In a move that surprised many in Strathmere and Whale Beach, the Township Committee announced its decision at its February 27 meeting to close the Taylor Avenue boat ramp next to the Whale Creek Marina. It would still allow kayakers to launch from there, but would send all boaters and jet skiers to the newly installed Bayview Avenue ramp in Strathmere where a toll attendant will be on duty. It should be noted that during the summer town hall meeting hosted by the Citizens for Strathmere and Whale Beach (CFSWB), there was no mention of plans to close the ramp, nor did the Strathmere Fishing and Environmental Club (SFEC) have any knowledge it was going to happen. Here's a link to the story explaining the Township's reasoning:
Board members of the Strathmere Improvement Association sent a letter to Mayor Palombo voicing concerns about the ramifications which include increased boating traffic and congestion at the Bayview ramp; a lack of parking for the increased amount of vehicles and trailers caused by the closure, potential safety issues in times of storms when boaters need to quickly get their boats out of the water, and the drastic affect on those with boats docked at the Whale Creek Marina and at private homes along the bay. Additionally, it will make it more inconvenient for boaters to gas up and will impact the Marina's business serving day-trippers and regulars in need of bait, gas and other supplies.
In addition to the letter, the SIA will be represented at the upcoming Township Committee Meeting where, during the public open session, we will join with the (SFEC) and other organizations in town to voice our opposition to the ramp's closure. The meeting is at Township Hall in Petersburg at 7:30 pm, on April 10. If you attend, you do not need to speak, but your support in filling the seats is needed.
Sallie Callahan, President of the SFEC, reports that her organization has met with Township Engineer Paul Dietrich about their concerns regarding the new boat ramp on Bayview but as yet have not received any additional information. Please follow the SIA on facebook for current updates and feel free to contact Township officials by phone or email. That information is readily available on the Township website: http://uppertownship.com/en/
CMC Bridge Commission Proposes Toll Hike on Five County Bridges, (including ours)!
A proposed toll hike of $1.00 will bring the cost of driving over the Corson's Inlet Bridge (and four other county bridges) this summer to $2.50 and in the off season, drop to a fifty cent increase making it $2.00 per ride. For those who use ticket books, the current discount price of $1.20 means the increase is actually $1.30 once you begin using E-ZPass. (Tickets will be honored until the books are sold out.) The Bridge Commission voted earlier to bring E-ZPass to the bridges to help with traffic flow and to attract drivers to the bridges. Bridge attendants will remain on duty, yet some part-time and seasonal workers may be cut. Here's a recent story from the Cape May County Herald:
The Bridge Commission meets on Thursday, April 27 at 2:30 pm at the Administration Building, 4 Moore Rd, Cape May Court House, to approve the plan. A public hearing is "tentatively scheduled" for 1:30 pm. During that time, you are invited to speak before the Commission. The SIA Board will represent members and plans to voice opposition to the hike which places an unfair burden on Strathmere and Whale Beach residents who must use the bridge daily for work or doctor's appointments, shopping or Parkway access. During high tide flooding, it is the only choice out of town. The increase places a burden on many of our residents on fixed income and puts the off season increase squarely on our backs. The Commission last raised rates in 2009. Additionally, a letter will be sent to the Commission and local newspapers and politicians by the SIA board.
Please share this news with any Cape May County resident or visitor, as it is a county-wide issue, not one that we are fighting on our own. If you cannot attend the meeting, you may want to email your thoughts to the Bridge Commission: Karen Coughlin, Executive Director; email@example.com and/or Will Morey, Freeholder Liaison; firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the public time slot is still tentative as of today, so please follow us on facebook for updates or check the Bridge Commission website, http://capemaycountynj.gov/647/Bridge-Commission
Ed Redmond grew up summering in Sea Isle and Whale Beach, where his mother still owns a home. Today he lives in Virginia and works as Curator, Vault Collections, Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, in the James Madison Building, across the street from the Library of Congress and the US Capitol Building. Ed ordered a hoodie during our summer fundraiser but was unable to make it to the Jersey shore this summer so it only seemed right to make a personal delivery. Ed has an amazing job and generously gave a private tour through maps of Cape May County (including Strathmere), an early map drawn by George Washington of his farm, a Gettysburg map signed by General George Meade asserting its accuracy, and a few other treasures such as a map of troop deployments for the first and second waves of D-Day, one of only two maps in the world of Vietnam done in Latin, French and Vietnamese, and brought out an ingenious deck of cards distributed by the USO to troops in France during WWII. Once the cards were soaked in water, maps emerged and were assembled for soldiers to find their way through unknown French territory. There is a beautiful assortment of globes, including one of that is a map of the ocean floor. Incredible treasures with fascinating stories of origin and acquisition.
Ed, a graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in History Education, taught Social Studies for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Wilmington before earning a full time appointment at West Chester University where he earned a graduate degree in Early American History. Following graduation, Ed joined the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division in 1989 and, over the last 27 years, his research and publications have specialized in the cartographic career of George Washington (1732-1799).
Today, he is the internationally recognized expert on George Washington's cartographic career. An essay Ed authored on the topic may be found via
As Ed said, "Not bad for a kid whose family spent summers in Sea Isle City before moving to Whale Beach." Finally, Ed said that if anyone is planning on visiting Washington, DC, he is more than willing to share the collections of the Library of Congress. He can be reached directly via email@example.com
Strathmere Improvement Association
PO Box 57
Strathmere New Jersey 08248