The Cape May Beach Safety Committee reconvened in September 2021 with Steve Steger as Committee Chair, Christine DiDonato as Committee Secretary, and Lorraine Baldwin as Council Representative. Four openings on the committee were available but filled by May 2022.
Marc DeBlasio, P.E., accepted the position of Advisory Engineer with the Beach Safety Committee. The City of Cape May had a need for an engineer with coastal experience and nominated Mr. DeBlasio for the role. He will help guide the committee regarding engineering matters, regulatory requirements, potential funding opportunities, and practical construction solutions related to the beach profile, engineering options and safety concerns.
The Beach Safety Committee have identified five areas of concentration including:
The Cape May Beach Safety Committee has been working with State Officials on issues regarding possible improvements to the beach.
Cape May Beach Patrol is updating their website to include a QR code that links directly to beach safety information. In conjunction with the Cape May Police Department, the Beach Patrol will be utilizing signage throughout the City, including at beach entrances, to allow easy access to online and in-person services. Beach Patrol’s website currently houses beach safety information including daily surf and weather reports. The public can also stay informed by using the Nixle message delivery service. Safety alerts can be received via text message, email, or website at no cost. More information on Nixle can be found on the City’s website at www.capemaycity.com.
To expand beach safety information and education, the committee is continuing to incorporate a pilot education program at local schools in Cape May. The program will be presented by current and veteran Cape May lifeguards. After review of the current pilot program, a larger launch initiative is set to be implemented.
The Cape May Beach Safety Committee has also been working diligently to establish easier access to the beach. Each entrance point will have an ADA mat that further extends towards the ocean for easier wheelchair and stroller access. For those who may need assistance, there are beach-friendly wheelchairs available. Ask your beach tagger for more information.
The Safety Committee has also been working on continuing to further the implementation of the Public Address System east of Convention Hall. Once completed, the extended speaker system can be used at Beach Patrol Headquarters and Convention Hall for public safety announcements.
The Cape May Beach Safety Committee, along with the Cape May Beach Patrol, will host an open house at Beach Patrol Headquarters on Sunday, June 26th from 9:00 - 10:00 AM. Headquarters is located at 238 Beach Avenue, Cape May. Come out and meet your lifeguards and committee members and learn more about the beach safety initiatives.
Cape May evaluated Kiwanis Community Park to maximize accessibility in accordance the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Engineering Design Associates (EDA) conducted the analysis. EDA noticed instances of ADA non-compliance including the lack of ADA compliant parking spaces, no provision for ADA access from the parking area to the play structures, or other areas of the park, including the pond and gazebo. EDA further detailed code requirement deficiencies at Kiwanis Community Park and made specific recommendations to bring the park into compliance with ADA.
“The City of Cape May is working diligently to upgrade all facilities so they are assessable to everyone, and this grant will further that initiative”, said Councilmember Lorraine Baldwin after learning that Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs recently announced that the City will receive a Small Cities grant of $400,000.
This award will provide the funds necessary to remove mobility barriers at Kiwanis Community Park, advancing the City’s long-term efforts to make all City public facilities ADA compliant. The City is eager to begin work on the park. Last week, City Manager Mike Voll, Mayor Zack Mullock, and Councilmember Lorraine Baldwin met with City Engineer Vince Orlando to discuss the design options.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant and want to thank the Department of Community Affairs”, said Mayor Zack Mullock. “This grant will greatly improve accessibility to Kiwanis Club Park for all our citizens. For far too long, the Park has been neglected and this grant will make sure it is a safe, vibrant, and beautiful park for decades to come.”
In addition to the Kiwanis Parks, the City’s largest and most visited park, The Beach, is gearing up for improved ADA accessibility. Every year, Cape May’s Department of Public Works lays beach mats for easier access from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The beach mats extend at least 60 feet and will now exist on all beach entrances for the public. No one will have to pick their favorite beach spot anymore based on accessibility factors, as was the case
some in past seasons.
The Cape May Volunteer Fire Department works hand in hand with the City of Cape May’s Career Fire Department. The volunteers are called upon to assist with additional staffing as well as to respond to surrounding communities to provide mutual assistance.
The Volunteer ranks have been shrinking over the years. Cape May's Volunteer Fire Department is seeking motivated individuals who are willing to sacrifice some of their time to protect and serve their community. Some of the preliminary requirements are:
Enjoy working and functioning as a member of a team and take advantage of local training. Learn skills as an All-Hazards Responder and attend Incident Management Training Classes. Learn Firefighter Safety and Survival. Volunteers who meet the 50% requirements of meetings, drills and calls may qualify for Length of Service Awards Program (which pays members a stipend) as well as benefiting as a member in the New Jersey State Firemen's Relief Association.
