Ocean City, New Jersey
Ocean City, New Jersey
|City of Ocean City|
Ocean City beach at 12th Street
"America's Greatest Family Resort"
Ocean City highlighted in Cape May County. Inset map: Cape May County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Ocean City, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||May 3, 1884 (as borough)|
|Reincorporated||March 25, 1897 (as city)|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (mayor–council)|
|• Body||City Council|
|• Mayor||Jay A. Gillian (term ends June 30, 2022)|
|• Administrator||George Savastano|
|• Municipal clerk||Melissa Rasner|
|• Total||11.56 sq mi (29.93 km2)|
|• Land||6.72 sq mi (17.39 km2)|
|• Water||4.84 sq mi (12.53 km2) 41.87%|
|Area rank||196th of 565 in state|
5th of 16 in county
|Elevation||3 ft (0.9 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||207th of 566 in state|
4th of 16 in county
|• Density||1,847.7/sq mi (713.4/km2)|
|• Density rank||300th of 566 in state|
5th of 16 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|Area code(s)||609 Exchanges: 391, 398, 399, 525, 814|
|GNIS feature ID||0885332|
Ocean City is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is the principal city of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Cape May County and is part of the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 11,701, reflecting a decline of 3,677 (-23.9%) from the 15,378 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 134 (-0.9%) from the 15,512 counted in the 1990 Census. In summer months, with an influx of tourists and second homeowners, there are estimated to be 115,000 to 130,000 within the city's borders.
Ocean City originated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 3, 1884, from portions of Upper Township, based on results from a referendum on April 30, 1884, and was reincorporated as a borough on March 31, 1890. Ocean City was incorporated as a city, its current government form, on March 25, 1897. The city is named for its location on the Atlantic Ocean.
Known as a family-oriented seaside resort, Ocean City has not allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages within its limits since its founding in 1879, offering miles of guarded beaches, a boardwalk that stretches for 2.5 miles (4.0 km), and a downtown shopping and dining district.
The Travel Channel rated Ocean City as the Best Family Beach of 2005. It was ranked the third-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium. In the 2009 Top 10 Beaches Contest, Ocean City ranked first.
Before Ocean City was established, local Native Americans set up camps on the island for fishing in the summer months. In 1633, Dutch navigator David Pietersz. de Vries referred to "flat sand beaches with low hills between Cape May and Egg Harbor", possibly the earliest reference to the island that became Ocean City. In 1695, Thomas Budd surveyed the land on behalf of the West Jersey Society. Around 1700, John Peck used the island as a base of operation for storing freshly hunted whales, and subsequently the land became known as Peck's Beach. The first record of a house on Peck's Beach was in 1752. During the 18th century, cattle grazers brought cows to the island, where plentiful trees, weeds, brush, and seagrass provided suitable condition. Parker Miller was the first permanent resident of Peck's Beach in 1859.
Originally purchased by the Somers family, the island was formerly named Peck's Beach, believed to have been given the name for a whaler named John Peck. In 1700, whaler John Peck began using the barrier island as a storage place for freshly caught whales. The island was also used as cattle-grazing area, and mainlanders would boat over for a picnic or to hunt. On September 10, 1879, four Methodist ministers – Ezra B. Lake, James Lake, S. Wesley Lake, and William Burrell – chose the island as a suitable spot to establish a Christian retreat and camp meeting on the order of Ocean Grove. They met under a tall cedar tree, which stands today in the lobby of the Ocean City Tabernacle. Having chosen the name "Ocean City", the founders incorporated the Ocean City Association, and laid out street and lots for cottages, hotel, and businesses. The Ocean City Tabernacle was built between Wesley and Asbury Avenues and between 5th and 6th Streets. Camp meetings were held by the following summer and continue uninterrupted to this day.
In 1881, the first school on the island opened. The first bridge to the island was built in 1883, and the West Jersey Railroad opened in 1884. Based on a referendum on April 30, 1884, the borough of Ocean City was formed from portions of Upper Township, following an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 3, 1884.
The ship Sindia joined other shipwrecks on the beach on December 15, 1901, on its way to New York City from Kobe, Japan, but has since sunk below the sand. A salvage attempt to retrieve treasures believed to have been on the ship was most recently launched in the 1970s, all of which have been unsuccessful. In 1920, the Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan "America's Greatest Family Resort". A large fire in 1927 caused $1.5 million in damage and led the city to move the boardwalk closer to the ocean, which resulted in the greater potential for damage from saltwater.
