Toms River, New Jersey
|Toms River, New Jersey|
|Township of Toms River|
Downtown Toms River
|Motto: "Great Places. Familiar Faces."|
Location of Toms River Township in Ocean County, NJ
Census Bureau map of Toms River Township, NJ
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Royal charter||March 1, 1768 (as Dover Township)|
|Incorporated||February 21, 1798|
|Renamed||November 14, 2006 (as Toms River Township)|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)|
|• Body||Township Council|
|• Mayor||Thomas F. Kelaher (term ends December 31, 2019)|
|• Administrator||Paul J. Shives|
|• Clerk||J. Mark Mutter|
|• Total||136.969 km2 (52.884 sq mi)|
|• Land||104.863 km2 (40.488 sq mi)|
|• Water||32.105 km2 (12.396 sq mi) 23.44%|
|Area rank||32nd of 566 in state
7th of 33 in county
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2015)||90,817|
|• Rank||8th of 566 in state
2nd of 33 in county
|• Density||870.1/km2 (2,253.5/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||270th of 566 in state
14th of 33 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0882074|
Toms River is a township in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States, and the county seat of Ocean County. On November 7, 2006, voters approved a change of the official name from the Township of Dover (or, Dover Township) to the Township of Toms River, effective November 14, 2006. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a total population of 91,239, with the township ranking as the 8th-most-populous municipality in the state in 2010 (after having been ranked 7th in 2000) and the second most-populous municipality in Ocean County (behind Lakewood Township, which had a population of 92,843). The 2010 population increased by 1,533 (+1.7%) from the 89,706 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 13,335 (+17.5%) from the 76,371 counted in the 1990 Census.
In 2006, Toms River was ranked by Morgan Quitno Press as the 15th safest city in the United States, of 369 cities nationwide. In 2007, Toms River was again ranked as the 14th-safest city in the United States of 371 cities nationwide.
Toms River can be seen in various TV and news media including MTV's Made and Jersey Shore (seasons 1,3,and 5), HBO's Boardwalk Empire and the original The Amityville Horror movie. In 1998, Toms River East Little League won the Little League World Series. The township has what is said to be the second-largest Halloween parade in the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Arts and culture
- 6 Media
- 7 Sports
- 8 Government
- 9 Education
- 10 Infrastructure
- 11 Community
- 12 Notable people
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Founding and early history
Much of the early history of the settlement of Toms River is obscured by conflicting stories. Various sources list the eponym of the township as either English captain William Tom, farmer and ferryman Thomas Luker, or a Native American named Tom. In 1992, as part of celebrations commemorating the township's 225th anniversary, official recognition was granted to the tradition that the "Tom" in "Toms River" was for Thomas Luker, who ran a ferry across Goose Creek (now the Toms River). During the 19th century, Toms River became a center for shipbuilding, whaling, fishing, and iron and lumber production. The settlement and the river were usually spelled "Tom's River" in its early days, though its current spelling has been standard since the middle of the 19th century.
Toms River was located in the southern section of the Township of Shrewsbury that obtained a royal charter to secede in 1767 and form Dover Township. During the American Revolutionary War, Toms River was home to a strategically important salt works that supplied colonial militias, as well as a base for privateer vessels that plundered British and Tory ships off the coast. In March 1782, a group of British and loyalist soldiers attacked a blockhouse along the river that housed the colonial militia and captured Captain Joshua Huddy, who was later hanged at Sandy Hook. Also destroyed were the salt works and most of the houses in the village. The incident greatly complicated the tense relationship between the British, loyalist, and colonial and was a factor in prolonging the peace negotiations that were then in progress in Paris until 1783.
Dover Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's first 104 townships by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. Portions of the township were taken to form Jackson Township (March 6, 1844), Union Township (March 10, 1846, now Barnegat Township), Brick Township (February 15, 1850), Manchester Township (April 6, 1865), Berkeley Township (March 31, 1875), Island Heights (May 6, 1887), Lavallette (December 21, 1887) and Seaside Heights (February 26, 1913). The township's original name was for Dover, England, and was changed to Toms River Township based on a referendum passed in 2006.
