Breaking News Report from on scene reports and radio traffic. If additional information becomes available additions and corrections will be made.
BELMAR, NJ (MONMOUTH)—Around 8:57 pm at the 2nd Avenue Beach there were reports of a missing swimmer. Belmar Police Department, Water Rescue, Fire Department, and First Aid Squad were sent to the area to search for the swimmer. Responders called for additional lighting, NJ State Police Marine Unit as well as the Monmouth County Dive Team. Within about 40 minutes of searching the subject was found ok on the beach. Subject was checked out by EMS and was ok. All units were clear the beach around 9:50 pm.
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Congressman Chris Smith, whose Fourth Congressional District includes several popular Jersey Shore fishing basins including Belmar, Brielle and Point Pleasant, welcomed the decision, effective today, to lift the COVID-19 restrictions limiting the number of anglers permitted on charter and head boats, as long as all anglers adhere to 6’ social distancing protocols.
“This could not have come a moment too soon. While overdue, this is still great news,” said Rep. Smith, who has been pushing hard for healthy, safe and economically-sound reopening of the Jersey Shore fishing boat industry.
“Unfortunately, anglers have missed the beginning of fluke season, but the original relief of 25 passengers and now the unlimited access, gives this critical industry, as well as the related businesses such as bait & tackle shops, a fighting chance to recover more quickly and fully. I want to thank Governor Murphy for lifting these restrictions and re-opening this vital part of the Shore economy.”
The COVID-19 quarantine has been especially hard for the for-hire fishing boats, many of which operate for only eight to ten months a year. Losing the months of March, April, May and half of June has been financially devastating.
On May 16, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 146 allowing up to 10 total passengers on party boats. However, sailing with less than a dozen paying passengers was not economically viable for the party boats, some of which can hold over 100 passengers. On May 22—the opening day of fluke season—the number of passengers was raised from 10 to 25.
“This decision does not allow the boats to run at full capacity due to social distancing requirements, but it will allow those in the fishing industry to earn a living and feed their families,” Smith added.
According to Smith, in addition to the party boat fleets in Belmar, Brielle and Point Pleasant in his congressional district, there are also party fishing boats in Atlantic Highlands, Barnegat, Sea Isle City, Ocean City, Cape May and Fortesque.
In addition to advocating for the safe and economically-sound re-opening of the for-hire fishing industry, Smith has also supported federal emergency programs—such as the Paycheck Protection Program—to help the fishing industry, as well as tens of thousands of other small businesses in New Jersey, sustain operations while battling the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.
MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ –It’s important to research the new social-distancing regulations and policies in place at your desired beach destination before leaving your home! Some towns may require masks to be worn in restrooms and others may only be selling beach badges online while limiting the number of daily badges being sold. It is information like this that will be vital to know before you go to ensure a smooth trip to the Jersey Shore!
We want your trip to the beach to be enjoyable and safe! Click the link below to see the current regulations and policies.
BELMAR, NJ (MONMOUTH)—After seeing several photos posted online yesterday of massive crowding at the Jersey Shore it seemed that people were all over the place violating Governor Murphy’s “Social Distancing” rules. To an untrained eye it looked as people were on top of each other in large massive crowds. One of the locations was Belmar, New Jersey where a “local” told us that a record of over 3,000 beach badges were sold in a single day. The local also told us that the line was long but most of the day people were obeying social distancing rules. When asked about the photos posted on social media and used in regular news media, they said the photos were incredible.
Today people were lined up again this morning to purchase beach badges in Belmar. The line was not as long as yesterday but it was a good opportunity to investigate social distancing. Were photographs shared in social media and news media sensationalized, borderline “fake news” using certain photography techniques or were people observing the rules?
For this experiment we will use a Canon 5D Mark IV that has a full frame sensor with lenses in range from 24mm to 600mm in length. I will take photos from an elevated position looking down boardwalk using a wide angle 24mm to a 600mm telephoto lens.
From the street and beach take another set of photos to show the spacing between people on the boardwalk. A “normal” lens of what a typical eye sees, with a full framed sensor is between 35mm and 70mm. A variety of focal lengths will be provided to show lens compression.
