Congressman LoBiondo has been able to secure over $170 million for beach replenishment for the 2nd Congressional District beaches. He has fought the Clinton and Bush administrations at every turn to ensure South Jersey's coastal communities recevied the beach replenishment funding that they have desperately needed. It is also for this reason that the Congressman remains opposed to the drilling for oil and natural gas off New Jersey's coasts and was pleased that the House of Representatives approved my legislation to ensure the public is notified if a sewer overflow occurs on our beaches or in our waterways. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates about 900 billion gallons of untreated sewage enter our waterways each year, sickening nearly 3.5 million people annually. Under the legislation introduced by New Your Rep. Tim Bishop and Congressman LoBiondo, sewage plant operators would have to notify public health officials and the general public of overflows that endanger human health and report to the state or EPA on all overflows. This bipartisan legislation is a critical tool to ensure our beaches and waterways and those enjoy them are protected.
In addition to the cleanliness and safety of our beaches, visitors to the South Jersey Shore have come to expect a diversity of activities and events to entertain their families and fill their days. Eco-tourism is a growing industry in our region, already bringing in $500 million annually in Cape May County. Earlier this year, the public chose which of more that 60 of the state's beaches were the top beach destinations. After nearly 15,000 votes, Cape May County's own coastal community of Wildwood captured the top honor. In fact, seven of the top 10 beaches in the state were located in South Jersey.