Mid 19th and 20th centuries
In 1850, Toms River became the county seat of the newly created Ocean County when it was formed out of southern Monmouth County. During the second half of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th, many new towns were carved out of Dover Township, including Brick, Jackson, Lakewood and Berkeley. The Village of Toms River attempted twice — in 1914 and 1926 — to secede from Dover Township, but residents were unsuccessful. The part of Toms River on the south side of the river stretching down to Berkeley Township incorporated as South Toms River in 1927, but the core of the original village on the north side remains part of the wider township to this day.
Mid and late 20th century
In the last two decades of the twentieth century, the demographics of the township changed substantially, adding over 20,000 residents just in the 1990s. While the village is still the center of municipal and county government, the population in the area exploded in the decades after World War II, due in part to the completion of the Garden State Parkway. Whereas the village was the largest and most densely populated section of the township for over two centuries, the vast majority of residents now shop and work in other sections of the town.
Toms River made international headlines in the 1990s with their Little League Baseball team, nicknamed "Beast from the East", which competed in the Little League World Series three times in five years, winning in 1998 when they defeated Japan by a score of 12-9. More than 40,000 people lined Route 37 for a parade following their victory over Kashima, Japan. Toms River Little League made it to Williamsport in 2010 giving Toms River its record 4th Mid Atlantic championship.
Toms River is also home to many National Champion Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading titles. 1996 Toms River Raider Jr. PeeWee Football team won a National Championship. Cheerleaders from the Toms River Little Indians, Toms River Raiders, and the Toms River Angels (formerly the Saint Joe's Angels) have won many National Titles. The first National Championship title was won in 1993 by the Toms River Little Indian Midget Cheer squad. In 2001, 2002, and 2003 the Toms River Angels brought home national titles resulting in the nations second ever three peat (meaning they brought home three national titles on the same level). In 2005, The Toms River Little Indians brought home two more national titles, and the Toms River Raiders won one. In 2006, The Toms River Angels Midget Large Advanced Cheer Squad and the Toms River Little Indians Midget Small Intermediate Cheer Squad won two more National Titles. In 2007 The Toms River Angels brought home one and the Indians brought back two more to add to their history.
In the mid-1990s, state and federal health and environmental agencies identified an increased incidence of childhood cancers in Toms River from the 1970-1995 period. Multiple investigations by state and federal environmental and health agencies indicated that the likely source of the increased cancer risk was contamination from Toms River Chemical Plant (then operated by Ciba-Geigy), which had been in operation since 1952. The area was designated a United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in 1983 after an underground plume of toxic chemicals was identified. The following year, a discharge pipe was shut down after a sinkhole at the corner of Bay Avenue and Vaughn Avenue revealed that it had been leaking. The plant ceased operation in 1996. A follow up study from the 1996-2000 period indicated that while there were more cancer cases than expected, rates had significantly fallen and the difference was statistically insignificant compared to normal statewide cancer rates. Since 1996, the Toms River water system has been subject to the most stringent water testing in the state and is considered safe for consumption. Dan Fagin's Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning book, examined the issue of industrial pollution in detail.
Toms River Township
"Toms River" at one time referred only to the rural farming community of Toms River, a small part of the vast Township of Dover that included several other distinct settlements. With the United States Postal Service's adoption of Toms River mailing addresses for Dover Township, coupled with demographic changes in the other sections, those inside and outside began referring to all of mainland Dover Township as Toms River. In the 1990 Census, the census-designated place called "Toms River" only included the downtown village area that included fewer than 8,000 residents in 1990. Due to complaints of confusion, the CDP was broadened to include all of mainland Dover Township to better reflect the more common usage for the area.
Over the years, confusion over the name of the township had become an issue for many residents. A movement organized around the Dover Township Name Change Committee, founded by Mayor Paul Brush and supported by the Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, collected signatures to put a name change question on the ballot in November 2006. On Election Day, November 7, 2006, over 60% of residents voted to approve changing the name from the Township of Dover to the Township of Toms River. The name change campaign featured the slogan "Toms River YES", signifying a yes vote for the name change, and the name was officially changed on November 14, 2006.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 52.884 square miles (136.969 km2), including 40.488 square miles (104.863 km2) of land and 12.396 square miles (32.105 km2) of water (23.44%). Toms River is 70 miles (110 km) south of Manhattan and 55 miles (89 km) east of Philadelphia.
While most of Toms River is on the mainland, Dover Beaches North and South are situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, a long, narrow barrier peninsula that separates Barnegat Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Dover Beaches South adjoins the independent municipalities of Lavallette to the north and Seaside Heights to the north.