Below photographs showing proper social distancing as viewed from the street and beach:
Post by Belmar, NJ showing social distancing Saturday from a drone:
This morning at 7:30 am, one and a half hours after the covid-19 chartered fishing ban was lifted the Golden Eagle heads out of the Shark River Inlet fishing for striped bass and blues. It appears that most everyone had masks on and well spaced on the boat.
May 16, 2020 UPDATEDAT 7:20 PM to include executive order and additional information provided by the Governor’s Office
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy is expected to sign an executive order today to allow reopening of fishing charters and other chartered boating serviced, this will also include watercraft rentals. The executive order will take effect May 17, 2020 at 6 am. Once we receive the executive order will will post it here.
Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Reopen Charter Fishing and Watercraft Rental Businesses
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 146, which allows charter fishing services and for-hire vessel activities, as well as watercraft rental businesses, to open with required social distancing measures. These businesses can open on Sunday, May 17 at 6 am.“Reopening charter fishing services and watercraft rental businesses restores an extremely important component of our Shore economy.” said Governor Murphy. “The social distancing measures that we are putting in place will ensure that these businesses can sustain themselves while still adhering to public health guidance.”Charter fishing services and for-hire vessels will be allowed to reopen to the public so long as they adopt policies that include:
reduced capacity to no more than 10 people on a vessel at any one time;
electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems;
no make-up or open boat trips;
social distancing measures on the vessels and in waiting and boarding areas, including demarcation and signage;
prohibiting sharing of fishing equipment, bait, and gear;
limiting the use of nets or gaffs to the crew;
infection control and hygiene practices;
providing sanitization materials to passengers and crew;
frequent sanitization of vessel and high-touch areas;
The crew and passengers must wear a mask while aboard the vessel;
prohibiting food and beverage service; and
briefing all passengers prior to embarking on social distancing, capacity limits, and hygiene requirements.
Watercraft rental businesses will be allowed to reopen so long as they adopt policies consistent with the “curb-side pickup” restrictions that apply to retail establishments pursuant to Executive Order No. 142. Copy of Executive Order No. 146
” I will sign an EO allowing for the resumption of: 🎣Fishing charters and other chartered-boat services 🛶Watercraft rentals
This Order will take effect tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM.
We will require specific social distancing and sanitation measures to be followed.”
May 16, 2020 Updated at 7:00 pm to change “beach access” to “beach badges” clarification on what the line that extended a couple of blocks was for. Remember photos and accounts at 1:30 pm is a “snapshot in time” and could be more or less crowded as the day progressed.
BELMAR, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A few moments ago (1:30 pm) a MidJersey.news corespondent has sent in photos from Belmar, NJ and the area appears to be very busy but manageable. The line to get “beach badges” was very long and extended a couple of blocks.
A couple of popular stores lines could be seen that were long but, for the most part it seemed that people were keeping social distancing as much as they could. Once on the beach it appeared people kept a far enough distance between beach blankets to maintain the six foot rule for social distancing.
From photos provided and on scene reports beach is pretty much at capacity and pushing the envelope for social distancing so I would avoid going to that location until things settle down.
Reminder that Governor Murphy has stated this past week if the virus numbers go back up he would take measures again to close beaches. So it is up to you to keep distancing to keep down the spread of the virus. New Jersey, this is yours to screw up if you don’t maintain distancing, hand washing, and take other precautions so play by the rules.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – For the first time ever, the annual Congressional Art Competition held by Rep. Chris Smith as part of a national competition for his district’s high school students, will be a “virtual” online show to ensure the safety of students, parents, teachers and the interested public.
In response to the coronavirus national emergency, the artwork, which is normally displayed for a month at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton’s Lakefront Gallery, will be posted on Smith’s congressional website ensuring that the students who have worked for many months can still take part in the national competition.
“For these young student artists whose school year has been turned upside down by coronavirus, I am happy we found a way forward and I am grateful to the parents, judges and teachers for making needed adjustments,” Smith said.
“We received strong support for a virtual art competition rather than cancel the show outright due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Smith said. “Safety is paramount, and a virtual gallery enables us to proceed safely not only for the students and parents, but for the patients and workers at RWJ-Hamilton, which has in the past, graciously hosted the show,” he said.
“I am delighted that this year’s show wasn’t canceled, but continued as an online competition,” said Wall High School art teacher, Jill Alexander, who has been preparing her students to enter the show every year for the past six years. “Students in the 4th district are thankful for the great show that Congressman Chris Smith puts on each year, but especially this year because of the challenges everyone is facing.”