“Be part of our team and serve your community”, says Fire Chief Alex Coulter.
If you want to make a difference and help your community, please call 609-884-9512 for more information.
The City of Cape May introduces a great opportunity for senior citizens to give back to their community. The City’s Senior Ambassador Program encourages senior citizens to volunteer a few hours daily at City Hall and Convention Hall. The Ambassadors will provide guidance and information to residents and visitors, offering a more accommodating and hospitable environment.
Volunteer opportunities are available 7 days a week for as many hours or days as available, depending on City hours. City Hall, located at 643 Washington St., is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. Cape May Convention Hall, located at 714 Beach Avenue, is also open Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM as well as Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
The City welcomes senior citizens to serve our community, delight our guests, and enhance the reputation of the greater Cape May area. For more information, or to volunteer, call the City Manager’s office at (609) 884-9536.
The County of Cape May Department of Public Works has released proposed plans to resurface Beach Avenue in the City of Cape May.
The proposed plans are to include installing a concrete gutter throughout the project for enhanced drainage flow, installing targeted drainage improvements and upgrading all ADA curb ramps. The plans also include traffic calming through 11’ wide travel lanes and the incorporation of marked bike lanes with buffers where the existing roadway width allows, and charros for shared bike/ lane use where the existing road width is too narrow to accommodate dedicated bike lanes. There will be no impact on existing parking. The result will be a continuous bike access along the project length (Broadway Ave to Pittsburg Avenue). The public is invited to review and comment about the provided plans.
View the resurfacing plans: Beach Avenue Resurfacing Plans
CAPE MAY, NJ – Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s almost time to grab your popcorn and snuggle up on the sand for Cape May’s Free Movies on the Beach. The City of Cape May is thrilled to announce this year’s lineup:
JULY 7 The Goonies
JULY 14 Finding Nemo
JULY 21 Jurassic Park
JULY 28 Aladdin (2019)
AUGUST 4 Cruella
AUGUST 11 JAWS
AUGUST 18 Up
AUGUST 25 The Endless Summer
The featured movie will begin at dusk next to Cape May Convention Hall at Gurney Street Beach. In the event of inclement weather, the cancellation will be announced on Cape May City’s Facebook page. All are welcome and encouraged to bring your favorite beach chairs and blankets.
The City of Cape May is looking for exhibitors that create unique, original artwork and handmade items for their 2022 Summer Arts and Craft Show. To be considered, vendors will need to provide photographs of their work and display. No mass-produced items will be accepted. Vendors will also be required to show proof of insurance in order to participate. A limited number of each media and craft will be accepted. Discounted rates available for early registration!
Our 2022 Arts and Craft Show schedule is as follows:
Saturday, June 11 & Sunday, June 12: Promenade Arts and Craft Show, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday July 9 & Sunday, July 10: Promenade Arts and Craft Show, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday, August 20 & Sunday, August 21: Promenade Arts and Craft Show, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Don’t forget about the Annual Crafts at Christmas Show taking place on December 3rd and December 4th of this year!
To download application forms, please visit https://www.capemaycity.com/craft-shows.
The Jersey’s Best editorial team has had it pretty tough these past few months. If you think it’s easy to pick one “best” from the rest of all the Jersey Shore bests, you best believe it is not. After an exhaustive review of countless charts, graphs, Venn diagrams, photos, stats, menus, things-to-do lists, maps and surveys, one town has bested the competition, practically charming its way to the top. Our editors’ pick for the Jersey’s Best 2022 Destination of the Year is … Cape May!
Click this link to read the full article: The grand reveal: Meet N.J.’s 2022 Destination of the Year
Cape May City, NJ– Sustainable Jersey representatives announced today that Cape May City has once again achieved Sustainable Jersey Silver recertification. Municipalities that earn this certification are considered by their peers, state government, experts, and civic organizations in New Jersey to be among the leading communities in the state. Only 23 of 460 participating New Jersey municipalities achieved Silver certification in 2021.
Additionally, Cape May City has earned the Sustainability Champion Award for small size population (up to 4,999) municipalities. This award recognizes the municipality that has achieved the highest number of points in this population category. This will be the fifth time that Cape May City has received the Sustainability Champion Award.
