If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:
In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.
Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.
These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.
In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.
One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.
Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:
Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.
When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.
Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.
Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.
Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.
This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.
During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.
Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.
There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.
Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.
That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.
When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.
If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.
A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.
The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.
For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.
A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.
Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.
While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.
Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.
The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.
Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.
To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.
There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ, including the following:
You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.
Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.
It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:
At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.
Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Ocean Grove, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.
Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.
Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.
When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:
Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.
New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.732-526-2497
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been told it must stop blocking beach access or face penalties. |Updated Wed, Sep 20, 2023 at 5:22 pm ETOCEAN GROVE, NJ — The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been issued a violation notice by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection over its continued practice of blocking public beach access on Sunday mornings.In a letter dated Thursday, Sept. 14, the NJDEP said the camp meeting association is in violation of a provision of the Coastal Area Facili...
|Updated Wed, Sep 20, 2023 at 5:22 pm ET
OCEAN GROVE, NJ — The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association has been issued a violation notice by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection over its continued practice of blocking public beach access on Sunday mornings.
In a letter dated Thursday, Sept. 14, the NJDEP said the camp meeting association is in violation of a provision of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act that requires public access be maintained so the public can reach the sand below the mean high water line.
A request for comment from the camp meeting association was not immediately answered Friday evening.
Under the Public Trust Doctrine in New Jersey, private ownership of a beach only extends to the mean high water line. From there to the water the beach belongs to the public. The NJDEP has fought — and won — repeated legal battles with private owners up and down the Shore over public beach access dating back to the 1980s.
The NJDEP warned the association and Neptune Township in an Aug. 10 letter that the closures had to stop. Ocean Grove is a section of Neptune; the camp meeting association owns nearly all the property in the section. It existed as a Methodist enclave for decades, though its residential makeup has changed some in recent years. Read more: Jersey Shore Town, State At Odds Over Sunday Beach Restrictions
The violation notice, signed by Robert H. Clark, region supervisor of the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement, gives the association 10 days to cease "all unauthorized activities," which the NJDEP said involve the use of chains and padlocks to prevent public access to the beach between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon on Sundays from May through September.
"The Permittee cannot limit vertical or horizontal public access to any dry sand area covered under this permit nor interfere with the public's right to free use of the dry sand for intermittent recreational purposes connected with the ocean and wet sand," Clark said.
In response to the Aug. 10 warning, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association defended the closure, saying it “enhances religious and secular quality of life experiences in Ocean Grove which society recognizes as valuable.”
The policy to close Ocean Grove beach access has been in place for 154 years, Michael Badger, president of the organization, told NJ.com. This is the first year the policy has generated complaints, Badger said. Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association describes itself as "rooted in its Methodist Heritage," with the mission to "provide opportunities for spiritual birth, growth, and renewal through worship, educational, cultural, and recreational programs for persons of all ages in a Christian seaside setting."
The organization is not affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
The full violation notice can be read below.
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They want to make beach access a Shore thing.State officials ramped up the pressure on the Ocean Grove landowners’ group that is banning beach use on Sunday morning by restricting access to its boardwalk.The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sent the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist...
They want to make beach access a Shore thing.
State officials ramped up the pressure on the Ocean Grove landowners’ group that is banning beach use on Sunday morning by restricting access to its boardwalk.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sent the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist Heritage organization, a violation notice on Thursday demanding that the group allow people to enter the beach via the boardwalk there, NJ.com reported.
The DEP — which was following up a warning letter sent Aug. 13 — gave the group 10 days to comply by removing the chain and padlock barriers that block beach access from the boardwalk Sundays between 9 a.m. and noon.
Michael Badger, the organization’s president, said Friday that no fines have been issued.
The department also asked that representatives of the association “engage in compliance discussion” with the agency “aimed at resolving this matter as soon as possible,” Robert H. Clark, regional supervisor, wrote in his letter to the association’s director of operations, Steve Columbo. Badger told NJ.com that a representative of the group will meet with the state, to ensure all the facts are heard.”