As a result of its religious origins, the sale or public drinking of alcoholic beverages in Ocean City was prohibited. In 1881, the Ocean City Association passed a set of blue laws – laws designed to enforce religious standards. The town banned the manufacturing or sale of alcohol in 1909. Promoting water instead of drinking alcohol, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union donated a public fountain, dedicated on Memorial Day in 1915. Despite the prohibition of alcohol within the municipality, illegal saloons operated within Ocean City, and in 1929, prosecutors raided 27 speakeasies. In 1951, the town banned the consumption of alcohol on the beach, and banned all public alcohol consumption in 1958. During the campaign for a 1986 referendum to repeal the blue laws, ads in the local paper suggested that the repeal could be next. In May 2012, 68.8% of voters rejected a ballot initiative for BYOB – bring your own bottle. As of 2016, Ocean City was one of 32 dry towns in New Jersey. Despite the prohibition in the city, 18.3% of adults in Ocean City metropolitan statistical area (which includes all of Cape May County) drink alcohol heavily or binge drink, the highest percentage of any metro area in the state; USA Today listed Ocean City as the state's most drunken city on its 2017 list of "The drunkest city in every state". Additionally, a loophole in the law allows private dining clubs adjacent to restaurants to serve alcohol to members.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 11.56 square miles (29.93 km2), including 6.72 square miles (17.39 km2) of land and 4.84 square miles (12.53 km2) of water (41.87%). The island is about 8-mile (13 km) long.
Ocean City is situated on a barrier island bordered by the Strathmere section of Upper Township to the south, the Marmora section of Upper Township to the west, and Somers Point and Egg Harbor Township across the Great Egg Harbor Bay to the north. The eastern side of Ocean City borders the Atlantic Ocean.
Since 1951, the beach has been replenished more than 40 times, potentially the most of any beach in the country. This is due to erosion caused by storms, and in an extreme instance of erosion, a $5 million replenishment project in 1982 had largely disappeared within two and a half months. During the 1960s and 1970s, the city owned its own dredge, but ceased replenishment projects when it could not secure permits for dredging the lagoons. Since 1992, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has handled responsibility for beach nourishment projects, periodically adding 1,100,000 cubic yards (840,000 m3), roughly every three years, using the shoal area about 5,000 feet (1,500 m) offshore the Great Egg Harbor Inlet. The project and funding was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, and the most recent replenishment was completed in December 2017. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Army Corps completed the city's largest beach replenishment since 1993, adding 1,800,000 cubic yards (1,400,000 m3) of sand to replenish the eroded beaches.
The city utilizes 39% of its land area – 1,716 acres (694 ha) – for parks and recreation purposes. This includes about 1,300 acres (530 ha) of protected dunes and wetlands. There are several parks within the confines of Ocean City, including ten playgrounds scattered across the island. There are also a volleyball court, a shuffleboard court, a hockey rink, four baseball fields, four soccer fields, eight basketball courts, and 24 tennis courts.
Across from the Ocean City Airport is the Howard Stainton Wildlife Refuge, a 16 acres (6.5 ha) area of wetlands established in 1997. There are no trails, but there is a viewing platform accessible from Bay Avenue. Adjacent to the airport is the Ocean City Municipal Golf Course, a 12–hole course run by the city and open to the public.
At the southern end of the island is Corson's Inlet State Park, which was established in 1969 to preserve one of the last undeveloped tracts of land along the oceanfront. The park is accessible by Ocean Drive (Cape May County Route 619), which bisects the park.
1890 1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
The 2010 United States census counted 11,701 people, 5,890 households, and 3,086 families in the city. The population density was 1,847.7 per square mile (713.4/km2). There were 20,871 housing units at an average density of 3,295.7 per square mile (1,272.5/km2). The racial makeup was 92.05% (10,771) White, 3.50% (410) Black or African American, 0.13% (15) Native American, 0.71% (83) Asian, 0.03% (3) Pacific Islander, 1.91% (224) from other races, and 1.67% (195) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.50% (643) of the population.
Of the 5,890 households, 14.8% had children under the age of 18; 40.6% were married couples living together; 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 47.6% were non-families. Of all households, 42.1% were made up of individuals and 21.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.68.
14.4% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 16.7% from 25 to 44, 32.9% from 45 to 64, and 29.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 53.6 years. For every 100 females, the population had 88.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 86.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $55,202 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,710) and the median family income was $79,196 (+/- $11,239). Males had a median income of $48,475 (+/- $5,919) versus $41,154 (+/- $12,032) for females. The per capita income for the city was $40,864 (+/- $3,899). About 5.1% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 15,378 people, 7,464 households, and 4,008 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,222.8 people per square mile (858.0/km2). There were 20,298 housing units at an average density of 2,934.0 per square mile (1,132.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.57% White, 4.31% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.99% of the population.
There were 7,464 households, out of which 16.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.3% were non-families. 40.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.71.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 16.4% under age 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 25.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.4 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 82.8 men.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,158, and the median income for a family was $61,731. Males had a median income of $42,224 versus $31,282 for females. The per capita income for the city was $33,217. About 4.3% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.0% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.
The concept of beach tags at the Jersey Shore was introduced in the late 1920s, but Ocean City did not establish them until 1976. Beach tags are a major source of revenue for the city, with the $4.1 million in revenue generated in the 2016 season, the most of any municipality in the state. In the 2017 budget, the projected $4.1 million in fees for beach tag and $3 million for parking were two of the city's biggest revenue sources, accounting for almost 9% of the city's annual budget of almost $80 million.
From early June through Labor Day, Ocean City requires individuals age 12 and up to purchase a beach tag to access its beaches. For the 2020 season (from June 1, 2020 through September 6, 2020), a one-day pass cost $5, a weekly pass was $10, and a seasonal pass for the full summer season will be $25. Additionally, there are free seasonal beach tags made available to military personnel. Beach tag revenue is used by the city to cover the costs of maintaining and cleaning the beaches. It is also used to provide lifeguards and patrol all down the coast.
