Sea Isle City, New Jersey
|Sea Isle City, New Jersey|
|City of Sea Isle City|
Sea Isle City highlighted in Cape May County. Inset map: Cape May County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Sea Isle City, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||May 22, 1882|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)|
|• Mayor||Leonard C. Desiderio (term ends April 30, 2013)|
|• Administrator||George Savastano|
|• Clerk||Cindy Griffith|
|• Total||2.531 sq mi (6.557 km2)|
|• Land||2.169 sq mi (5.618 km2)|
|• Water||0.362 sq mi (0.938 km2) 14.31%|
|Area rank||372nd of 566 in state
9th of 16 in county
|Elevation||7 ft (2 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2012)||2,099|
|• Rank||483rd of 566 in state
11th of 16 in county
|• Density||974.5/sq mi (376.3/km2)|
|• Density rank||385th of 566 in state
8th of 16 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||609 exchanges: 263, 427, 861|
|GNIS feature ID||0885389|
Sea Isle City is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 2,114, reflecting a decline of 721 (-25.4%) from the 2,835 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 143 (+5.3%) from the 2,692 counted in the 1990 Census. Visitors raise the population to as much as 40,000 during the peak summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Sea Isle City is located on Ludlam Island, which also contains the Strathmere section of Upper Township.
Sea Isle City was originally incorporated as a borough on May 22, 1882, from portions of Dennis Township, based on the results of a referendum held six days earlier. The borough was reincorporated on March 31, 1890. On April 30, 1907, the area was reincorporated as the City of Sea Isle City, based on the results of a referendum held on April 20, 1907.
Sea Isle City was founded in 1882 by Charles K. Landis, who was also the founder of Vineland, New Jersey. The main street in town, Landis Avenue, is named for the town's founder. The oldest building in Sea Isle City is The Colonnade Inn, a Victorian building dating back to the 1800s. From 1885 until 1924, Sea Isle City was the location of Ludlam's Beach Lighthouse. The structure was moved to the corner of Landis Avenue and 35th Street (3414 Landis Ave), and was a private residence (rental) for many years. A non-profit group, The Friends of the Ludlam Beach Lighthouse, was unsuccessful in its efforts to raise enough money to save the building from demolition by moving it to a new location and restoring it. It was demolished on September 21, 2010, to make way for new town homes.
The oil tanker MV Sea Isle City was renamed for this city when it was reflagged and registered in the United States in 1987 during Operation Earnest Will. It was struck by a Silkworm missile off Kuwait on October 16, 1987, wounding 18 crew members and seriously damaging the ship.
There have been many hurricanes and huge storms that have hit the small island of Sea Isle City, New Jersey. The storms of the 1890s, 1920s, and the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane have been some of the worst natural disasters to hit the coast of New Jersey. The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, a major Nor'easter that hit on March 6, 1962, tops all other storms that have hit the area in the recent past. The storm lasted three days of continuous rain. Many people evacuated in time to save their lives, but came back to find their homes and assets destroyed. Eventually, the only way out of town was the causeway, and when that flooded, rescuers had to use helicopters to evacuate the rest of the town. It was categorized as a "100-year storm," in which almost every beach front home or property was destroyed or damaged.
About a week later when the storm had subsided, Sea Isle City citizens moved back into their homes and began the needed revisions. As a result of the storm, a "dune line" was formed, and this caused beach front businesses and homes to move back from the shoreline an average of one block.
Sea Isle City is popular with summer visitors. As of 2001, the only amusement park, Fun City, was closed and the land was sold for development of beach homes. In 2009, Fun City re-opened at a new location on JFK Boulevard. Sea Isle City's signature water tower always had "Welcome to Sea Isle City" painted on it until 2002 when the printed message was changed to "Smile! You're in Sea Isle City". "Sara the Turtle Day" is the city's local holiday, celebrating a fictional turtle named Sara who became the city's unofficial mascot. The city hosts a Polar bear plunge every February, holding the 19th annual event in 2013, featuring many participants dressed in costume.
