July 2022
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!
Partner Projects
OCSCD prides itself on our many partnerships with other government agencies, businesses, non-profits and community organizations to build and sustain a conservation legacy for future generations of people and wildlife.
Planting Natives in Shemen Street Basin
Left to right: Ramon Mejia, Erosion Control Specialist – OCSCD, Rachel Hammack, Technical Assistant – OCSCD, Michael Infanti, Resource Conservationist – Freehold SCD, Nicholas Lund, Site Inspector – Freehold SCD, Ben Hayden, Site Inspector – OCSCD, Ines Zimmerman, District Manager – Freehold SCD, Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist – OCSCD, Brittany Moore, Erosion Control Specialist – OCSCD, Craig McGee, District Manager – Camden County SCD. (Photo provided by Eileen Miller, Team Habitat Coordinator for SJRC&D.)
This spring, Ocean County Soil Conservation District staff assisted with the implementation of an additional stormwater basin retrofit in Lakewood Township. The selected stormwater basin, at the cul-de-sac of Shemen Street, manages 7.68 acres of a residential development area and discharges to a designated wetland area of the Cabinfield Branch of the Metedeconk River. Participants from OCSCD, the South Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council, Camden County Soil Conservation District, and Freehold Soil Conservation District spent the day planting approximately 1200 native landscape plugs supplied by Pinelands Nursery. Landscape plugs are small-sized seedlings grown in seed trays filled with potting soil which allows the roots to rapidly establish themselves. Landscape plugs are much more resistant to drought and other stress compared to conventional seeding methods.
The installation of native plants into the existing monoculture turfgrass basin bottom will improve downstream water quality, provide wildlife habitat and reduce soil erosion and sedimentation by providing deeper root systems which are better suited to stabilize soil, and infiltrate and filter stormwater runoff compared to the previous turfgrass stand. Species implemented in the planting include Swamp Milkweed, Broom Sedge, Riverbank Wild Rye, Boneset, Swamp Sunflower, Blue Flag Iris, Blue Lobelia, Cutleaf Coneflower, Seaside Goldenrod, Salt Meadow Cordgrass, Smooth Aster, New York Ironweed and Big Bluestem. These flowering perennials, sedges and grasses also provide beauty to the basin and the neighborhood. Since native plants evolved locally, they are well-suited to thrive in the climate of the project area, are resistant to common pests and pathogens, and require little to no maintenance. Photo: Brittany Moore, Erosion Control Specialist, OCSCD, prepares the plugs for planting. (Photo provided by Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist, OCSCD.)
District Staff Participate in
Living Shoreline Restoration Project
OCSCD staff members from left to right: Kristin Adams, Jessica Pinto & Rachel Hammack, prepare to plant Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). (Photo provided by Douglas Janiec, Sovereign Consulting, Inc.)
Last month, Ocean County Soil Conservation District staff, including Jessica Pinto, Kristin Adams, Sean Yeats and Rachel Hammack, participated in marsh grass plantings as part of a living shoreline restoration project installation at the Lighthouse Center (LHC) for Natural Resource Education of New Jersey, located in Waretown. The LHC is an environmental education and research center located in Ocean Township, Ocean County, and is situated on one of the last undeveloped bay front tracts in Barnegat Bay. Through a lease agreement with the NJDEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, the LHC is operated by the Natural Resource Education Foundation of New Jersey (NREFNJ), a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

NREFNJ received funding from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for the design phase and then subsequently, the permitting stage. Implementation of Phase 1 of the living shoreline design was funded through the 319h Program (funding from the Clean Water Act) and administered by the NJDEP. The project is titled: Lighthouse Center Enhancement & Rejuvenation Program: Phase 1 Shoreline Stabilization and Rejuvenation Grantee: Natural Resource Education Foundation of New Jersey Funding amount: $300,000.
The living shoreline project installed at the Lighthouse Center was created using a hybrid living shoreline approach, which represent a nature-based solution to protect, stabilize, and provide resilience to the coastline. The first step in the process was to install the initial shell bag toe, planting protection, and end plugs of an unwanted man-made ditch. Second, Wave Attenuation Devices (WADs) were trucked in from Mississippi and arranged strategically to dissipate (or dampen) oncoming wave energy to stop nearshore erosion and restore the shoreline. Third, sand was brought in to complete the ditch plug. Fourth, goose deterrent fencing was installed in preparation of the plantings. Fifth, approximately 7,000 plants were installed; Spartina patens, or saltmeadow cordgrass, also referred to as salt hay, was used to create high marsh habitat and Spartina alterniflora, or smooth cordgrass, was used to create low marsh habitat. Download a pdf copy of the Lighthouse Center Living Shoreline Project article. Read OCSCD's blog to learn more about this and other ongoing projects! Photo: Wave Attenuation Devices, shell bags and marsh grass are all part of a hybrid living shoreline approach. (Photo provided by Kristin Adams, PSM, Erosion Control Specialist, OCSCD.)
Education Programs & Resources
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 stick to 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!

Learn how to enhance your property’s landscaping for wildlife by creating a wildflower meadow. Lawns are monocultures that are green deserts for wildlife, offering no cover, no food (nectar, seeds, etc.), and no beauty (blooming wildflowers and lovely native grasses). Consider turning some lawn into a wildflower meadow instead. Even a small “pocket meadow” will make a big difference to wildlife. A meadow can be simple to create, and Pat will share the basics. Learn how to convert lawn to meadow, how to maintain your meadow in a simple fashion over time, and how to make it acceptable and attractive to neighbors and visitors.
Presenter: Pat Sutton, Naturalist and Educator, Pat Sutton Wildlife Garden Pre-registration required. (Photo by Pat Sutton.)

All creatures need to eat, drink, hide from predators, take cover from harsh weather, and safely raise their young. Whatever the size of your yard, learn how you can transform it into a haven for wildlife.
Presenter: Kathleen Kerwin, Program Associate, Wildlife Conservation and Management Program with Rutgers Cooperative Extension Pre-registration required. (Photo by Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist, OCSCD.)

Learn how to compost your yard waste in place! Stop sending leaves, grass clippings, and spent plants to the curb. Composting at home gives you the power of nurturing the soil that will provide you with food, clean water, and air while treating yard waste right at the source. By practicing the art of composting, you can attract beautiful wildlife to your yard and create a healthy ecosystem. Composting can reduce greenhouse gases, preserve valuable landfill space, and save you time and money; in a few words, it is a great way to improve our environment and go on a path of sustainability. Presenter: Sandra Blain-Snow, Assistant Administrative Analyst, Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management Pre-registration required. (Photo by Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist, OCSCD.)
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 kwalzer@ocean.edu and Becky Laboy education@soildistrict.org to schedule a program.
Visit our website: www.SoilDistrict.org
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.
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 education@soildistrict.org. For technical questions regarding soil disturbance and regulations pertaining to the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, please call (609) 971-7002.