Introducing Clean Ocean Action’s Blue Star Program

Posted on by By Cara Muscio, Clean Ocean Action

A new program aimed at protecting one of New Jersey’s most valuable resources — clean water — will launch this week.

Municipal leaders and experts from across the state will join Clean Ocean Action on Thursday, Sept. 18 at Richard Stockton College to learn about the new Municipal Blue Star Program, a Sustainable Jersey certification initiative focusing on watershed-wide water quality improvements.

Nearly all of New Jersey’s waters fail to meet the fishable, swimmable, and drinkable goals of our laws. Most of these issues are a result of our everyday actions, and the way we use land and water resources. Fortunately, many can be fixed or prevented with small changes within our daily lives and communities.

Through this Blue Star initiative, not only will participating communities become leaders in environmental stewardship, but they will help ensure the resiliency and vitality of a clean coastal ecosystem and economy.

At the Thursday kick-off event, attendees will learn about available assistance for towns “Getting to Resilience” and hear about efforts underway in New Jersey from Sustainable Jersey Green Team members.

Dogs trained by Environmental Canine Services will demonstrate their special talent for sniffing out human waste as an innovative way to track and diagnose the kinds of leaking sewer and septic pollution that plague towns all over the country.

The event is free and open to the public, but please pre-register if you wish to attend.

New Jersey communities that participate in the Blue Star Program will undertake important actions to protect water, like supporting stormwater utilities in New Jersey, initiating plastic bag bans or fees, and reducing flooding risk. Such efforts are increasingly important in light of the challenges presented by climate change and sea level rise.

Here are the five simple steps Sustainable Jersey-registered municipalities can become Blue Star certified:

  • Follow the application requirements for Sustainable Jersey.
  • Ensure that 50 percent of your certification or re-certification points are “Blue Star Actions” to meet both Sustainable Jersey & Municipal Blue Star certification.
  • Submit documentation to Sustainable Jersey to receive certification. (Must be Sustainable Jersey certified to apply for Blue Star certification)
  • Submit your Blue Star Application to Clean Ocean Action for certification
  • Celebration/Award Presentation hosted by Clean Ocean Action

Sustainable Jersey is an action and point-based certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term.

For more information on how you or your town can get involved, visit cleanoceanaction.org, or contact Catie Tobin at education@cleanoceanaction.org, 732-872-0111.

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