Adjacent to the beach is a 2.45-mile (3.94 km) long boardwalk that which runs north from 23rd Street to St. James Place. The boardwalk was first built in 1880 from the Second Street wharf to Fourth Street and West Avenue. In 1885, plans to extend the boardwalk along the entire beach were made as the city's first amusement house, a pavilion on the beach at 11th street called "The Excursion" opened. A second amusement park, the "I.G. Adams pavilion", at Ninth Street and the boardwalk, opened soon after but was destroyed by fire in 1893. Following a second catastrophic fire in 1927, the boardwalk and its businesses were rebuilt 300 feet (91 m) closer to the ocean on concrete pilings, with parking created for cars in the space where the buildings and boardwalk once stood. The Ocean City Music Pier partially opened one year later, with work completed in time for the 1929 season.
In 2007 controversy emerged about the city's proposed use of ipê, a type of wood, to re-deck parts of the boardwalk. Environmental activists protested against the city's use of the wood, but the plan went ahead. In Fall 2013, the city began a $10 million project to rebuild the 85 year old boardwalk from 5th to 12th Streets. This replaced the concrete substructure from 1928 with wooden supports and pine decking, and included the removal of 12,000 cubic yards (9,200 m3) of sand. Originally intended to be a seven-year project, the work finished two years ahead of schedule in March 2018.
In 1965, the Wonderland Amusement Park opened on the boardwalk at 6th Street, which is now known as Gillian's Wonderland Pier. Runaway Train, a steel twister, operated as the park's sole major roller coaster until its removal in 2018. Playland's Castaway Cove, is located on the boardwalk at 10th Street. Two major roller coasters operated there, which were the Python, a looping coaster, and the Flitzer, a wild mouse coaster. A new major shuttle coaster at Castaway Cove, Storm, was planned to be finished in summer 2013. The two older coasters (Python and Flitzer) were removed and for the 2016 summer season, a new ride called "GaleForce" was being built, which is a high thrill roller coaster with three linear synchronous motor launches reaching speeds of 64 miles per hour (103 km/h) and a 125-foot (38 m) beyond vertical drop. "GaleForce" officially opened to the public on May 26, 2017. The new "Wild Waves" ride is a family-oriented coaster, with a height of 50 feet (15 m), that wraps around the GaleForce coaster. The new "Whirlwind" ride is a figure eight kiddie coaster with spinning cars.
There is also a water park located on the boardwalk called "OC Waterpark", open during the summer months.
Today, there are bike and surrey rentals available along many boardwalk cross streets, but bikes and surreys can only be ridden on the boardwalk before noon during the summer. Attractions along the boardwalk include two family amusement parks with rides and games, an arcade, the Music Pier, a water park and various themed miniature golf courses. The Ocean City boardwalk has a wide variety of dining options, from sit-down restaurants to funnel cake.
Media publications in Ocean City include its two newspapers, The Ocean City Sentinel and The Gazette. Ocean City also has a seasonal publication, The Ocean City Sure Guide, and a lifestyle magazine known as Ocean City Magazine.
The City of Ocean City was incorporated on March 25, 1897. Since July 1, 1978, the city has operated within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the mayor–council system of municipal government, which is used in 71 municipalities (of the 565) statewide. The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the City Council. The mayor, the chief executive of the community, is chosen at-large for a four-year term at the municipal election in May and serves part-time for a yearly salary. The mayor neither presides over, nor has a vote on the council. The mayor has veto power over ordinances, but any veto can be overridden by a vote of two-thirds of the Council. The City Council is the legislative body and is comprised of seven members, of which four members represent individual wards and three are elected at-large. Each council person serves a staggered four-year term, with the three at-large seats and the mayoral seat up for election together, followed by the four ward seats which are voted upon two years later.
As of 2020[update], the mayor of Ocean City is Jay A. Gillian, whose term of office ends June 30, 2022. Members of the city council are Council President Peter Madden (2022; At Large), Council Vice President Anthony P. "Tony" Wilson (2020; Third Ward), Robert S. "Bobby" Barr (2020; Fourth Ward), Karen A. Bergman (2022; At Large), Michael DeVlieger (2020; First Ward), Keith Hartzell (2022; At Large), with a vacant seat representing the second ward.
In September 2015, Councilman Michael Allegretto resigned from his seat expiring in December 2018 to take a position as the city's Director of Community Services. As the council could not reach agreement on a successor in the month following the resignation, the position remained vacant until a successor was chosen in the May 2016 municipal election to serve the balance of the term of office. In May 2016, Karen A. Bergman was elected to serve the balance of the vacant term.
Federal, state and county representation
For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Jeff Van Drew (R, Dennis Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027) and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term ends 2025).
For the 2020–2021 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 1st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Mike Testa (R, Vineland) and in the General Assembly by Antwan McClellan (R, Ocean City) and Erik K. Simonsen (R, Lower Township).