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, whose vision is to “be the seaside community where all generations can know and grow in Jesus,” has for 154 years closed the nine access points from the Ocean Grove boardwalk onto the sand for three hours on summer mornings from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
The group works to maintain the religious heritage of the town, which was founded in 1869 by Methodist ministers. After 100 years, the New Jersey Supreme Court deemed Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s charter unconstitutional, but the association still owns all the land and has a hand in governing the beachfront community of 3,000 inhabitants in Neptune Township.
However, despite their efforts to limit beach use on Sunday mornings, Ocean Grove’s boardwalk and pier stayed open throughout the summer, and the beach itself can be accessed by neighboring towns — in the north from Bradley Beach or south from Asbury Park.
The president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association said he thinks the town is a victim of religious persecution from the state of NJ:|Updated Fri, Sep 22, 2023 at 10:44 am ETOCEAN GROVE, NJ — The president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association said he thinks the town is a victim of religious persecution from the state of New Jersey, after the state Department of Environmental Protection sent a violation notice to Ocean Grove last week for keeping beaches closed on Sunday mornings during the summer.&q...
|Updated Fri, Sep 22, 2023 at 10:44 am ET
OCEAN GROVE, NJ — The president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association said he thinks the town is a victim of religious persecution from the state of New Jersey, after the state Department of Environmental Protection sent a violation notice to Ocean Grove last week for keeping beaches closed on Sunday mornings during the summer.
"It seems as though the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, with its religious heritage, is being treated differently than other private and municipal beaches on the Jersey Shore," said Camp Meeting Association president Michael Badger.
A DEP spokeswoman said the agency would not be responding to Badger's assertions.
The DEP sent a violation notice on Sept. 14 to the tiny town of Ocean Grove, for their decision to close the beaches from 9 a.m. to noon on Sundays during the summer. This is the second violation notice from the state; the DEP sent Ocean Grove a first violation warning Aug. 10.
Ocean Grove began, and continues to this day, as a Methodist summer seaside retreat. The Camp Meeting Association, which is a Christian 501(c)3 non-profit, owns all the land in Ocean Grove, and also owns the beach.
Since the 1800s, Ocean Grove has closed public access to the beach on Sunday mornings. From 9 a.m. to noon on summer Sundays from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, the main staircase down to the beach is closed, and the town deliberately does not put lifeguards on duty.
Badger said Ocean Grove does this for two reasons, one religious and the other being quality of life.
"Keeping the beaches closed leads to a quieter, less crowded and more relaxed Sunday morning in Ocean Grove: You do not have the crowds that you have on a Saturday morning. You don't have the jingle from the ice cream trucks running up and down the beach. You can get a parking space so you can walk to breakfast or yes, walk to church," he said.
He argues there are many towns up and down the Jersey Shore that decide to close their beaches for a whole host of reasons:
"Look at Sandy Hook, which is run by the federal government, they close their beaches at night (All of Sandy Hook closes at 9 p.m.). After Long Branch had that problem with the pop-up parties last year, they closed their beaches at night. And Asbury Park, which just had the Sea.Hear.Now festival this past weekend, put barricades up at either end of their beaches to prevent people from getting onto the beach. Those barricades were in place all weekend," he said.
Last week, Jenkinson's made the unprecedented decision to padlock all the access gates along the beaches it owns in Point Pleasant Beach. Jenkinson's decided to do this due to rough ocean conditions from Hurricane Lee and after the town was sued by the family of a Morris County man who drowned in a rip current in September 2020. By Tuesday of this week, the DEP sent a warning letter to Jenkinson's telling them they were in violation of New Jersey's mandate to provide public access to the beach.
Badger contends Ocean Grove is being singled out for closing its beach access for a total of 15 Sundays, 45 hours out of the year.
"In Ocean Grove, it is only the public stairs down to the beach that is closed," he argued. "Any member of the public can still access the beach on Sunday mornings from either the north or south end of the beach. It's just the stairs that are closed."
"Going to court" not out of the question, says Ocean Grove leader
Badger also said Ocean Grove has no intention of complying with the state's request.
"The DEP has not said yet if there will be a fine, or how much, but there is a possibility when the beach opens on Memorial Day weekend 2024 we could be fined if we don't comply," he told Patch.
But "going to court" is not out of the question, said Badger this week.
Badger said he will be writing to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection this week to schedule a meeting and discuss the issue.
