BaySave Corporation

BaySave is a non-profit corporation based in Money Island, New Jersey focused on advocacy and restoration of our tidal wetlands.

For Immediate Release

July 16, 2010 

 Contact Tony Novak   cell (856) 649-4171

BaySave orders NJ compliance review

BaySave Foundation launched an internal compliance review today of its entire New Jersey environmental research operations following the surprise issuance of a Notice of Violation to non-profit organization NJ / NY Baykeeper yesterday. BaySave’s local operations are conducted through BaySave Corporation, a NJ non-profit company based in Newport NJ.

BaySave’s Tony Novak expressed concern that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s previous offer to work out differences with the environmentalist group might have been either unauthorized or not genuine. “It is possible that there is internal confusion or disagreement within the DEP leadership on this issue. In any event, we have to protect our substantial investment in our New Jersey projects“. Novak say that while the DEP had given verbal assurances to the heads of both BaySave and Baykeeper organizations last month, the government is not bound to honor its verbal statements. “DEP said that its actions were not meant to apply to us, but I’ve receive nothing in writing”, said Novak.

BaySave conducts experiments that apply organic gardening techniques in aquatic settings with a goal of facilitating regeneration of a healthy eco-system. an If the DEP orders BaySave to stop its aquatic research then we need a “plan B” that will allow us to leave the state in an orderly fashion. Simply abandoning years’ worth of research is not an option, according to Novak who has been fascinated by organic gardening research from early childhood. Oyster restoration is viewed as a keystone to rebuilding healthy aquatic ecosystems that has already lost 99% of the ability to filter nutrient contaminants caused by humans.

Both BaySave and Baykeeper conduct environmental restoration projects in New Jersey. BaySave Corp. however, operates primarily research facilities while Baykeeper primarily manages oyster restoration sites. There are also differences in water classifications throughout the state’s oyster restoration locations that may affect the implementation of current DEP policy. Despite the vague interpretations of DEP regulations, BaySave wants to achieve the highest possible assurance of full legal compliance with all New Jersey laws.

“It seems clear from published quotations that the Commissioner is currently more concerned with protecting New Jersey jobs than restoring its oysters. I’ve spoken with a number of local officials who have already asked our new Governor to review the DEP mission statement and its priorities”. Even before the recent attack on environmental restoration some South Jersey elected officials had expressed concerns about DEP Commissioner Bob Martin’s overall strategy and operation. In an address to the Vineland and Millville joint Chamber of Commerce associations earlier this spring, South Jersey Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli referred to DEP Commissioner Martin when he noted that values-based leadership focus can deteriorate once an official is placed into this type of semi-autocratic position and disconnected with the views of the community. 

Meanwhile Tony Novak points that hundreds of thousands of dollars of private new grants are awarded every month for other oyster restoration projects across the United States. “Yesterday The Nature Conservancy announced a new $100,000 private oyster restoration grant from Disney’s Friends for Change in Florida. This was the 2nd or 3rd major oyster funding grant already this week”.  New Jersey was the only coastal state that did not receive a federal stimulus grant for oyster restoration in 2008 or 2009. “It is clear to me that we could there is far more new money and sustainable job growth in New Jersey promoting the emerging environmental restoration industry than in protecting the existing fisheries as they exist today. But it is possible that New Jersey is just not the right place to be an environmentalist now. Through this examination, we expect to find out”.

BaySave expects to seek input on legal compliance and strategy from more than two dozen individuals, organizations and elected officials over the next few weeks before deciding on a course of action. If BaySave elects to leave New Jersey then the local economy would lose the equivalent of about three part-time jobs based on its current annual budget of about $60,000 per year. BaySave also offers student internships and environmental educational experiences for volunteers.

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