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 2018[update], Cape May County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton (Republican Party, Cape May Court House in Middle Township; term as freeholder expires December 31, 2019, term as freeholder director ends 2018), Freeholder Vice-Director Leonard C. Desiderio (R, Sea Isle City; term as freeholder and as freeholder vice-director ends 2018), E. Marie Hayes (R, Ocean City; 2019), Will Morey (R, Wildwood Crest; 2020) and Jeffrey L. Pierson (R. Upper Township; 2020). The county's constitutional officers are County Clerk Rita Marie Fulginiti (R, 2020, Ocean City), Sheriff Robert Nolan (R, 2020, Lower Township) and Surrogate Dean Marcolongo (R, 2022, Upper Township).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 8,810 registered voters in Ocean City, of which 1,747 (19.8%) were registered as Democrats, 3,776 (42.9%) were registered as Republicans and 3,282 (37.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 58.1% of the vote (3,841 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 41.1% (2,721 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (54 votes), among the 6,658 ballots cast by the city's 9,272 registered voters (42 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 71.8%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 56.0% of the vote (3,949 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama, who received 42.2% (2,982 votes), with 7,058 ballots cast among the city's 8,683 registered voters, for a turnout of 81.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 59.0% of the vote (4,431 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry, who received 39.2% (2,945 votes), with 7,516 ballots cast among the city's 10,310 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 72.9.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 75.7% of the vote (3,436 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 22.9% (1,038 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (62 votes), among the 4,638 ballots cast by the city's 8,926 registered voters (102 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 52.0%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 58.2% of the vote (2,894 ballots cast), ahead of both Democrat Jon Corzine with 34.3% (1,707 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 6.1% (306 votes), with 4,976 ballots cast among the city's 9,008 registered voters, yielding a 55.2% turnout.
The Ocean City School District serves public school students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of three schools, had an enrollment of 2,147 students and 180.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.1:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Ocean City Primary School (K-3; 348 students), Ocean City Intermediate School (4-8; 527 students) and Ocean City High School (9-12; 1,256 students).
Students from Corbin City, Longport, Sea Isle City and Upper Township attend Ocean City High School for ninth through twelfth grades as part of sending/receiving relationships with their respective school districts.
Students are also eligible to attend Cape May County Technical High School in the Cape May Court House area, which serves students from the entire county in its comprehensive and vocational programs, which are offered without charge to students who are county residents. Special needs students may be referred to Cape May County Special Services School District in the Cape May Court House area.
St. Augustine Regional School, a coeducational Catholic school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, was closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden in June 2008. Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School in Dennis Township had students attending from Ocean City.
As of May 2010[update], the city had a total of 126.07 miles (202.89 km) of roadways, of which 114.85 miles (184.83 km) were maintained by the municipality, 9.31 miles (14.98 km) by Cape May County and 1.91 miles (3.07 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Ocean City has bridge connections to the Marmora section of Upper Township by the 34th Street (Roosevelt Boulevard) Bridge, Egg Harbor Township by the Ocean City-Longport Bridge, Somers Point by the 9th Street Bridge (Route 52), and the Strathmere section of Upper Township by the Corson's Inlet Bridge.
In 1883, the first drawbridge to the island opened at 34th Street, linking Ocean City with the rest of Cape May County. Financed by the Ocean City Association, the toll road was narrow, frequently under water, and built of shells, gravel, sand, and cedar poles; it was widened in 1909, replaced in 1914, and again replaced in 1964. The newer bridge at 34th street was refurbished in 2018. In 1914, a bridge connecting the island with Somers Point opened across the Great Egg Harbor Bay, which was replaced in 1932 and again in 2012. A road bridge connecting Ocean City and Strathmere opened in 1918, which was replaced in 1946 after being purchased by the county and made a part of Ocean Drive. The Ocean City Automobile Club built a bridge in the northern end of the island in 1928, connecting the island with Egg Harbor Township; the bridge was replaced in 2002.
NJ Transit provides bus service from the Ocean City Transportation Center to Atlantic City on the 507 and 509 routes. The agency also provides seasonal service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan to Cape May via Ocean City and other coastal towns. The Great American Trolley Company operates trolley service in Ocean City during the summer months, with a route providing daily service on evenings from points between 59th Street and Battersea Road to the boardwalk.
Adjacent to the marshes of the Great Egg Harbor Bay is Ocean City Airport, officially known as Clarke Field. The airport was built in 1935 on what was previously a landfill, funded by the Works Progress Administration. The airport is still open to the public, operating at an annual loss of $150,000 for the city as of 2016.
Parking in the downtown and beach areas of Ocean City is regulated by on-street parking meters, metered parking lots, manned parking lots, and permit parking lots. Parking meters and fees for parking lots are in effect between early May and early October. In addition to public parking, there are also several private parking lots in Ocean City.
In 2009, the Ocean City metropolitan statistical area (MSA) ranked as the sixth-highest in the United States for percentage of commuters who walked to work (8.4 percent).