Cape May City was honored at the Sustainable Jersey Awards Luncheon today in Atlantic City.
“I would like to thank our Green Team who committed to making Cape May City one of the most sustainable communities in New Jersey” said Mayor Zach Mullock. “This award is a testament to the important milestones the City achieved to make the Nation’s Oldest Seashore Resort a model for other communities to emulate,” said Mayor Mullock.
To become Sustainable Jersey certified at the silver-level, Cape May City submitted documentation to show it had completed a balance of the required sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 350 action points. In addition to reaching 350 points, each community had to create a green team and select at least three out of 12 priority action options.
“This level of achievement takes a village,” Mayor Mullock noted. “Thanks to the hard work of the Green Team and the support of our residents and City Council, Cape May City has once again demonstrated that it continues to be a leader in sustainability,” the mayor noted.
All facets of the City contributed to this effort. The City was recognized for establishing a Creative Team and conducting a Creative Assets Inventory which provides a snapshot of the City’s cultural resources. City Council adopted a Green Purchasing Policy and received points for its Community Forestry Management Plan. The Planning Board adopted the Creative Placemaking Plan as part of the City’s Master Plan and the Environmental Commission played a key role by conducting outreach and education on a number of key issues.
“Sustainable Jersey is proud of the New Jersey towns that achieved certification this year,” said Randy Solomon, director of Sustainable Jersey. “The Sustainable Jersey certified towns demonstrate leadership and are a testament to how much we can accomplish toward the long-term goal of a sustainable New Jersey.” Certified towns excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency, health, and wellness, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources, and advancing the arts. Collectively, the 460 participating Sustainable Jersey towns are a powerful force in New Jersey.
About Cape May City
Cape May City is located at the southern tip of in New Jersey, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. One of the country's oldest vacation resort destinations, the City has a year-round population of 3,607, while the summer population expands by as many as 40,000 to 50,000 visitors. The entire city is designated a National Historic Landmark due to its concentration of Victorian buildings. Cape May City has received many accolades including being recognized as one of America's top ten beaches by the Travel Channel and the top ten Best Small Coastal Towns in America by USA Today.
About Sustainable Jersey
Sustainable Jersey provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 79 percent or 445 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program and 279 school districts and 694 schools are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program.
Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program. Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, and the Surdna Foundation. The 2017 Sustainable Jersey Grants program for municipalities is funded by PSEG Foundation and the Gardinier Environmental Fund. South Jersey Gas, PSEG and New Jersey Natural Gas are Platinum Sponsors. NJM Insurance Group is a Gold Sponsor, Bayshore Recycling is a Silver Sponsor, and our Bronze Sponsors are Covanta, Greener by Design, Tesla, AT&T and Elizabethtown Gas. The Sustainability Summit venue sponsors are Good Energy, Investors Bank and Church & Dwight.
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/company/sustainable-jersey
Cape May Fire Department Announces Updated Traffic Flow
CAPE MAY, NJ – Cape May Fire Department (CMFD) has temporally relocated to the Borough of West Cape May, housed with the West Cape May Fire Company. The changes are in place due to the construction of the new firehouse for Cape May City. In 2020, Cape May Fire Department responded to over 2,100 calls for service and have seen a steady increase in call volume over the past several years and the following changes will go into effect immediately:
Response Times: Residents in Cape May should expect appropriate response times as our neighbors at the United States Coast Guard Fire Department will be responding as part of an automatic aide agreement. All calls for fire or technical rescue services east of Madison Ave will receive a response from both Cape May Fire and United States Coast Guard Fire departments.
Increase in emergency vehicle traffic: Residents along Broadway and Leaming Ave in West Cape May, as well as Broadway and Elmira Streets in Cape May, should anticipate seeing an increase in emergency vehicle traffic due to the adjusted response routes required to respond from West Cape May. Additionally, an ambulance will be stationed at Cape May at Convention Hall for 12 hours a day to avoid any response time delays for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The U.S. Coast Guard Fire Department will respond to all Fire Services incidents along with our apparatus and personnel North and East of Madison Avenue.
Closure Period/Construction: For approximately the next eighteen months, Cape May’s fire and EMS services will be responding from designated locations for all emergency calls.
“Time matters for the services we provide, and we are taking measures to ensure there will be little to no delays in response. We are extremely grateful to the Borough of West Cape and their firefighters for their hospitality and welcoming CMFD into their home while a new firehouse is built for the City of Cape May”, said Fire Chief Alex Coulter.