"The Department recommends that representatives of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association engage in compliance discussions with the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement aimed at resolving this matter as soon as possible," wrote the DEP on Sept. 14.
In their Sept. 14 notice, the DEP specifically asked that Ocean Grove stop using a chain and pad lock on the stairs down to the beach.
On the topic of public access to beaches on the Jersey Shore, and Ocean Grove's continued battles with the state: NJ Looking Into Jenkinson's Beach Access Closure In Pt. Pleasant Beach (Sept. 15)
State officials have sent a notice of violation to the landowners’ group in Ocean Grove that has restricted Sunday morning access to the beach from its boardwalk.The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection did not specify any penalties in its Sept. 14 letter to the Ocean Grove Camp M...
State officials have sent a notice of violation to the landowners’ group in Ocean Grove that has restricted Sunday morning access to the beach from its boardwalk.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection did not specify any penalties in its Sept. 14 letter to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association but demanded within 10 days compliance with mandated corrective actions, such as agreeing to no longer use chain and pad lock barriers to block beach access from the boardwalk Sundays between 9 a.m. and noon.
The DEP previously sent a warning letter Aug. 13 and said officials from the department’s Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement observed violations of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, the last of 15 Sundays during the summer season.
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association officials have said the nine “step entrances” — access points from the Ocean Grove Boardwalk onto the sand — are closed between 9 a.m. and noon on the Sundays during the summer season, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. It is a tradition stemming from Ocean Grove’s origins as a Christian seaside resort and destination for Methodists.
The boardwalk and pier remain opened throughout the summer season, with the beach accessible by walking along the sand either north from Bradley Beach or south from Asbury Park.
However, DEP is alleging that the restriction runs afoul of the law.
“The department recommends that representatives of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association engage in compliance discussions with the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement aimed at resolving this matter as soon as possible,” regional supervisor Robert H. Clark wrote in his letter to the association’s director of operations, Steve Columbo.
Michael Badger, the president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, said Friday that no fines have been issued against his organization.
Badger told NJ Advance Media that he has spoken with DEP’s director of land resource protection, Jennifer Moriarty.
“The OGCMA will meet with the NJDEP to ensure all the facts are heard,” Badger said.
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association officials have said limiting beach access on Sunday mornings improves the “religious and secular” quality of life along its boardwalk.
Ocean Grove, a seaside community of roughly 3,000 residents, is not its own municipality, but a small section of Neptune Township set aside with a unique charter. was founded more than 150 years ago as a summertime, tent-revival religious retreat. It was governed by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association as a religious enclave for 100 years until the New Jersey Supreme Court declared its original charter unconstitutional after a series of lawsuits. However, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association still owns all the land and helps govern the beachfront community.
Protesters and counter-protesters were present Sept. 3 for the final Sunday of the season under the policy. The beach remained blocked with chains slung across the entrances and a sign saying the beach was closed — “An Ocean Grove Tradition.”
Some beachgoers jumped the barriers or went under the chains and sat on the beach.
The dispute over Sunday beach access is the latest in a series of controversies involving the Camp Meeting Association and some Ocean Grove residents. The Camp Meeting Association’s decision to rebuild a beach pier in the shape of a cross drew objections from some residents earlier this year.
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A controversial cross-shaped pier on the Jersey Shore will open to the public ahead of schedule, the local religious organization behind its reconstruction announced.Visitors will be able to walk on the rebuilt Ocean Grove fishing pier as early as Saturday, following a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association ...
A controversial cross-shaped pier on the Jersey Shore will open to the public ahead of schedule, the local religious organization behind its reconstruction announced.
Visitors will be able to walk on the rebuilt Ocean Grove fishing pier as early as Saturday, following a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association said in its announcement Monday.
The Methodist group previously said it expected the pier to be completed by Memorial Day.
Some residents objected to the shape of the pier when its cross-shaped design was unveiled in July 2022 at a groundbreaking in the Monmouth County resort town. Critics, including the nonpartisan advocacy group Neptune United, raised concerns about putting a religious symbol in a public space on the beach.
Officials with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association — which helps governs the Ocean Grove section of Neptune under a unique charter — previously said they make “no apologies” for the symbolism of the new structure.
“We don’t mean to hurt anyone and we don’t mean to offend anyone,” Michael Badger, the meeting association’s president, said last year.
