NWS Earle’s direct economic impact on the area in FY 2014 totals $159.718 million dollars

FREEHOLD, NJ – The County of Monmouth has been awarded a grant by the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Economic Adjustment to prepare a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for Naval Weapons Station Earle. A JLUS is a cooperative land use planning effort between affected local government entities and a military installation. This project looks to create compatible development measures to keep the base operational, while also looking out for the surrounding public’s health, safety, and welfare. When land use constraints impair the effectiveness of a military base, the utility of the installation and its mission can be compromised. Mission constraints can lead to base closure.

The DOD is supplying $206,000 of federal grant money to be matched with $32,500 from the County in staff time and materials. The majority of the federal money will go towards professional planning services for research, outreach and to prepare the JLUS.

“This particular JLUS is somewhat unique in that it will include climate adaptation planning as a major component of the study to benefit both NWS Earle and the surrounding communities with recommendations to improve their sustainability from sea level rise and resiliency from coastal storms,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “We must pay close attention to preserving the economic impact NWS Earle has on our community and this grant is the perfect way to get these needed conversations underway.”

The County will seek input on the development of the study from many sources. Serving on the JLUS Policy Committee are the Monmouth County Freeholders, County Administrator, NWS Earle Commanding Officer (ex-officio), Monmouth County Planning Director, Monmouth County Director of Public Works and Engineering. There will also be a General Advisory Committee formed with staff from six County Departments, plus representatives from NWS Earle, The NJ Dept. of State Office for Planning Advocacy, and all municipalities within the Military Influence Area of NWS Earle.

Public Meetings will be held as milestones are reached during the study period to seek public input and brief interested parties about the purpose of the JLUS, the planning process, and study recommendations.

NWS Earle was commissioned in 1943 with a mission to provide ordnance for all Atlantic Fleet Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups, and support strategic DOD ordnance requirements. It is the largest Weapons Station on the East Coast and supplied most of the ammunition for the Normandy Invasion during World War II, as well as 90% of all ammunition used for Operation Desert Storm.

The facility encompasses a total of 11,851 acres in 3 major landward elements: Mainside; Waterfront Area; and the Normandy Road Ammunition transportation Corridor. The fourth element of NWS Earle is the 2.2 mile long Pier Complex in Sandy Hook bay.

The goals of the study include, encouraging local governments to work closely NWS Earle to seek to development options that are compatible with continued utility of the base, and that preserve and protect the public health, safety, and welfare of those living near this active military installation. To improve post-storm resiliency within NJ’s Monmouth Coastal Watershed, for the military installation and surrounding communities through increased adaptation to adverse impacts from Sea Level Rise, both on base and in the neighboring communities To ensure preservation, protection, and post-storm resiliency of the Strategic Highway Network (STAHNET) including the Normandy Road/Rail Corridor and the major roadways that serve NWS Earle and the surrounding communities.

“We look forward to working with the DOD and coordinating our efforts with mayors from Colts Neck, Howell, Middletown, Tinton Falls, and Wall, land and water-use experts, academia and the public at large,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso. “We want to do everything we can to position NWS Earle for the future and keep it operating effectively in Monmouth County,” she added.