Special note: The Stone Harbor Borough Council Meeting, scheduled for May 17, 2022, was postponed and held on May 24th, 2022 due to “an emergent public safety issue” which included “disturbing communications,” according to the administration. Borough officials did not disclose further information.
Fire Chief Roger Stanford reported a preseason swimming rescue on May 23 at the 96th Street Beach. He said a juvenile swimmer on a boogie board was spotted 100 yards offshore. Raymond Conover, a new part-time Firefighter hire and swim coach, swam out to the victim. The Marine 13 wave runner met them and the juvenile was brought ashore to an ambulance which transported the juvenile to Cape Regional Hospital for evaluation and was released.
Update on Beach Patrol Building
The building is on schedule for a mid-June completion with the delay caused by a shortage of materials and supplies. A major part of the main electrical panel has been on backorder. The Borough plans to rent a generator to provide electricity and to test a new elevator which would then allow the surrounding walls to be completed.
Coastal Engineer Report and Beach Update
A scheduled spring beach/sand survey had been done just one week before the recent storm and high tide cycles.
Sand was lost from the berm elevation (dry beach area) and the dune faces. The ability to calculate accurate loss from erosion was possible due to the timing of the pre-storm and post-storm survey. Those exact numbers were not available, but an estimated few hundred thousand cubic feet of sand was lost directly from the storm with hopes that natural occurrences will bring much of the sand back in the weeks ahead. Beaches between 104th-116th Streets lost the greatest amount of sand.
Emergency Permitting is a possible route for maintenance and sand replenishment. The Council plans to research best practices to comply with Department of Environmental Protection standards and to research archives regarding a Municipal Public Access plan, necessary for certain DEP assistance and approvals.
Please read the comprehensive story about our coastal issues in the Cape May County Herald by Stone Harbor beat reporter, Vince Conti, at this link:
Beach Vehicle Permits Ordinance Discussion
Council will allow the sale of Beach Access Vehicles Permits ONLY during September. Permits allow beach access from the day after Labor Day to March 15th. Currently, access begins on September 20. Permit holders will need to abide by any Fish and Wildlife notifications of closed beaches, due to evidence of nesting by birds that cannot fly.
Shannon MacPherson, a teacher from Pennsbury School District, was appointed Recreation Director starting in late June 2022.
Justin Ricciardi, interim director, detailed improvements and project plans estimated to be completed for the 2022 summer including:
• Resurfacing the 82nd Street tennis and pickleball courts.
• Atop the tennis/pickleball building, plans are for shade, chairs, and a water cooler.
• Bocce Courts to have surfaces leveled and turf maintenance ensuring Women’s and Men’s League Play by mid-June.
• Overhaul for the three basketball courts. The outside court at 82nd Street would be resurfaced with all-weather rims; the covered Pavilion Court received all new piping for safety and new all-weather rims. The 96th Street courts would be fitted with new hoops to withstand the harsh elements at the shore. There is a plan is to provide cushions for bleacher seating at both locations.
• One staff member has been hired to maintain all recreation facilities daily and fix problems in real-time.
Many Stone Harbor homeowners and Pickleball players were in attendance, both in-person in the chamber at the Borough Council meeting, and more than 50 people watching/participating on the live stream public ZOOM forum. Their comments focused on the increase in a seasonal pass from $80 to $250.
Borough officials noted that the cost would cover the expense of providing the activity, which is consistent with the costs of other recreational services.
Regarding the Borough lot at 112th Street, one homeowner said she wishes the Council to consider the 123rd Street parking lot as a location for possible bathrooms instead of using the lot on the 112th and beachfront lot adjacent to Villa Maria by the Sea.
Summer Events of Interest:
Tuesdays at the Tower: 95th Street and 2nd Avenue parking lot under the Water Tower
Starting July 5th and ending on Sept 6th, Borough Council and SH Chamber would sponsor bands which are set to play every Tuesday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the entertainment. Adult beverages will be available for purchase.
Christmas in July, 24 to 29th, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be out and about in Stone Harbor
Wedding of the Sea Monday, August 15th at the 82nd Street Pavilion and Recreation Ball Field
St. Brendan the Navigator will have an outdoor Mass and procession to the 81st Street beach with the lifeguard boat used to deliver the wreath to the ocean.