Areas Significant but Beyond Our Borders
No jurisdiction can consider itself isolated. Water, Air, geologic strata, and wildlife all ignore man's artificial boundaries. We cannot necessarily rely on other communities to protect natural areas vital to us within their boundaries. To maintain a clean environment, Point Pleasant must protect and foster the protection of areas vital to its own health and welfare. Often this includes environments outside the Borough.
The first significant ecosystem affects the north shore. The Manasquan River Watershed covers over 80 square miles and 13 municipalities. It has 7 major tributaries and produces many millions of gallons of runoff each year. Through various environmental constraints, the river has cleaned itself much more than twenty years ago. Sewerage systems, open space purchases, and municipal land management have encouraged protection of the Manasquan. We must carefully observe development in the upper watershed. Each new home; each new business; each new landfill; all contribute to degradation of the river, one of our life bloods. We must negate surface runoff in our borough. Surface runoff encourages non-point sources of pollution to ruin our river. We must move to negate in other jurisdictions as well.
Second significant ecosystem follows our south shore. The 10 square mile Beaver Dam watershed is a minor creek system whose open waters and upper recharge area bound us with Brick Township. Once a throbbing and productive natural system, the creek has largely been affected by filling its headwater, dredging its wildlife nursery marshes, and incidental pollution of its once vivid waters. Though not a "dead sea," like so many north Jersey tidal brooks, it is well on its way. Ignorant land management must be eliminated within its runoff areas or we might just end up writing off the creek as a completely active ecosystem.
Third, our part of the upper Barnegat Bay is the most altered and degraded. Through regional sewerage development, the waters have cleaned themselves tremendously. However, the bay has not returned to full productivity. No one will argue that the bay should be preserved. But this requires maintenance of a balance between preservation and development of needed human resources. We must guarantee that this conservation ethic remains in action or we will dearly pay for our lack of concern.
Fourth, and perhaps most important to our town, are the out of town areas that serve to recharge our water supply. Unseen and difficult to follow, our well waters slowly, almost imperceptibly, seep through their aquifers to our well heads. Obtaining our drinking water solely from these aquifers, we guarantee ourselves some of the most fresh, cheapest, easily used, and tasteful water available. The town uses three aquifers, the Kirkwood, the Englishtown, and the Raritan-Magothy. Where these aquifers receive their rainwater we must fight to keep clean and isolated from sources of toxic chemicals and dangerous seepages.
Once received into an aquifer, these deadly materials permanently destroy its use for us. We must not follow the path of those sections of Dover Township, Howell Township, Freehold Township, Jackson Township, and Marlboro Township where aquifer pollution eliminated their cheap sources of drinking water.
Some will argue for surface reservoirs. These have been found to produce less tasteful water and are subject to drought related shortages. Over the long-term, our underground water sources remain constant and vital to our town.