at Thompson Park

LINCROFT, NJ – Monmouth County will host the public kick-off meeting for the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for Naval Weapons Station Earle form 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28 at the Thompson Park Visitor Center, 805 Newman Springs Road.

“Monmouth County is inviting public input as part of a federally funded study of the relationship of Naval Weapons Station Earle to its surrounding communities now and into the future,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry. “There is no denying the more than $160 million impact NWS Earle has on our communities and this grant is the perfect way to get these needed conversations underway.”

The study area includes both the municipalities that have lands within the base: Wall, Howell, Middletown, Tinton Falls, Colts Neck; and the communities with land considered to be within the Military Influence Area: Highlands Borough, Atlantic Highlands, Keansburg, Farmingdale, Freehold Township, Ocean, Eatontown, and Neptune.

The project is in the information gathering stage. This kick-off will provide an opportunity for interested citizens to speak with members of the project team in an open house format. Maps of the project area and project fact sheets will be available at the March 28 meeting. Additional public meetings will be held as study milestones are reached.

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.

“Naval Weapons Station Earle is a significant economic driver in Monmouth County as well as being an essential piece of our nation’s homeland security,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso, Esq., liaison to the Planning Board. “Your questions and input are an important as we work to define the current and future base operations.”

In September 2016, Monmouth County was awarded a grant by the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Economic Adjustment to prepare the JLUS, a cooperative land use planning effort between affected local government entities and a military installation.

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.

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.