In 2011, Sea Isle City began a $14 million makeover to create a public corridor from the bay to the ocean. Plans include building a new boathouse on the marina next to the Fun City amusement park, installing a new playground and basketball courts on JFK Boulevard and erecting a pavilion and band shell at Excursion Park on the city’s Promenade overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Sea Isle City became one of the first towns in New Jersey, along with Salem City and Egg Harbor City, to receive LED streetlights powered solely by wind and solar energy. The lights were installed at the Promenade at JFK Boulevard by the South Jersey Economic Development District and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Sea Isle City is located at United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 2.531 square miles (6.557 km2), of which, 2.169 square miles (5.618 km2) of it is land and 0.362 square miles (0.938 km2) of it (14.31%) is water.(39.153798,-74.696409). According to the
Sea Isle City is a beach town with most of its housing used for vacation rentals and second homes. It has a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) beachfront promenade and several arcades, shops, restaurants and bars in the center of town. The epicenter of the town is 48th Street.
Sea Isle is not an "island city" as it shares its land on Ludlam Island with Strathmere. Neighboring Ocean City, however, is an island city as the entire land mass, surrounded by water, belongs to the town. Strathmere (located at the north end of Ludlam Island) is not part of Sea Isle City. It is part of Upper Township. Townsend Inlet, located at the south of the island, is part of the city
1890-2000 1890-1920 1890
1930-1990 2000 2010
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 2,114 people, 1,041 households, and 646.5 families residing in the city. The population density was 974.5 per square mile (376.3 /km2). There were 6,900 housing units at an average density of 3,180.8 per square mile (1,228.1 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.63% (2,085) White, 0.09% (2) Black or African American, 0.24% (5) Native American, 0.19% (4) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.47% (10) from other races, and 0.38% (8) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 2.41% (51) of the population.
There were 1,041 households of which 9.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.54.
In the city, 10.7% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 13.2% from 25 to 44, 37.6% from 45 to 64, and 32.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 58.1 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $54,715 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,859) and the median family income was $80,219 (+/- $21,265). Males had a median income of $66,771 (+/- $34,710) versus $44,087 (+/- $6,534) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $47,174 (+/- $10,684). About 3.1% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 2,835 people, 1,370 households, and 794 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,287.3 people per square mile (497.5/km2). There were 6,622 housing units at an average density of 1, 162.2/km2 (3,006.9/sq mi). The racial makeup of the city was 97.88% White, 0.28% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.07% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, 30.5% of Sea Isle City residents were of Irish ancestry, the 34th-highest percentage of any municipality in the United States, and sixth-highest in New Jersey, among all places with more than 1,000 residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 1,370 households out of which 15.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.0% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.71.
In the city the population was spread out with 15.7% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 20.8% from 25 to 44, 31.4% from 45 to 64, and 27.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 51 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,708, and the median income for a family was $62,847. Males had a median income of $42,713 versus $31,375 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,754. About 6.4% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.7% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of July 1, 2007, Sea Isle City is governed under a Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) form of government by a mayor and a five-member city council. The mayor and council members serve four-year terms of office and are chosen at-large in non-partisan elections held in May. Either three council seats or two council seats and the mayoral seat are up for election in odd-numbered years. Prior to 2007, Sea Isle City had been governed under the Walsh Act form of New Jersey municipal government, by a three-member commission, starting in 1913.
As of 2013[update], the Mayor of Sea Isle City is Leonard C. Desiderio, whose term of office ends on June 30, 2015. Members of the Council are Council President Mary Tighe (2017), John J. Divney (2017), Frank P. Edwardi, Jr. (2015), Jack C. Gibson (2017) and William J. Kehner (2015).
Federal, state and county representation
New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg) and Bob Menendez (D, North Bergen).
The 1st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township) and in the General Assembly by Bob Andrzejczak (D, Middle Township) and Sam Fiocchi (R, Vineland). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Cape May County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year; At an annual reorganization held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as Director and another to serve as Vice-Director. As of 2013[update], Cape May County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton (Middle Township, term ends December 31, 2013), Freeholder Vice-Director Leonard C. Desiderio (Sea Isle City, 2015), Kristine Gabor (Upper Township, 2014) and Will Morey (Wildwood Crest, 2014), along with the vacant seat of M. Susan Sheppard expiring in 2013 that was vacated after Sheppard was sworn in as County Surrogate. The county's constitutional officers are Sheriff Gary Schafer (Ocean City, 2014), Surrogate M. Susan Sheppard (Ocean City, 2015) and County Clerk Rita Fulginiti (Ocean City, 2013).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,060 registered voters in Sea Isle City, of which 340 (16.5%) were registered as Democrats, 1,090 (52.9%) were registered as Republicans and 629 (30.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party.