Former transportation lines
In 1880, one year after Ocean City was established as a Christian resort, regular steamboat service from Somers Point began. In 1883, the Lake Brothers opened a streetcar line. In 1884, the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad extended its rail line from Sea Isle to the Ocean City Tenth Street Station. The line was replaced by buses in 1932. From 1906 to 1981, the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines operated rail service from Tuckahoe to Ocean City; service stopped when the Crook Horn bridge became damaged in 1981, and was eventually removed in 1992. After that time, rail tracks in Ocean City were removed from 9th to 34th streets. From 1907 to 1946, the Atlantic City and Shore Railroad operated a line from Atlantic City to Ocean City, until the bridge across the Great Egg Harbor Bay burned.
Julia Lawlor of The New York Times wrote in 2004 that its Christian heritage influenced the city's conservative laws; prior to 1986 shops were not allowed to conduct business on Sundays. In 2004 there were 15 churches.
In 2011, the city played the backdrop to an episode of ‘’It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’’ titled “The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore”. The city was never name dropped and only serves to portray a generic shore town as the episode features many stereotypes about the Jersey Shore and its culture, most of which negative. At the time of airing the episode caused backlash with many members of the community, citing the episodes raunchy nature in contrast to the family-friendly image Ocean City normally presents.
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Ocean City, New Jersey has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with hot, moderately humid summers, cool winters and year-around precipitation. Cfa climates are characterized by all months having an average mean temperature > 32.0 °F (> 0.0 °C), at least four months with an average mean temperature ≥ 50.0 °F (≥ 10.0 °C), at least one month with an average mean temperature ≥ 71.6 °F (≥ 22.0 °C) and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. During the summer months in Ocean City, a cooling afternoon sea breeze is present on most days, but episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values ≥ 95 °F (≥ 35 °C). During the winter months, episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < 0 °F (< -18 °C). The plant hardiness zone at Ocean City Beach is 7b with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 6.0 °F (-14.4 °C). The average seasonal (November–April) snowfall total is 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 cm), and the average snowiest month is February which corresponds with the annual peak in nor'easter activity.
Former Hurricane Sandy struck 12 mi (19 km) north of the city on October 29, 2012, causing severe storm surge flooding and 70 mph (110 km/h) wind gusts. The Bayside Center recorded a high tide of 9.31 ft (2.84 m) during Sandy, surpassing the previous tidal record set in 1944. The storm caused major to severe damage to 29% of the houses in Ocean City, incurring a financial loss of $15.5 million to the tax base.
|Climate data for Ocean City Beach, NJ (1981-2010 Averages)|
|Average high °F (°C)||41.5
|Daily mean °F (°C)||33.7
|Average low °F (°C)||25.8
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.32
|Average relative humidity (%)||67.5||65.6||62.5||62.7||67.3||71.6||71.9||74.1||72.4||71.6||68.9||68.1||68.7|
|Average dew point °F (°C)||24.1
|Climate data for Atlantic City, NJ Ocean Water Temperature (12 NE Ocean City)|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||37
According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Ocean City, New Jersey would have a dominant vegetation type of Northern Cordgrass (73) with a dominant vegetation form of Coastal Prairie (20).
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Ocean City include:
- Marla Adams (born 1938), television actress, best known for her roles on The Secret Storm and The Young and the Restless.
- David Akers (born 1974), NFL kicker, owns a house on the beach at the south end of the island.
- A. R. Ammons (1926–2001), author and poet, winner of the National Book Award.
- Keith Andes (1920-2005), film, radio, musical theatre, stage and television actor.
- Andy Boswell (1873-1936), Major League Baseball pitcher for the Washington Senators and New York Giants, who became an attorney and served in the New Jersey General Assembly.
- Benjamin Burnley (born 1978), musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, best known as the founder and frontman of the rock band Breaking Benjamin.
- Maurice Catarcio (1929–2005), former professional wrestler with the World Wrestling Federation and record holder in The Guinness Book of World Records.
- Pat Croce (born 1954), former owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, owns a summer home in the Gardens section of the city.
- Walter Diemer (1904–1998), inventor of bubble gum, owned a summer home at 21st Street and Wesley Avenue.
- Josiah E. DuBois Jr. (1913–1983), Treasury Department official who played a major role in exposing State Department obstruction of efforts to provide American visa to Jews trying to escape Nazi Europe, summered in the home his father built, the DuBois estate, on Battersea Road in the Gardens. Despite efforts to preserve the home, it was demolished in May 2011 to make for subdivision of the property.
- Stephen Dunn (1939–2021), poet.
- Frank J. Esposito (born 1941), historian who was named by independent candidate Christopher Daggett as his ticket's candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey in 2009.
- Preston Foster (born 1900), stage, film, radio, and television actor, whose career spanned four decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s.
- Stephanie Gaitley (born 1960), head women's basketball coach at Fordham University.
- Andrew Golota (born 1968), boxer.
- Anne Heche (born 1969), actress, star of films such as Volcano and Psycho; moved to Ocean City at age 12
- Daniel J. Hilferty (born c. 1957), President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross.
- William J. Hughes (1932-2019), member of U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1995, representing New Jersey's 2nd congressional district.
- Grace Kelly (1929–1982), Academy Award-winning actress, and Princess of Monaco, was a summer resident of Ocean City at a house located at the intersection of 26th street and Wesley Avenue.