“We are Christians and we are going to continue to be Christians in the public square, on our private lands,” he added.
Neptune United alleged the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, known as the OGCMA, did not follow state Department of Environmental Protection rules when it built the pier.
“Despite not obtaining the required permits, violating multiple DEP conditions, and having had exactly zero oversight by Neptune Township, the OGCMA is somehow allowed to have a ‘ribbon cutting and opening’ for a pier that will be walked on by tens of thousands of residents and visitors alike,” Neptune United said in a statement Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, Neptune United’s concern is not limited to municipal noncompliance and the underlying safety issues. Each day, Neptune United becomes more and more alarmed by the OGCMA’s blatant disregard for both the community and well-established law,” the statement said.
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association officials did not immediately respond to a request to comment on Neptune United’s statement.
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association was issued a notice of violation by the Department of Environmental Protection on Sept. 22 for unauthorized activity under the Waterfront Development Act and Coastal Area Facilities Review Act, records show.
Badger said the state never fined the camp meeting association and work never stopped on the project.
“The beach, boardwalk and pier are open to the public and everyone is invited to use these amenities regardless of their faith, nationality, background, or personal characteristics. It is our hope that by experiencing the sun, sand, and surf people with be refreshed and draw closer to God who created all of nature,” Badger said in a statement.
The state provided emergency authorization for construction on Oct. 5 and the association followed up with the submission of a Coastal Area Facilities Review Act permit application on Nov. 7, according to DEP records.
A DEP spokeswoman said the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association was meeting the requirements cited in the Sept. 22 violation and was permitted to proceed with construction of the pier.
The new pier did not need to go through the local zoning board for approval, Neptune officials previously said.
“The Ocean Grove pier project received approvals from the state under the Coastal Area Facilities Review Act,” Neptune officials previously said in a statement. “Because it is property owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, and over water, the township did not have any zoning authority over the pier’s placement or design.”
The Camp Meeting Association spent nearly 10 months working on the $2 million project to restore the Ocean Grove pier — which was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy more than a decade ago — to its historic length of 500 feet.
The Camp Meeting Association raised $550,000 for the project through a three-year fundraising campaign called “American Treasure.” The money will go toward the new pier and beachfront facilities. The majority of donations to the campaign came from long-term camp donors, but $72,000 came from first-time donors, Badger said.
The remaining construction costs for the pier are being paid with $1.45 million from the Camp Meeting Association’s financial reserves.
Ocean Grove, referred to as God’s Square Mile by some of its residents, is a seaside community of roughly 3,000 residents located just south of Asbury Park. It’s not its own municipality — Ocean Grove is a small section of Neptune Township set aside with a unique charter.
It was founded more than 150 years ago as a summertime, tent-revival religious retreat for Methodists. It was governed by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association as a religious enclave for 100 years until the New Jersey Supreme Court declared its original charter unconstitutional after a series of lawsuits.
However, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association still owns all the land and helps govern the beachfront community.
The Ocean Grove Meeting Association was sued in 2007 when it barred same-sex couples from using its boardwalk pavilion for civil union ceremonies, which a judge later said violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.
Christian symbols can be found all around Ocean Grove. On the beach, a Christian flag flies beside the U.S. flag. Beach badges sold by the Camp Meeting Association include a cross, beach umbrellas available for rent are decorated with cross icons and there’s a cross mounted on the dunes at the beach.
Neptune United said the new pier is another effort by the Camp Meeting Association to imprint Ocean Grove with religious symbols.
“Neptune United remains committed to advocating for a community where everyone feels included, respected, and safe,” the group said.
The end of the pier hanging over the ocean is made of a different material than the rest of the boardwalk, making the cross shape stand out from the air and for those walking on the structure.
The end of the pier is made of a grey fiberglass specially designed with small gaps that allow water to come through it. That will help avoid the moisture damage common to wooden structures, Badger said.
The pier’s completion comes as Ocean Grove is gearing up for the community’s busy season. In May, the area, famous for its colony of canvas tents near the beach, begins to reopen for the summer.
There are 114 tent structures nestled around the Great Auditorium, the hub of activity in Ocean Grove, according to the Camp Meeting Association website.
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