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DEP Press Office: Run By Twisted Freaks

Attempt To Divert From Hurricane Risks Is Deeply Offensive

[Update below – Gov. Christie’s PR team also tried to change the subject]

Hurricane Cristobal is moving up the Atlantic Coast, and experts are warning the public about dangerous rip tides, which killed a man in nearby Ocean City, Maryland.

A teenaged swimmer is drown right here in NJ, at Sandy Hook.

Tragically, it just so happens that the youth was swimming in an area not guarded by lifeguards.

[Update 8/28/14 – I just read that he wasn’t swimming he was knocked down by a wave. So, DEP’s implied blaming of the victim is even worse]

So, just hours later, fully aware of the situation and the risks to the NJ shore, what does the DEP press office do?

They issue a self serving press release LIFEGUARDED BATHING AREA TO BE OPEN AT ISLAND BEACH STATE PARKtouting extended openings of Island Beach State Park, with a backhanded allusion to the dangers of swimming in areas unprotected by lifeguards:

The weather and the water are still warm and our attendance remains high in September,” said Richard Boornazian, DEP Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. “By having our skilled lifeguard team at Island Beach State Park for long weekends throughout the month, visitors can more safely enjoy the water and experience an extended summer on our beautiful beaches.”

As is the case throughout the summer, swimming in unguarded beaches at any location at Island Beach State Park is strictly prohibited.

That is beyond oblivious and insensitive – its just flat out twisted.

We understand that a press office’s role is to divert media from bad news and vulnerabilities.

We realize that Gov. Christie’s Sandy stagecoach has turned back into a pumpkin, and that the press and the public now realize that NJ is highly vulnerable to hurricanes – and that Gov. Christie has done nothing to reduce those risks and vulnerabilities.

We know that another hurricane brings back the trauma of Sandy.

We know that DEP is being harshly criticized for proposing a major new coastal management rule that fails to address sea level rise and climate change, and actually promotes new development in hazardous locations.

So, of course, the DEP press office is desperate to deflect media and public attention away from all this bad news.

But, to do so at the expense of the loss of human life is truly warped.


Gov. Christie’s press office is equally twisted –

Yesterday, again fully aware of Hurricane Cristobal’s existence and ability to highlight unresolved risks and issues for the NJ shore, the Gov.’s press office issued this release obviously designed to change the subject of hurricane risks to the Shore, touting Sandy buyouts.

Of course, the lapdog Star Ledger State House reporter uncritically transcribed it in this story.

At this point, when the situation is so obvious, for the media to do that amounts to journalistic malpractice. – end update.]

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