December 2021
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In 2021 we celebrated the 69th year of the Ocean County Soil Conservation District. We remain committed to building and sustaining a conservation legacy by working with our partners and constituents to conserve, protect and restore our soil, water and natural resources by providing technical assistance, implementing restoration projects, and most importantly through education.
Your Soil Conservation District at Work
Soil Stabilization
Protecting Soil and Preventing Pollution
Soil Erosion - Preventable Pollution

Soil erosion involves the breakdown, detachment, transport, and redistribution of soil particles by external forces such as water, wind and gravity. The Environmental Protection Agency identifies eroded soil as the most common non-point source (NPS) pollutant entering our waterways today. NPS pollution stems from a variety of sources - agricultural land, construction sites, and other areas of land disturbance. Because of this, soil and nutrients that are eroded away from these locations are difficult to adequately control, especially once they reach local waterways. With the ever-growing demand for coastal property in the Barnegat Bay region – NPS pollution threatens the quality of coastal life that can result in economic losses, negative health impacts, and environmental degradation. In order to protect the Barnegat Bay watershed from the negative impacts resulting from NPS pollution, District staff work to enforce the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act of 1975. This Act requires all construction activities greater than 5,000 square feet to be developed in accordance with a plan to not only control erosion during construction, but to ensure effective soil stabilization preventing erosion post construction. Read the complete Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards. (Photo by Sean Yeats, Inspector 1, OCSCD)
Sediment Control - Sediment Barrier

With new and re-development happening all over Ocean County, you may have noticed the black fence surrounding many active construction sites. This fence is called a "silt fence" and it is one type of sediment barrier utilized during the construction process. The ultimate purpose of a silt fence is to intercept and detain small amounts of sediment from cleared and unprotected areas of a construction site. The fence is permeable, allowing water particles to slowly move through the fabric, while preventing larger particles of sediment from eroding offsite and depositing into a waterway or neighboring property. On all active construction sites, District staff enforce the use of sediment barriers as per the certified Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan and the NJ Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards. (Photo by Sean Yeats, Inspector 1, OCSCD)
Silt Fence Limitations

According to the NJ Standard for Sediment Barriers, (p. 23-1 in the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards), the contributing drainage area to the silt fence sediment barrier shall be less than 1 acre and the length of slope above the barrier shall be less than 150 feet. The slope of the contributing drainage area for at least 30 feet adjacent to the silt fence shall not exceed a 5% grade. When design criteria are not met or the volume of stormwater runoff to the sediment barrier is too great, the silt fence will fail, as seen in the image depicted here. Sediment barrier inspections shall be frequent, and repair or replacement shall be made promptly as needed. Sediment barriers play a vital role on construction sites to control erosion and minimize offsite sedimentation, however, they are just one of many erosion control measures that make up the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for both the new and re-development projects occurring throughout Ocean County. Read the complete Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards. (Photo by Georgie Grieb, Inspector 1, OCSCD)
SPARC Project
Mike Joannides Jr. (left) and Dale Parsons Jr. (right) use high pressure hoses to move the recycled shell off the barge and onto the lease bottom. (Photo: Kristin Adams, PSM, Erosion Control Specialist, OCSCD)
Oyster Reef Restoration with Parson's Seafood, Tuckerton, NJ (Great Bay)

Ocean County Soil Conservation District's Sustainable Practices for Aquaculture Resources Conservation project (SPARC) continues efforts to provide technical assistance to aquaculture farmers in the Barnegat Bay watershed to further develop the conservation practices of the NJ NRCS Aquaculture Initiative. Earlier this year, Kristin Adams, OCSCD Erosion Control Specialist, joined Dale Parsons Jr., owner of Parsons Seafood and Parsons Mariculture in Tuckerton, NJ as he and his crew deployed recycled oyster, surf clam and whelk shell on one of his shellfish leases in the Great Bay. Dale is a participating producer in the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This program provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water quality, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation and improved or created wildlife habitat.