Michael E. Eck, Deputy Fire Chief
We would like to remind our residents that we have a Project Medicine Drop Box in our lobby. This is a free service that is provided to the public and it is a great way to dispose of old prescription medication. Simply walk into our lobby and drop your old medication into the Project Medicine Drop Box. A police officer removes that medication and ensures that it is disposed of. Please refrain from discarding liquid medication and needles. If you have any questions you can contact Lt. Walker at 609-884-9572.
CAPE MAY, NJ - On Thursday June 17th, Cape May City, Cape May County, and the County Library achieved the first major milestone in the restoration and repurposing of the Franklin Street School into Cape May City’s branch of the County Library System.
Mayor Zack Mullock, Councilwoman Lorraine Baldwin, and Deputy City Manager Louis Belasco represented the City of Cape May alongside Commissioner E. Marie Hayes, Cape May County Library Director Andrea Orsini, and Ocean City Councilmen Robert Barr as Architect Michael Calafati presented the plans, for the latest and most historically significant addition in the County Library System, to the New Jersey Historic Sites Council.
The New Jersey Historic Sites Council unanimously approved the rehabilitation and repurposing of the abandoned Franklin Street School. This building will not only enhance Cape May City’s plan for “Museum Row” and downtown arts and culture district but recognize and preserve the history of segregation in the United States while celebrating Cape May City’s African American Community.
Members of the Community Center for the Arts, Jim Cheney and David Mackenzie, educated the members of the Council on the historic significance of the project and how the building will allow them to enhance and grow their multi-cultural educational programs. This approval moves the Franklin Street School one step closer to continuing its sentinel duty as a reminder of a time of deep division, while bearing witness to the strides in equality made by society and ensuring its future watch of our constant march toward equality and unity.
Mayor Mullock & Councilwoman Baldwin agreed, “This is a great step forward for Cape May. Not only will we preserve such important, and largely forgotten history, but we have unanimous support from the State Historic Sites Council to help preserve such an important building for the City of Cape May. This building will be a wonderful Library, Community Center and a place of fellowship for all to gather, learn, and have fun!”
This project, along with the Harriet Tubman Museum, Allen AME Church and the Stephen Smith House will enrich the historical character of the Country’s National Historic Landmark City by telling the rich African American experience in Cape May, perhaps the longest overdue story in the County Library System.
The long sought-after sea breezes of Cape May will now be even fresher, thanks to the City’s new move to prohibit smoking in any form in public spaces, including the Washington Street mall. City Manager Michael Voll is utilizing courtesy signs, stating “Breathe Easy this property is Smoke Free” along the Promenade and both sides of the Washington Street Mall.
The signs come courtesy of Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey (TFHNJ), funded through the NJ Department of Health, Office of Tobacco Control. TFHNJ works to reduce tobacco use and the negative impact of secondhand smoke throughout all counties of New Jersey.
Banner flags will also greet beachgoers at our beach entrances welcoming all to enjoy our smoke free beaches.
This continues Cape May’s mission of providing a clean, safe, and healthy environment for our community and visitors.
Interested organizations can learn more about Tobacco free for a Healthy New Jersey by visiting: www.tobaccofreenj.com.
For information on the Cape May Seawall Coastal Storm Risk Management Cap Section 103 Feasibility Study CLICK HERE.
Its almost the “unofficial start of summer” – Memorial Day Weekend! And where better to spend it than Cape May, NJ! After a difficult year, the City is more excited than ever to welcome all to a jampacked weekend full of FUN for the start of Summer ’21!
Mayor Zack Mullock opens the season with a welcome message in Rotary Park on Friday, May 28th at 6:30 PM. Hear what is to come this year, including concerts, movies on the beach, parades, and so much more! Live entertainment kicks off with The Don Shough Trio performing after the Mayor’s “start of summer” celebration. We also hear that “Captain Mey” might make an appearance this summer… Find out how you can help the City capture him!
After spending time having fun in the sun all weekend, the City tributes what is most important about this holiday, and that is the remembrance of the military personnel who have died while serving our country. Please join us on Monday, May 31st at Noon as we open Soldiers and Sailors Park, located at Gurney Street and Columbia Avenue, and honor those who have protected us. Immediately following the ceremony in the park, the Flotilla 82 of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will present a flower boat launch on the Gurney Street Beach.
All are welcome to attend, and we cannot wait to see you soon! This is only the start of so much FUN in Summer’21!