“We love going to Robert Wood Johnson’s impressive gallery, and unfortunately that just wasn’t possible this year. My students start working in September preparing their best artwork to submit, and this show is the highlight of the year for us.
“High school students across the country will miss the opportunity to participate in many events this year, including proms, sporting events and even graduation,” Alexander said. “We are really pleased the art competition survives.”
The 2020 show will be exhibited in a virtual art gallery, will use online judging, with winners to be announced in May. Smith’s three-member team of professional judges, whose works are also normally displayed at the show, will also have artwork posted in an online gallery.
This year, students who place in the competition—as best-of-show, and first, second and third runners-up and honorable mentions—will receive ribbons and all participants will be mailed Congressional Certificates, instead of being presented them in person.
The best-in-show winner will be displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington along the busy public corridor/tunnel between the Cannon House Office Building and the Capitol Building for one year with other winners from across the nation. All the artwork entered into Smith’s competition this year will be displayed in his online gallery for one year.
Every year the Congressional Institute sponsors this national high school art competition to recognize and foster artistic talent in each congressional district. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Participation in the contest is at the discretion of each Member office. Currently, the Institute plans to accept the top winning artwork from every congressional show in America by June 18 and hold a reception in Washington on July 22.
FREEHOLD, NJ – On behalf of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley held a press conference today to provide updates on the COVID-19 situation and additional support that the County will supply the business community.
“Since the start of the Take Out in Monmouth initiative last week, we have complied well over 750 businesses, which can be found at www.takeoutinmonmouth.com,” said Freeholder Director Arnone, liaison to the Divisions of Economic Development and Tourism. “Today, we are now adding breweries and wineries to this online list to further boost the local economy. These business owners are our friends, neighbors and community leaders and we owe our support to these individuals and their employees during this difficult time.”
Visit the Screaming Hill Brewery page for barnside pickup. Orders placed the day before will be ready the next day for pickup. Try the “Blood Orange” a midjersey.news favorite.
Heavenly Havens Has Ice Cream Takeout Window:
LaPiazza Delivers now, you might be lucky enough to have DJ Nebbs deliver for you:
Together, Monmouth County municipalities, local chambers as well as the County Divisions of Economic Development and Tourism continue to research and identify all food grocers, breweries, wineries and restaurants open. While the County works to maintain an updated list, email TakeOutInMonmouth@visitmonmouth.com to be listed or request a change in listing.
“As a result of mounting cases and more and more residents becoming increasingly frightened to leave their own home, the Monmouth County Aging Disability Resource Center has prepared the COVID-19 Resource Guide to assist seniors and residents with disabilities who may be struggling to acquire basic needs during this health pandemic,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley, liaison to the Department of Human Services. “The County has been extensively collaborating with local officials and the guide will be frequently updated to reflect the most current services and resources offered by municipality.”
In addition to Monmouth County ADRC (Aging Disability Resource Center), Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Communities Through Services) has been directing residents to Monmouth Resource Net, an online directory of community and health resources and services, information about residential mortgage relief as well as mental health support.
The Freeholders also discussed the Executive Order signed on Thursday, April 7 by the Governor, closing all Monmouth County parks indefinitely.
“I would like to publicly state that I do not support the indefinite closure of all county parks in New Jersey. I also find it unacceptable that we have no input as to when they will reopen. There are a number of options that could have been considered as an alternative to completely closing county parks, including limiting hours, days, et cetera,” said Freeholder Director Arnone. “The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has felt, throughout this entire pandemic, that our County parks are essential for our residents’ mental health and a great choice for passive recreation.I promise that we will open our parks immediately as soon as the Executive Order is lifted.”
All public is restricted from parks and golf courses. Park and golf course entrances and parking lots are gated or barricaded and visitors who gain park access by foot or bike will be directed to leave, as the parks will still be patrolled. Marina services are suspended but owners will have access to their boats.
Monmouth County news updates and information regarding the COVID-19 situation are posted at www.visitmonmouth.com.
BELMAR, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Boroughs of Belmar and Lake Como, have canceled all scheduled events until July 1, 2020. As the COVID-19 crisis continues they will reevaluate additional events as we get closer to the July 1 date.