by Nicole Wines
Deal, NJ has been experiencing the effects of pollution and runoff this summer. Check out the following articles to learn more about the issues plaguing Deal this season, including hundreds of pounds of plastic washing up on shore and toxic algae in Deal Lake.
Earlier in the season, 2 beaches in this town were among 47 in NJ at risk for closing due to high levels of bacteria present in fecal matter being detected in the ocean water and later cleared of the warnings.
Why does this happen? Much of the fecal matter found along the NJ coastal waters appears after a heavy rain and is caused by stormwater runoff. I would wager to say that the Combined Sewage Overflows that discharge into coastal waters in northern NJ and also in NY does not help. All of this is a direct result of overdevelopment and ecosystem devastation.
This, to me, is a reflection of what is occurring on the Gulf Coast of Florida, on a much smaller scale. There are miles and miles of toxic waters and beaches with small and large fish, sea turtles, manatees and even a whale shark washing up dead from the toxic tide. While “Red Tide” is a naturally occurring phenomenon, human activity and ecosystem devastation have made it exponentially worse and brought upon the worst “Red Tide” in recorded history this year.
I fear we will be seeing more of the same in NJ and other coastal areas in the coming months and years if we do not make a radical change in our societies that supports ecological restoration, reclamation and resiliency and transitions to zero waste and regenerative systems. Sustainability isn’t enough, focusing on single towns like Deal along won’t do it, we have to push for and begin to make these changes in all of our communities.
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