Cape May City is pleased to announce the promotion of Sara Werner to Lieutenant of the Cape May Beach Patrol. Pulling on her 18 years of experience with Cape May’s Beach Patrol, Sara Werner represents a new chapter in a City and Beach Patrol steeped in history and tradition. She will take her place on the beaches this year as the first female Lieutenant.
Sara Werner joins the administration along with the new Superintendent of Beaches, Chief Harry Back and new Captain, Marty Franco. “Sara’s growth over the years is highlighted by her outstanding ability to communicate across the spectrum of humanity. Earning her the respect of everyone”, said Chief Harry Back.
Sara plans to promote a culture filled with transparency, inclusion, and trust. “I look forward to taking on this leadership role in honor of the incredible women who came before me and those who come next”, said Werner.
“Lieutenant Sara Werner’s enthusiasm, kindness, compassion, and zest for life is contagious. Sara is one of the nicest, hardest working people I know. She loves Cape May, she loves being on the water, and she cares about the safety of our residents and visitors. I could not be happier with the selection of Sara Werner. She will be a shining light for what is the best Beach Patrol in the country for years to come. To rise to the top of this group is no small feat. Superintendent (Chief) Harry Back is putting together a great team of professionals. My congratulations to both Captain Franco & Lieutenant Werner,” Cape May City Mayor Zack Mullock said in support.
The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, a staple of the City of Cape May since 1888, officially transferred into the stewardship of the City of Cape May. On April 12, 2021, members of the community came out to celebrate the transference of the church to City. The church long served as one of the focal points of Cape May’s African American community. One of the most important and influential abolitionists of America walked the land the church sits on; Charles Albert Tindley wrote “we shall overcome” between the church’s walls. Stephen Smith lived and began Cape May’s AME Church. This church saw Jarena Lee became the first female preacher, in 1819, making it a beacon for racial and gender equality.
Not long ago, a group of community volunteers, local contractors and concerned citizens began restoring the parsonage at the Macedonian Baptist Church. Today it is known as the Harriet Tubman Museum, and Lynda Anderson-Towns, the chair of the board of trustees for the Museum, was present to share in the celebration. “This is a moment that we get to preserve what we know Cape May is. And what Cape May was.”
Mayor Zack Mullock added “The City will continue with that vision by restoring this beautiful and historic church to its former glory. This church will now continue to be a place of communion, community, sisterhood, brotherhood, and collaboration. Because of groups in the City such as the Center for Community Arts, East Lynne Theater Company and Cape May MAC(Museums+Arts+Culture), the City anticipates the restoration will be a success.”
The AME Church is a vital step in the creation of this downtown, historic area. It began with the saving of the parsonage and it continues with the restoration of the Franklin Street School. The next phase is the restoration of the AME Church and the Stephen Smith House. Once completed, this block will host the Greater Cape May Historical Society, the Firefighters Museum, a new library, the Harriet Tubman Museum, the Stephen Smith House, a future new firehouse and a restored AME Church.
Mayor Mullock thanked the audience, with special mention of Warren Copeland, chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, Emily Dempsey, a community leader for many years, as well as the “Friends of the AME Church” for all their help with this project.
The building was purchased by the City with no tax increase and the restoration has already begun. The roof was completed over the weekend and the restoration will continue with the use of grant money. There will be parking available for the new library behind the building. The City of Cape May anticipates great success for the community use of this building.
This City of Cape May unanimously introduced a $21.7 million budget Tuesday with a zero-tax increase. The 5-0 March 16 vote is, according to Mayor Zack Mullock, “a product of a lot of hard work and cooperation between City Manager Mike Voll, our Finance Department headed by Neil Young and City Council. I witnessed everyone working together on a shared goal. That is what good government looks like.”
Mayor Mullock went on to thank all those involved “for working together to get our tax rate back in check and bring in a ZERO percent tax increase. It was important to me that this budget not only ‘cut out the fat,’ but also provide for capital expenditures that are desperately needed.”
He cited that over the last couple years capital expenditures were put on hold placing “a lot of pressure on our utilities and infrastructure, as well as our public buildings. It was very important to me that we maintain and upgrade our utilities and infrastructure, while also providing top notch services.”