- Kurt Loder (born 1945), former editor of Rolling Stone magazine and anchor for MTV News.
- Michael Lombardi (born 1959), pro football executive, former General Manager of the Cleveland Browns.
- Catherine McCabe, former Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency who was chosen by governor Phil Murphy to serve as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
- Ed Rendell (born 1944), former Governor of Pennsylvania.
- George Savitsky (1924-2012), offensive tackle who played in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Thomas J. Shusted (1926-2004), attorney and politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly on two separate occasions, representing Legislative District 3D from 1970 to 1972 and the 6th Legislative District from 1978 to 1991.
- James Stewart (1908–1997), actor, spent summers at his family's vacation home during his childhood.
- Gay Talese (born 1932), author, grew up in the "Italian" section of the city and vacations there with his wife.
- Walter Trout (born 1951), blues musician.
- Roland Wiggins (1932–2019), music theorist and educator.
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- Genovese, Peter. "Down the Shore 2011: South Jersey", Inside Jersey / The Star-Ledger, May 2011. Accessed October 27, 2019. "For those who swear by Seaside, Ocean City's boardwalk will come as a shock. No boardwalk is better, or more relentlessly maintained; cups, straws and fast-food wrappers are quickly snatched up by cleanup crews.If you're looking for a good time in 'America's Greatest Family Resort,' it'll have to be alcohol-free. Ocean City is a dry town, which means no liquor stores and no bringing wine or beer to a restaurant."
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- Urgo, Jacqueline L. "Sandy laurels for South Jersey; Seven of the Top 10 N.J. beaches are in Cape May County", The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 23, 2008. Accessed September 13, 2015. "Neighboring Wildwood Crest came in second, followed by Ocean City, North Wildwood, Cape May, Asbury Park in Monmouth County, Avalon, Point Pleasant Beach in northern Ocean County, Beach Haven in southern Ocean County and Stone Harbor."
- Spoto, MaryAnn. "Ocean City wins No. 1 beach in New Jersey for '09", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 19, 2009. Accessed September 13, 2015. "The town is dry and charges beach fees, but Ocean City had enough quaint charm to knock its rowdier neighbor Wildwood out of the top spot of best beach in the state this year."
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- Miller, Fred; and Miller, Susan. Legendary Locals of Ocean City[permanent dead link], p. 7. Arcadia Publishing, 2012. ISBN 9781467100045. Accessed December 19, 2017. "In 1920, the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan 'America's Greatest Family Resort.' and that is the city's motto today."
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- Longo, Brandon. "SummerFest: Ocean City Is All About Families", KYW-TV, July 21, 2017. Accessed December 19, 2017. "'The motto of the town since 1920 has been, "America’s Greatest Family Resort,"' says Fred Miller, author and Ocean City historian."
- Johnston, David. "In Ocean City, The Expensive Legacy Of A Fire", The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 12, 1991. Accessed September 13, 2015. "The popular Music Pier needs those renovations because of the city fathers' action after the 1927 inferno. They used the fire as an excuse to move the boardwalk much closer to the ocean. That, in turn, led the Music Pier to be built over the water - making it much more susceptible to the damaging effects of saltwater."
- History of Ocean City, Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. Accessed September 13, 2015. "Part of the original four's wish, that Ocean City remain a pure retreat that exemplified the Christian mindset, still remains today as strong as the cedar tree they first met under. Historically, Ocean City is a dry town—there is no public drinking anywhere on the island."
- Avedissiian, Eric. "Blue laws and BYOB; Fight over city's blue laws in mid-1980s included subtext over alcohol", Ocean County Sentinel, February 16, 2011. Accessed October 27, 2019.
- Lowe, Claire. "Temperance fountain rededicated in front of City Hall" Archived December 22, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, The Gazette of Ocean City, May 27, 2015. Accessed December 23, 2017. "Steelman was on the corner of Ninth Street and Central Avenue Monday, May 25 for the rededication of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union water fountain outside of City Hall. This year marks a century since Mayor Joseph G. Champion dedicated the fountain on Memorial Day 1915."
- Miller, Michael. "Ocean City's BYOB debate brings city's history with alcohol to forefront", The Press of Atlantic City, July 24, 2011. Accessed October 27, 2019.
- Sherman, Ted. "Ocean City voters decide: No shirts, no booze, no problem", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 9, 2012, updated March 30, 2019. Accessed October 27, 2019.
- O'Brien, Kathleen. "What it means to be one of N.J.'s 32 'dry' towns", Inside Jersey, December 21, 2016, updated January 16, 2019. Accessed October 27, 2019. "Some towns, like Ocean City, vote to stay dry and not serve alcohol in restaurants or bars, other towns are dry because there are simply no restaurants or bars within their borders."
- Stebbins, Samuel; and Comen, Evan. "Alcohol abuse: The drunkest city in every state", USA Today, November 21, 2017. Accessed December 23, 2017. "In the Ocean City metro area, some 18.3% of adults drink heavily, a larger share than the 17.6% of adults across New Jersey as a whole and a slightly larger than the 18.0% national rate."
