March 2022
In 2022 we celebrate the 70th 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.
In The Field With OCSCD Staff
Managing Stormwater Runoff
from Development Projects
A large basin managing a huge volume of stormwater runoff from a residential community in Barnegat Township. Photo by Sean Yeats, Inspector I.
Standard for Offsite Stability

The water quality of coastal waterways is of vital importance to local economies and ecosystems. With ever-increasing demand for land development and associated construction activity in Ocean County, it is essential to ensure the local waterways are not negatively impacted by pollutants, such as construction debris and sediment, in stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff is that portion of precipitation that returns to water bodies over the surface of the ground. The amount of stormwater runoff in a given area is a function of several factors including, but not limited to: the amount and intensity of precipitation, soil texture, vegetative coverage, and slope/land grading. In fact, it is now known that stormwater runoff and associated flooding are escalating due to increases in precipitation. In November 2021, Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced: New Jersey-specific studies confirm rainfall is intensifying because of climate change.

The District staff review stormwater management reports for new and re-development projects to protect and maintain the stability and integrity of natural resources on downstream or off-site property due to changes in the rate and volume of stormwater runoff associated with construction activity and land development. The New Jersey Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standard for Offsite Stability (21-1) works to address this natural resource concern. Through ensuring this standard is applied on both re-development and new construction projects, the ultimate goal of minimized environmental impact and long-term protection of downstream water quality can be obtained. 
Get Your Soil Tested This Spring
Test Your Soil
Soil is the foundation of all life on Earth, including the flowers and veggies in your garden. Determine your soil texture, soil pH and soil nutrient content through a soil test. Visit the Jersey-Friendly Yards Start With Healthy Soil webpage to learn how to take a soil sample, download and fill-out the proper forms, and send your sample through the US Postal Service to Rutgers Soil Testing Lab.
Professional Development for Educators
25th Annual Barnegat Bay
Environmental Educators Roundtable
Example of Spodosol soil in coniferous woodland. Photo credit: John Kelley, Open Soil Science (Creative Commons Open Source License).

Our Roots Run Deep! Celebrating 25 Years of Connections, Culture & Conservation

Join us in celebration of our 25th Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators RoundtableRegistration is open.

The Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable will take place outside at Jakes Branch County Park on April 27. Open House begins at 2:30pm, followed by a light dinner. Workshops begin at 4:15pm, followed by our Keynote Kiss the Ground film. Festivities conclude at 8:30pm with door prizes. Registration required. Cost: $25 per person. Visit our Environmental Educators Roundtable webpage to learn more. For questions, please contact Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist, OCSCD,

Since 1997, the Ocean County Soil Conservation District has been hosting this much anticipated annual Professional Development event. The Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable is designed for teachers and educators to enhance their knowledge of local natural resources, culture and history. Participants choose from an array of workshops or field trips and glean valuable tools and resources that support the development of environmental stewardship in the students they teach.

For the past two years the Roundtable was offered in virtual format. In 2022, we are excited to partner with Ocean County Parks and Recreation and return to an in-personoutdoor event to celebrate 25 years of shared learning experiences that root us to the land, to the community, and to each other. We hope you will join us!
Education Programs & Resources
Poster Contest
Cash Prizes for All Grade Groups!

Healthy Soil Healthy Life

The NJ Conservation Poster Contest is open to all students in New Jersey from grades 2-12, and is categorized according to grade groups. At the county level, the Ocean County Soil Conservation District will declare a First Place winner for each grade group. First Place Winners receive a $50 prize. One Grand Champion Winner is selected among the First Place winners and is awarded an additional $50 prize. All First Place winning entries from Ocean County are submitted to the NJ Statewide Competition where they will compete for cash prizes. The First Place prize at the NJ Statewide Competition is $100, Second Place is $50 and Third Place receives $25. Winners from the Statewide Competition move on to compete in the Nationals. Deadline to submit Ocean County entries is March 10, 2022. Download the rules and entry form.
Jersey-Friendly Yards 2022 Webinar Series
Back to Basics: 8 Steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard!
This year’s webinar series reminds us that a Jersey-Friendly Yard doesn’t have to be a monumental task. Start small and start with the basics. Each program in this series ties-to one of the 8 Steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard. Join us as we incorporate these basic components into our landscaping practices, resulting in a beautiful and healthy Jersey-friendly Yard!
March 8 - Step 2: Start with Healthy Soil
A healthy garden starts with healthy soil. We will explore the basics about the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil as they pertain to the foundation of a successful Jersey-Friendly garden. We’ll showcase some of our favorite Jersey-Friendly flowers, vines, grasses, shrubs and trees and discuss the soil texture, soil pH and soil moisture content these plants need to be happy and healthy! Find out more about this program or register. Watch our February program: Plan Before You Plant, password: Step1Plan. Presenter: Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District  (Photo: courtesy of USDA NRCS)
Jersey-Friendly Yards was developed by the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP), with funding from NJDEP. The Jersey-Friendly Yards website provides comprehensive resources and tools about landscaping for a healthy yard and healthy environment in New Jersey. The Ocean County Soil Conservation District and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County are partnering with the BBP to offer educational programs about how you can make your yard more Jersey-Friendly!
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.
Visit our website:
OCSCD's monthly newsletter is edited by Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist. For information about education programs, events and projects pertaining to soil, water, native gardening and natural resource conservation, please contact Becky at For technical questions regarding soil disturbance and regulations pertaining to the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, please call (609) 971-7002.