Howell Awarded Municipal Blue Star by Clean Ocean Action
Howell, NJ – On September 12, 2016, Clean Ocean Action (COA) awarded a Municipal Blue Star Certification to Howell Township, NJ, at a Town Hall ceremony to recognize their efforts to improve water quality.
“On behalf of the Governing Body and the Township of Howell, I would like to thank (COA) for recognizing the efforts undertaken by our green team. We take pride in our accomplishments and look forward to continuing our efforts and making a difference today and ten years from now,” said Robert Nicastro, Howell Township Deputy Mayor. “It is important that we all make an effort to protect and preserve our natural resources in any way that we can which means increased awareness and participation. Green initiatives and recognizing where we can improve will be one of the keys to continued success. We look forward to working toward a common goal.”
The Blue Star program launched in September of 2014 and over 20 towns have expressed interest in obtaining the certification.
“The Blue Star Program was established by Clean Ocean Action to encourage towns along the coastal regions and beyond to prioritize water quality protection measures while achieving the Sustainable Jersey Certification, which harnesses the best of both programs,” said Cindy Zipf, Clean Ocean Action, Executive Director. “The Award is in recognition of a town taking significant and meaningful actions to improve and protect water quality.”
“It is an honor to have received Blue Star Certification through Clean Ocean Action. With our acquisition of Bronze certification in Sustainable Jersey in October 2015, Howell Township’s Environmental Commission and Green Team strive to improve the environmental sustainability of our community for future generations,” commented Nick Huszar, Howell Township’s Green Team Vice-Chair. “Howell Township will continue to focus on the protection of human health and the environment, the reduction of costs through implementation of green initiatives, and increase citizen participation in environmental related projects and programs.”
The municipal Blue Star program combines the visionary Sustainable Jersey Initiative with Clean Ocean Action’s focus on water quality protection. The program encourages communities to promote healthy waters, resilient communities and environmentally-sound practices. This is done by completing various projects that protect community watersheds and climate mitigation. Howell attained the necessary 75 points for the Municipal Blue Star certification. Examples of the actions completed include Education for Sustainability Programs, Natural Resource Inventory, Community Forestry Plan and Tree Cover Goal, and Recycling Education and Enforcement.
In addition to Sustainable Jersey projects, towns are required to choose one of COA’s additional actions. Howell unanimously passed the Stormwater Utility Support Resolution and focused attention and effort on matters of water quality associated with the installation, maintenance, retrofitting, improvement, and repair of stormwater infrastructure to improve surface water quality in Howell Township, Monmouth County, and the State of New Jersey.
The Sustainable Jersey and Blue Star programs improve and protect our economy, reduce costs and increase municipal funds, promote healthy waters and environmentally sound practices, showcase communities as statewide role models, and increase community pride and participation.
We encourage Howell to continue on their quest towards water quality improvements through the Municipal Blue Star program.
Any municipality registered or certified in the Sustainable Jersey program is eligible to work toward the Blue Star certification. For more information about COA’s Blue Star Program, please contact 732-872-0111.
The development of the Program was made possible by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.
### * Pictured left to right: COA Executive Director Cindy Zipf, Deputy Mayor Robert Nicastro, Recycling Coordinator and Green Team Member George Snyder, Councilman Bob Walsh, Councilwoman Pauline Smith (seated), COA Dery Bennett Fellow Gianna Fischer, Howell Township Green Team Chair Brian Tannenhaus, Howell Township Lake Restoration and Wildlife Committee and Green Team Member Mary Ann Cernak PhD., Howell Township Manager Jeffrey Mayfield