In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 58.6% of the vote here (977 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama, who received 40.1% (669 votes), with 1,668 ballots cast among the city's 2,041 registered voters, for a turnout of 81.7%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 61.7% of the vote here (1,041 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry, who received 37.0% (625 votes), with 1,687 ballots cast among the city's 2,177 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 77.5.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.6% of the vote here (753 ballots cast), ahead of both Democrat Jon Corzine with 32.4% (409 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.6% (58 votes), with 1,264 ballots cast among the city's 2,094 registered voters, yielding a 60.4% turnout.
The Sea Isle City School District serves public school students in pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade. The Sea Isle City School had an enrollment of 48 students in Pre-K through third grade as of the 2010-11 school year. The school graduated its last eighth grade class in June 2009. Starting with the 2010-11 school year, students from Sea Isle City started attending the Ocean City schools starting in fifth grade.
As of June 30, 2012, Sea Isle City School District no longer operates, in the face of an order by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education that was based on declining enrollment and budgetary issues. All students from Sea Isle City in public school for pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade will attend Ocean City Public Schools.
The city had a total of 33.06 miles (53.20 km) of roadways, of which 27.53 miles (44.31 km) are maintained by the municipality and 5.53 miles (8.90 km) by Cape May County.
Exit 17 on the Garden State Parkway in Dennis Township provides access to Sea Isle City via Sea Isle Boulevard which becomes JFK Boulevard. Landis Boulevard (County Route 619) follows the ocean, traversing 5 miles (8.0 km) across the city, from the Strathmere section of Upper Township in the north to Avalon in the south.
New Jersey Transit offers the 315 inter-city bus route that runs through the town three times a day and shuttles people to and from Philadelphia, and the 319 route to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. However, due to weight restrictions on the Townsend Inlet Bridge, New Jersey Transit 315/319 bus service only stops on Central Avenue and JFK Boulevard. Service was previously suspended due to summer traffic until a deal has been reached. Sea Isle City has a trolley service that operates along Landis Avenue and the JFK Boulevard corridor from June through September.
Rail service was provided to the island by both the Atlantic City Railroad, a subsidiary of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway, and the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad, owned by the rival Pennsylvania Railroad. The Atlantic City Railroad's line was a continuation of its line to Ocean City, running across Corson's Inlet and through Strathmere. The West Jersey and Seashore Railroad tracks branched from the Cape May Line at Sea Isle Junction, and entered the city at 41st Street, from where it continued south to Stone Harbor. The train was in use from the early 1900s until the mid-1930s after the merger of the two railroads when the tracks were removed and the streets were paved due to increase use of cars.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Sea Isle City include:
- Richard M. Atwater (1844–1922), chemist and glassmaker, who served as mayor of Sea Isle City from 1913-1917.
- Jeff Carter (born 1985), professional hockey player for the Los Angeles Kings.
- John C. Gibson (born 1934), former member of the New Jersey General Assembly.
- Josh Lomberger (born 1980), play-by-play commentator with WWE.
- John Stevens (born 1966), former defenseman who has coached in the NHL at various levels.
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- Greenberg, Ted. "Historic Lighthouse Gets Demolished", WCAU, September 22, 2010. Accessed November 5, 2013. "Demolition began Tuesday on a Sea Isle City landmark after a failed bid to save it.The former 1885 Ludlam Beach Lighthouse, situated about a block from the beach at 3414 Landis Ave., was torn down to make way for new homes."
- Mann, Jim. "Silkworm Missile Off World Market, China's Envoy Says", Los Angeles Times, November 25, 1987. Accessed August 4, 2011. "On Oct. 16, a Silkworm apparently fired by Iranian forces heavily damaged the Sea Isle City, one of the Kuwaiti oil tankers re-registered under the American flag as part of the U.S. tanker escort effort."
- Urgo, Jacqueline. "Face-lift for Sea Isle City Shore resort embarks on a $13.4 million project to spiff up its entryway.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 7, 2009. Accessed August 4, 2011. "Building booms occurred after severe storms battered much of the New Jersey coastline in 1944 and 1962. In Sea Isle, the 1962 nor'easter destroyed or significantly damaged nearly every beachfront structure."