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- Hoover, Amanda. "Here's how much money Shore towns raked in off beach badges last summer", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 2, 2017. Accessed January 23, 2018. "Ocean City - Revenue: $4.12 million; Price: Daily-$5; Weekly-$10; Seasonal-$25."
- Wittkowski, Donald. "Ocean City’s Proposed 2017 Municipal Budget Emphasizes Capital Projects", OCNJ Daily, March 15, 2017. Accessed January 23, 2018. "Ocean City’s proposed $79.7 million operating budget reflects a healthy real estate market and should satisfy Wall Street credit-rating agencies, but will require local property owners to pay more in taxes this year, according to the city’s chief financial officer.... Ocean City has the ability to tap different sources of revenue – in addition to local property taxes – to finance the operating budget. Beach tag sales and parking operations are two of the biggest revenue generators. The budget forecasts $4.1 million in beach tag sales and $3 million in parking revenue for 2017."
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- Bruno, Karen. "Great October fire of 1927 destroyed the Boardwalk", copy of article from Ocean City Sentinel at the Ocean County Library, October 7, 2004. Accessed January 19, 2012.
- Pritchard, Michael. "Ocean City's Music Pier: A Giant Among Piers; Ocean City's Music Pier is the center of the city's Boardwalk and the home of summer concerts.", Atlantic City Weekly, July 6, 2011. Accessed September 13, 2015. "'The pier was built in 1928, but it really wasn't ready for the summer that year, so it opened in the summer of 1929,' says Fred Miller, Ocean City historian and the author of seven books on the city's history. 'It was built after the great fire of 1927 that destroyed the Boardwalk. But there actually had been a music pavilion there since 1905. It did survive the fire, but they moved it and built the pier.'"
- Gilfillian, Trudi. "Southern New Jersey boardwalk officials search for the right wood (or plastic)", The Press of Atlantic City, August 24, 2009. Accessed January 19, 2012. "But hardwoods such as ipe have their own downside, namely the controversy that can arise over their use. In Ocean City, officials opted this year to use pine to replace a block of Boardwalk after an order of tropical hardwood was delivered months late.... The city's initial decision to use tropical hardwood prompted public protests on the Boardwalk and outside City Hall. The Mayor's Office was flooded with messages from protesters."
- via Associated Press. "Historic Boardwalk Being Replaced in Ocean City For nearly a century, Ocean City's boardwalk helped define the image and identity of the family-friendly southern New Jersey shore resort.", U.S. News & World Report, December 10, 2017. Accessed October 27, 2019.
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- Rudloff, Mary. "Audit: Ocean City school district owes Upper Township $815,000 - Township, Corbin City overpaid tuition for sending students to OCHS", Ocean City Sentinel, February 16, 2011. Accessed December 6, 2011. "At the Jan. 26 Ocean City Board of Education meeting, school Business Administrator Tom Grossi said the Upper Township and Corbin City school districts would be receiving sizable credits in the coming school budget, $815,324 and $54,669, respectively. Those adjustments come from the cost of educating their high school students in Ocean City. Sea Isle City, which sends its fourth graders through high school students to Ocean City, did not fare as well. The already financially tapped out district owes Ocean City an additional $69,992 for the 2009-10 school year."
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- via Associated Press. "Andes, leading man to Marilyn Monroe, dies at 85", USA Today, November 27, 2005. Accessed September 13, 2015. "Born John Charles Andes on July 12, 1920, in Ocean City, N.J., he was appearing on the radio by age 12."
- Staff. "Andrew C. Boswell; Solicitor of Ocean City 26 Years Served in New Jersey Assembly", The New York Times, February 4, 1936. Accessed August 11, 2016.
- Roncace, Kelly. 'Breaking Benjamin is back and going home with show at Trump Taj Mahal", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, August 8, 2015. Accessed August 9, 2018. "'I was born in Atlantic City, at the hospital there, and raised in Ocean City until I was 12 years old.' Burnley explained his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was 12 due to an increase in taxes at the shore town."
- "Catarcio, Maurice A." Northeast Obits. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- Donahue, Bill. "Standing Pat", South Jersey Magazine, February 2011. Accessed September 13, 2015. "Pat Croce—karate champion, former Philadelphia 76ers president, motivational icon and our region's most famous hard body—can still outrun you at age 56. We find out what drives this part-time Ocean City resident to succeed."
- Yates, Melissa. Pennsylvania People: Walter E. Diemer Archived April 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Central Bucks School District. Accessed May 31, 2011.
- Staff. "End of an era as DuBois estate falls" Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Shore News Today, May 24, 2011. Accessed May 31, 2011.
- Strauss, Robert. "Ode to Joi(sey)", The New York Times, April 27, 2003. Accessed October 9, 2007. "Mr. Dunn, who used to live in Port Republic, a remote town in the interior of South Jersey, now divides his time between Ocean City and his wife's hometown, Frostburg, Md."
- Staff. "2009 Voter Guide / Governor's Race / Daggett travels long, lonely road", The Press of Atlantic City, November 1, 2009. Accessed March 28, 2011. "Daggett and his lieutenant governor running mate, Frank Esposito, who grew up in Ocean City, are the only candidates with local ties."
