“Shore to Please” or “Shore of Skeeze”?

by Ryan on April 28, 2007

in Anything Else,Culture

One story that seems to pop up every year is how nasty New Jersey’s shoreline is.  Not just the air and the bad drivers (apparently the critics of NJ drivers never drove through Rhode Island before!), not just the obnoxious amounts of makeup and “that can’t be for real” accents, but the tons of trash that keep washing up on the New Jersey Shore every year.  Last year it totalled roughly 40 tons shorewide! 

In defense of the New Jersey Shore, it’s huge and not every beach is a sewer dump!  There are some nasty places where I’d be afraid to have my wallet or car keys in plain view, or come within fifteen feet of the water.  However, most of it is nice, clean and fun with the boardwalks and a truly summertime atmosphere.  I’ve gone “down the shore” (as the locals call it) a number of times and the water is like any other Northeastern beachside– kind of a dark, lots of seaweed depending on the tide, and full of rip currents if you go out too far.  I’m glad they got this story out early this year, a few months before beach season, so that the thought of the true nastiness of the murk will have faded in the minds of those of us who might actually go in.

Pic from NJ Scuba Diver.

UPDATE:  So, how Jersey are you?  I bet you’re a little curious! 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris April 28, 2007 at 10:59 pm

Glad to see a non-native New Jerseyan defend the shore and I will further ‘shore up’ your defense. While incidents of trash and waste have become a much less common occurence since the Medical Waste Summers of 1987-88 (thanks to NY, by the way), they do take place occasionally and the media loves to run with them. Most of the beach closings come as a result of the problems with Wreck Pond on the Spring Lake/Sea Girt border. The majority of NJ beaches, especially in other areas those two towns, are quite nice and I have spent many a summer day at the Jersey Shore.

In further defense of my home state’s beach area, I will provide some further plugs/ideas for places to visit in case any non-NJ AoR readers decide to come here for a summer visit. Two great towns on the Northern Shore are Spring Lake and Sea Bright ; and on the southern shore, Stone Harbor . Here are a couple of my other favorite places (including watering holes) on the Jersey Shore: Twin Lights , Donovan’s Reef , Pier Village , Martell’s , The Pier at Caesars , and Tropicana .

What can I say! When you’ve had a professor who was known for “New Jersey and You, Perfect Together,” the ‘tourism selling ability’ sure does rub off.


Ryan April 29, 2007 at 10:07 am

All the same, but 40 tons of plastic, underwear and medical waste isn’t the same as, say, drift wood or paper caught in seaweed. I believe that it is truly nasty in some parts, just not over the entire length of the Jersey Shore. I do agree that New York’s trash barges contribute greatly to the muck. Take a look at the East River… and follow it out to sea. Some of that stuff’s coming to Jersey.


Mike April 29, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Good points all around, but don’t leave out the rest of the state. And the smell, good God, how could you forget about the smell?


Ryan April 29, 2007 at 1:15 pm

I wonder how much the BENNYs contribute to these statistics…


Mike April 29, 2007 at 1:15 pm

I don’t know about the Bs the Es or the Ns, but isn’t Jersey the NY’s landfill?


Chris April 29, 2007 at 5:10 pm

If you talk to some of my former RFH students, they are not too fond of the “BENNYs.” FYI, BENNY stands for Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, New York; the major areas where the summer vistors reside during the rest of the year. The etomology of that term also has been said to come from the fact that these visitors commonly paid in $100 bills and also representing the Philadelphia visitors who head to the Jersey Shore over the Ben Franklin Bridge.

I can’t and won’t defend the smell, but once you get out of the Northern Turnpike Corridor, Camden and Middlesex County, the smell goes away.


Mike April 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm

26 percent, but I think that includes some NYC.


Ryan April 29, 2007 at 6:23 pm

54%! I’m more Jersey than non-Jersey!


Chris April 29, 2007 at 6:37 pm

99%…no surprise there.


sarah May 3, 2007 at 11:32 am

I’m from NJ. I am 88% NJ and proud of it. I curse…alot. I say “yo” and I say it often. I never had school on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. I don’t have the slightest clue how to pump my own gas. I know what a real slice of pizza tastes like, and a know that a bagel is more than a role with an effin’ hole in it. I judge people by what exit they get off the parkway. I can navigate circles, even circles of death, with attitude. Can we say jughandle??? It’s a sub, not a hero or worse yet a hoagie and I wash it down with soda not “pop”. Two words..M*****R F*****R. I worship Bon Jovi. I don’t go to the beach, I go down the shore and the boardwalk brawls as well as the funnel cakes are part of the atmosphere. I drink cawfee, I walk my dawg, and my greatest weakness is dark chaawwklit. I know 65 mph really means 80. I live within 5 minutes of 3 major highways. I’ve always lived within 10 minutes of a mall. When someone cuts me off they get the horn and the finger…and they expect it. I am from New Jersey and damn proud of it! Swimming in “skeeze” only makes me stronger!


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