- "Sea Isle City's 2013 Sara the Turtle Festival Was Largest to Date", Cape May County Herald, June 21, 2013. Accessed November 5, 2013. "SEA ISLE CITY – The 2013 Sara the Turtle Festival attracted hundreds of children and their families to Sea Isle City’s Excursion Park on June 20. The annual event, which is hosted by Sea Isle’s Division of Tourism, featured live animal and environmental exhibits, a 'Diaper Derby' for crawling babies, 'Turtle Races' on the sand for older children, a live performance by 'The Turtlesingers' and other free entertainment."
- Rose, Lisa. "Polar Bear Plunge in Sea Isle City features sleet, Speedos and bikinis", The Star-Ledger, February 19, 2013. Accessed November 5, 2013. "Sleet rained down on folks in Speedos and bikinis in Sea Isle City this past weekend, as the town hosted its 19th annual Polar Bear Plunge.The cold jump in the ocean was only part of the politically incorrect spectacle, which featured a phantasmagoric costume contest and a ceremonial crowning of a Polar Bear King and Queen."
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- Miller, Michael. "Sea Isle City, Ocean City, Cape May hold annual post-election reorganization meetings", The Press of Atlantic City, July 1, 2011. Accessed August 4, 2011. "Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio and two city councilmen were sworn into office Friday in one of three municipal reorganizations in Cape May County. Desiderio beat challenger Michael McHale for mayor in May. Councilmen Frank Edwardi and William Kehner also were re-elected."
- Procida, Lee. "Avalon, Sea Isle City each elect 2 incumbents, 1 newcomer in unopposed elections", The Press of Atlantic City, May 2013. Accessed November 5, 2013. "In Sea Isle City, incumbents Mary L. Tighe and John J. Divney won re-election to four-year terms while former Republican Assemblyman John C. 'Jack' Gibson won a seat on City Council."
- Inauguration and Re-Organization and City Council Meeting Minutes, Monday, July 1, 2013, City of Sea Isle City. Accessed November 5, 2013. "Newly Sworn in Council Members John Divney, Jack Gibson and Mary Tighe each had the opportunity to address the audience. The Clerk then asked for nominations for Council President for a one year term, ending June 30, 2014. Mr. Divney nominated Ms. Tighe and Mr. Edwardi seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations and a unanimous aye vote followed nominating Ms. Tighe."
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- Ianieri, Brian. "Sea Isle sends off eight in city's last graduation", The Press of Atlantic City, June 19, 2009. Accessed August 4, 2011. "Facing declining enrollment and fewer children left in the seasonal city, the school board in March made a controversial decision to send fifth-grade to eighth-grade students to the Ocean City School District in the fall. Sea Isle's school will retain pre-Kindergarten through fourth-grade classes. The city's high school-age students have long attended Ocean City High School."
- Rudloff, Mary. "State orders Sea Isle City school to close; Sea Isle, Ocean City school boards vote not to stand in the way; students to come to Ocean City", Ocean City Sentinel, May 2, 2012. Accessed July 19, 2013. "By voting to not oppose the Order to Show Cause, both school districts agree to expand the send-receive relationship, sending Sea Isle's students in kindergarten through third grade to Ocean City beginning in September. Sea Isle's students in grades four through 12 already attend school in Ocean City."
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- 2006 Distinguished Service Award Recipients, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, accessed April 14, 2007. "Jack Gibson's roots are deeply imbedded in South Jersey. He was born in Atlantic City and has been a life long resident of Sea Isle City."
- "Josh Mathews Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved April 21, 2008.
- Servalli, Frank. "Kings' Stevens enjoys reunion", The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 31, 2010. Accessed October 23, 2011. "Sometime after watching the team he coached earlier in the year lose in the Stanley Cup finals last June, John Stevens was relaxing at his shore house in Sea Isle City when he received a call.... From a father's perspective, Los Angeles is 2,873 miles from his home base in Washington Township, N.J. For a tight-knit family man like Stevens, 44, who would be forced to leave his wife Stacy and hockey-loving sons John and Nolan behind, the decision wasn't an easy one."
- Sea Isle City web site
- Sea Isle City School
- Sea Isle City School's 2010–11 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Sea Isle City School, National Center for Education Statistics
- Sea Isle City Beach Patrol
- Sea Isle City Tourism Commission
- Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce
- The Upper Township Gazette serving Sea Isle Local community newspaper
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