- "New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940". Marriage of Preston S. Foster and Gertrude Elene [Warren] Leonard, June 27, 1925, Manhattan, New York City, New Yorwk, United States. FamilySearch, a free online genealogical database provided as a public service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved August 16, 2017. Foster lived in Ocean City from birth to at least the age of 10, which is documented in the United States Census of 1910. His family later moved to Pitman, New Jersey.
- Staff. "Gaitley Comes Home To Coach St. Joe's", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 1991. Accessed March 28, 2011. "She grew up in Ocean City, N.J., played for a 1981 AIAW Final Four team at Villanova and served as an assistant coach at St. Joe's for three years..."
- Heinzmann, David. "Andrew Golota charged with impersonating a cop.", Chicago Tribune, February 5, 2002. Accessed July 12, 2008. "Golota, who gave Ocean City, N.J., as his address, then acknowledged that the badge was honorary and given to him in recognition of charity work he had done, Boggs said."
- "Anne Heche Discusses Her New Book, 'Call Me Crazy'", Larry King Live, April 6, 2001. Accessed September 13, 2015. "King: What city were you in then? Heche: New Jersey. We lived in Ocean City, New Jersey right down the shore from Atlantic City at that point."
- Staff reports. "St. Augustine Prep honors Dan Hilferty with Mendel Medal" Archived December 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Ocean City Gazette, November 24, 2014. Accessed December 1, 2014. "Ocean City native, and 1974 graduate of St. Augustine Prep, Daniel J. Hilferty received the 2014 Gregor Mendel Medal at dinner held in his honor at the Union League of Philadelphia on Nov. 13."
- "Biography of Ambassador William J. Hughes", Stockton University William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy. Accessed September 13, 2015. "The Center is named in honor of U.S. Ambassador William J. Hughes. A native of southern New Jersey, Ambassador Hughes and his wife, Nancy, live in Ocean City, NJ."
- Princess Grace Exhibit Archived April 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Ocean City Historical Museum Press Release dated July 12, 2005. "John Kelly, Grace's father, and family were famous summer residents of Ocean City. Grace spent many summers on the Ocean City beach before becoming Hollywood movie star."
- Jackson, Vincent. "Local Boys Makes News / Mtv News Anshorman Kurt Loder Once Called Ocean City His Home", The Press of Atlantic City, August 23, 1998. Accessed May 31, 2011. "There's virtually no living influential pop musician Loder didn't interview during his 20 years with the nation's premiere chronicles of pop culture. And his interest in music was cultivated during his years living in Ocean City from age 3 to 18."
- "Lombardi named VP of Player Personnel" Archived January 6, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Cleveland Browns, January 18, 2013. Accessed May 18, 2013. "A native of Ocean City, New Jersey, Lombardi lettered in both football and baseball at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania."
- Iati, Marisa. "Murphy nominates ex-acting EPA chief as state DEP commissioner", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, December 21, 2017. Accessed December 23, 2017. "Gov.-elect Phil Murphy on Thursday announced he has chosen a former top federal environmental official to serve as commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection.Announcing the nomination of Catherine McCabe with a backdrop of the beach in Long Branch, Murphy criticized Gov. Chris Christie's administration for its handling of pollution cases, pulling out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and abolishing the DEP's Office of Climate and Energy.... 'I remember vividly my husband digging out the five feet of sand that landed in the yard of our home in Ocean City.'"
- Sugarman, Joe. The Other Ocean City Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Baltimore Style, July/August 2003. Accessed May 2, 2007. "First of all, Ocean City, N.J., is dry, as in, NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ALLOWED. Not on the beach. Not at restaurants.... Now there's Cousin's, an excellent Italian eatery where Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell often dines (he owns a house in town)."
- Mazda, Jason. "Late ex-Eagle tackle George Savitsky, of Ocean City, an All-American at Penn, humble about football exploits", The Press of Atlantic City, October 3, 2012. Accessed November 6, 2018. "Football was never the No. 1 priority for Savitsky, a longtime Ocean City resident who passed away Sept. 4 at 88 from pneumonia."
- Staff. Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey; 1988 Edition, p. 244. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1988. Accessed October 25, 2016. "Assemblyman Shusted was born Aug. 3, 1926, in Ocean City. He attended Camden Catholic High School, LaSalle University, and Rutgers Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1954."
- Ocean City, N.J.: This family-oriented resort thrives on its virtuous origins., The Baltimore Sun, accessed December 17, 2006. "In his best-selling book, Unto the Sons, Ocean City native and journalist Gay Talese provides a vivid account of growing up on Marconi Street, the stretch of Simpson Street between 9th and 12th streets that, in the early 1900s, was Ocean City's Little Italy.
- Chun, Gary C. W. "Canned Heat veteran courts guitar stardom", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 1, 2002. Accessed June 4, 2007. "Trout grew up on the island of Ocean City, off the Jersey shore."
- 2020 Session: House Joint Resolution No, 419, Virginia House of Delegates. Accessed July 20, 2020. "Whereas, a native of Ocean City, New Jersey, Roland Wiggins was recognized as a musical prodigy at a young age and began formal study of the piano when he was eight years old"
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ocean City, New Jersey.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Ocean City .|
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