Dale and his crew are pictured implementing a conservation practice called Restoration of Rare or Declining Natural Communities for Oyster Bed Restoration or Enhancement/Replenishment, in which a 2-inch layer of recycled shell is deployed on Dale’s leases. The high-pressure hoses are used to physically move all of the recycled shell off of the barge and into the bay, where it will settle to the bottom and create an oyster reef. The restored oyster bed will support oyster growth and reproduction, provide habitat for other aquatic species and enhance water quality through oyster water filtration and the removal of nutrients and suspended sediments. A layer of spat-on-shell (live oyster larvae which has set onto recycled shell) will later be placed on top of the oyster reef to promote natural reproduction of oysters.

Through the District’s partnership with NRCS, the Aquaculture Initiative and the SPARC project, Kristin assisted with the conservation plan for Dale’s EQIP application as well as the certification process as the conservation practice was being implemented. The District looks forward to working with NRCS and local aquaculture producers such as Dale in the future as we continue to expand opportunities for shellfish producers and improve the health of the Barnegat and Great Bay estuaries and ecosystems.
Oyster larvae that has set on recycled surf clam shell. (Photo: Kristin Adams, PSM, Erosion Control Specialist, OCSCD)
Dale Parsons Jr. (left) and Steve Bongard (right) discuss the morning’s operation. (Photo: Kristin Adams, PSM, Erosion Control Specialist, OCSCD)
Education Programs
Urban Agriculture Programs

State of the Food System Symposium
December 3 at 1pm

NJ Food Democracy Collaborative and Stockton University host New Jersey's first State of the Food System Symposium on December 3 from 1-4pm.
The NJ Food Democracy Collaborative is a state food system organizing and advocacy initiative, inspired by the food policy council model, focused on building resilience and equity in the food system through fostering collaborative action, affecting structural change, and advocating for innovation and optimization of public programs.

Gather at this virtual event to learn from each other's work and progress on this year's shared and interconnected food system challenges, celebrate our "wins", and find solidarity in learning as we face the challenges ahead. View symposium agenda. Pre-registration required.
Jersey-Friendly Yards Outreach Programs

Jersey-Friendly Yards - Landscaping for a Healthy Environment
December 7 at 7pm

Join this free webinar, hosted by the Hudson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. Explore the Jersey-Friendly Yards website, including the tools and resources that you can use to create a "Jersey-Friendly Yard". Learn the importance of a healthy foundation of soil, how to implement water conservation in the garden, and learn ways to attract pollinators, birds and wildlife to your yard using native plants. To register, please visit the Native Plant Society of New Jersey website, and follow the prompts to register for this program. For more information please email the co-leaders at the Hudson County Chapter.
Schedule a Jersey-Friendly Yards Program for Your Group
Calling all Green Teams, Environmental Commissions and Garden Clubs! Is your "Green Group" interested in hosting a Jersey-Friendly Yards webinar for your constituents? Jersey-Friendly Yards partners will provide a free 1 hour webinar discussing the importance of landscaping for a healthy environment. We'll start by introducing the tools and resources on the Jersey-Friendly Yards website, explain how to get your soil tested, introduce water conservation practices, suggest appropriate native plants, and offer ways to attract and support pollinators and wildlife. Contact Karen Walzer and Becky Laboy to schedule a program.
Winterize Your Jersey-Friendly Yard
Create a Winter Wildlife Garden
Birds and other wildlife benefit from your "untidy" Jersey-Friendly garden. Here's a few tips to help support birds and wildlife in winter:
1) Leaves some leaves. Raking or blowing your leaves into your garden beds provide places for ground-scratching sparrows to search for seeds and invertebrates hiding under the cover.
2) Allow stems to stand. Seed heads left atop the stems provide food for birds and the hollow or pithy stems encapsulate and protect overwintering bee larva.
3) Supplement your garden with feeders full of high-fat foods such as nuts, suet and sunflower seeds.
4) A heated bird bath ensures a source of fresh water - a vital resource that's hard to come by in freezing temperatures.
5) Provide shelter and protection. Roosting boxes and brush piles allow birds and wildlife places to shelter from predators, inclement weather, and a cozy place to spend the night.
(Photo: Red-breasted Nuthatch clings to a feeder on a snowy day in winter. By Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist, OCSCD)
Visit our website:
For more information about education programs, events and projects pertaining to soil, water, native gardening and natural resource conservation, please contact Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District: