joseph Kushner Academy, Thomas G Connors Elementary, Mount Pleasant Middle School, Home School, Our Lady of the Lake School, Matawan Aberdeen Middle School
May 16th Participating Schools: Martin Luther King Jr. PS #11, William S Halloran School #22, The OLC School, Lincoln School, Dover Middle School, Newark Christian School, Long Branch Middle School, Sacred Heart School
About COA’s Student Summits:
For 24 years, Clean Ocean Action’s Summits have reached thousands of school students in New Jersey, expanding learning beyond the classroom. The Summit program presents students with an interdisciplinary marine and environmental education experience that complements the NJ Science Standards.
COA invites northern and central New Jersey public and private schools to the Spring Student Summit, which is held in mid-May at Sandy Hook. The Fall Student Summit takes place in early October, at Island Beach State Park for southern public and private schools. Schools are mailed applications prior to the Summits and are accepted based on the application and availability. Over the years, more than 15,000 students have been inspired by the symposium by the sea.
For information on additional COA educational programs or events, visit www.CleanOceanAction.org or call COA’s Main Office at (732) 872-0111.
DIRECTIONS to SANDY HOOK:
From North Jersey, GSP Southbound: Take exit 117. Follow Route 36 East for approximately 10 miles, follow brown/white signs to Sandy Hook, stay in right lane over bridge and follow ramp onto Gateway National Recreation Area – Sandy Hook Unit. *Once onto Sandy Hook, stay on the main road for approximately 2 miles. Just before the Visitor Center turn right into Parking Area D.
From South Jersey, GSP Northbound: Take exit 105. Follow Route 36 East for approximately 5 miles. When road ends, take a left onto Ocean Avenue (also called Rt. 36). Follow Ocean Avenue north approximately 5 miles to Sandy Hook. Follow from * above.
Visit the links below for Clean Ocean Action’s most recent:
Clean Ocean Action
18 Hartshorne Drive, Suite 2
Highlands, NJ 07732