This Sunday (June 24th) is the Save 32 Acres fundraiser from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the Joe Palaia Park Band-shell to inform the public about the clear cutting of “…Historic Native American Woodland, which is rich in wetlands soil” for commercial and residential purposes. Click for details including an exclusive Rutgers University Environmental Study for Ocean Township.

The development project in Ocean Township (corner of Deal Road and Route 35) proposed by Paramount Realty is branded as The Ocean Town Center, which would include a Wawa Gas Station/Convenience store, large hotel, fast food restaurant, 40,000 square feet of retail space, residential townhomes and other commercial uses. Residents opposing the project have cited health concerns, increased trucking/vehicular traffic, air/noise pollution, odor and light intrusion as part of their reasoning. Also, the current wetlands and mature tree canopy help protect the neighborhood from flooding. Residents also fear the impervious ground cover or blacktop may allow toxic chemical waste from the gas station as well as pesticides to drain into wetlands, which runs to Poplar Brook and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean. Last November, Ocean Township residents expressed their support of protecting open space by voting two to one to an additional tax.

The Save 32 Acres fundraiser is an effort to gain financial support for legal representation for the residents opposing the project. There will be a music festival and environmental speakers planned for the event, rain or shine. Pack a picnic basket, blankets and chairs for this environmental initiative to protect the wetlands and preserve the mature tree canopy in the Oakhurst section of Ocean Township.

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