Mayor Mullock noted that the City not only increased salaries, but made necessary purchases and allocations for:
Construction of a brand new fire house as was voted for by the electorate. “Not only did we meet the needs of our capital expenditures services,” said Mayor Mullock, “but finally, after decades of arguments, it includes a brand-new, state-of-the art fire house which will also include plenty of parking and keep intact the Firefighters Museum.” Previous plans called for its demolition. Under the new plan, the museum will be enhanced. “We want to honor the voters’ decision and build a fire house we are all proud of.
Body cameras for police officers
New software for City Hall, especially the Construction Office, that is state of the art. Mayor Mullock noted that “the new software will be very beneficial to both the employees and our customers.”
Fixing water leaks in City Hall that have been complained about for years.
Hiring a new Historic Preservation Enforcement Officer to take on some of the enforcement issues. Previously, Mayor Mullock said, “The Historic Preservation Commission would make a decision only to watch that decision be ignored. That won’t happen anymore.”
A new police vehicle that will be the first hybrid electric vehicle in the fleet. “This is the first small step of our renewed focus on renewable and environmentally friendly initiatives,” said Mayor Mullock. “I would like to see us moving to a fully electric vehicle whenever possible.”
$50,000 has been set aside to make Cape May a safer and more friendly place to walk and ride. These are suggestions made previously by the City’s Bicycle Committee. Mayor Mullock noted that, “After four years of meetings and great suggestions, we are finally putting some financial backing to one of our committees. They put in a lot of work. I witnessed many committees meet for years and we never put any funding behind them, what is the point of having committees if we don’t back their good suggestions?”
Acquisition and repair of the Allen A.M.E. Church. “I did not want to see another wonderful piece of Cape May history fall to the ground,” said Mayor Mullock. “The new Church will be restored and be included in what is thought of as the new center for history, arts and culture in Cape May. We will finally preserve some of the most important African American & Cape May history in the Country.” The A.M.E. Church will also serve for more parking for the new Library Project at the Franklin Street School.
Mayor Mullock noted that It was important that the 2021 budget be adopted with the future in mind. “While a ‘5-Year Plan’ has not been completed yet,” he said, “we look forward to working with the Cape May Taxpayers Association along with the newly formed Revenue & Taxation Committee to help create that plan.
A copy of the introduced budget can be found by clicking HERE.
Coyotes have been spotted throughout the Cape May County area in recent months. Although they normally do not pose any danger to humans, they can be a danger to small animals. Shore Animal Control has provided some tips to help keep your pets safe and prevent any tragedy. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable if left outdoors alone.
NEVER leave your pet unattended: Keep an eye on your pet when you open the back door to let him out and do not let him stray too far away from you. Whenever possible, take your dog out on a leash. You should use a 6-foot leash, not a retractable leash, as they provide little to no control if your pet encounters a coyote. Also avoid walking your dog during twilight hours as coyotes are more active at night, so it’s best to keep an extra eye on your pet when you let him out after the sun goes down. Carry a headlamp or flashlight when walking your dog at night.
Cover and secure all garbage cans: Garbage cans should be secured with wildlife proof lids. All cans should be sprayed with ammonia inside and out each time you open them to remove any food smell which attracts wildlife.
Do not feed wildlife: One of the biggest reasons that coyotes are coming into neighborhoods is the attraction of food.. If you feed feral cats, the food should be removed 30 minutes after each feeding to discourage wildlife from sharing the food.
Do not feed your pet outside: As food can be a big attractor of coyotes, giving your pet his dinner indoors is always a good idea. If you feel you must feed your pet outside, feed midday at a set time and pick up leftovers immediately.
Be extra mindful during coyote breeding season: April is when the coyotes are going to have their young and April through August is when they are going to be more protective of their young, Walk a dog on leash and be cognizant of coyotes in the area.
Remove any kind of attractants around the exterior of you house: Feeding wildlife and birds can attract coyotes to your yard. Attractants for coyotes include compost, dirty grills, and birdseed. Birdseed, for instance, can attract rodents and, therefore, attract coyotes. Fallen fruit should also be cleaned up, as coyotes consume large amounts of fruit during certain points in the year.
Make your yard a less attractive habitat: Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed to reduce cover, which makes great hiding places for coyotes. You can install coyote-proof fences (these are typically quite high) or use motion-triggered deterrents like light or sprinkler systems. Fences should be at least 6-foot high and buried at least 6 inches underground or fitted with a mesh apron on the outside of the fence extending 12 inches out from the bottom of the fence and secured with landscape.
Shore Animal Control advises anyone who has spotted them in their backyard and has a concern, to contact Fish & Game at 1-877-927-6337. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/coyote_info.htm.