Toms River Township borders the Ocean County municipalities of Berkeley Township, Brick Township, Island Heights, Jackson Township, Lakewood Township, Lavallette, Manchester Township, Seaside Heights and South Toms River.
Dover Beaches North (2010 Census population of 1,239), Dover Beaches South (1,209) and Toms River CDP (88,791) are census-designated places and unincorporated communities located within Toms River Township. Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Andrew Point, Andrews, Bay Shore, Cattus Island, Cedar Grove, Chadwick, Coates Point, East Dover, Gilford Park, Gilmores Island, Green Island, Long Point, Normandy Beach, Ocean Beach, Ortley Beach, Pelican Island, Pine View, Pleasant Plains, Shelter Cove, Silverton, Tilton Point, West Dover and White Oak Bottom.
Toms River includes the ZIP Codes 08753, 08754, 08755, 08756, 08757 and 08739. Ortley Beach (Dover Beaches South) shares ZIP code 08751 with Seaside Heights. Manchester Township does not have its own Post Office, and parts of Manchester use a Toms River mailing address under ZIP code 08757.
Toms River has a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers, mild winters, and warm springs and autumns. The township was severely affected by the damage brought by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Many low-lying areas of the township, including Silverton and the downtown area, saw their worst flooding ever when the storm surge overwhelmed the Barnegat Bay up and down the Jersey Shore. The barrier islands, just across the bridge, suffered even worse devastation from the storm surge brought by the Hurricane.
|Climate data for Toms River|
|Record high °F (°C)||72
|Average high °F (°C)||41
|Average low °F (°C)||22
|Record low °F (°C)||−19
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.92
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||7.01
|Average precipitation days||11||10||11||11||11||10||9||9||8||8||10||10||118|
|Average snowy days||4||3||2||.5||0||0||0||0||0||0||.2||2||11.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||155.0||155.4||201.5||216.0||244.9||270.0||275.9||260.4||219.0||204.6||156.0||136.4||2,495.1|
|Population sources: 1790-1920
1850-2000 1850-1870 1850
1870 1880-1890 1890-1910
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
The 2010 United States Census counted 91,239 people, 34,760 households, and 24,367 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,253.5 per square mile (870.1/km2). The township contained 43,334 housing units at an average density of 1,070.3 per square mile (413.2/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 89.91% (82,035) White, 2.70% (2,465) Black or African American, 0.17% (156) Native American, 3.58% (3,266) Asian, 0.02% (17) Pacific Islander, 1.96% (1,785) from other races, and 1.66% (1,515) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 7.93% (7,231) of the population.
Out of a total of 34,760 households, 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the township, 21.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.0 years. For every 100 females the census counted 92.3 males, but for 100 females at least 18 years old, it was 89.6 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $71,934 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,094) and the median family income was $83,924 (+/- $2,842). Males had a median income of $59,860 (+/- $2,733) versus $42,192 (+/- $2,081) for females. The per capita income for the township was $33,423 (+/- $926). About 4.5% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.4% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 89,706 people, 33,510 households, and 24,428 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,189.5 people per square mile (845.4/km²). There were 41,116 housing units at an average density of 1,003.5 per square mile (387.5/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.57% White, 1.75% African American, 0.13% Native American, 2.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.54% of the population.
There were 33,510 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.1% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the township the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $54,776, and the median income for a family was $62,561. Males had a median income of $47,390 versus $30,834 for females. The per capita income for the township was $25,010. About 4.0% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
Joshua Huddy Park is located in Downtown Toms River and is host to a replica of the Revolutionary War Fort that was once standing. The town hosted a miniature battle during the Revolution in which Captain Joshua Huddy was captured and hung. The trail of Huddy can be followed throughout the town.
The Asbury Park Press provides daily news coverage of Toms River Township, as does WOBM-FM radio. The government of the town provides columns and commentary to The Toms River Times, which is one of seven weekly papers from Micromedia Publications.
The John Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex is the only indoor athletic complex bubble in Ocean County and one of the largest in New Jersey. It was severely damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy, reopening in January 2013 after repairs were completed.
Since 2002, Toms River Township has operated within the Faulkner Act (formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law) under the Mayor-Council form of New Jersey municipal government. The council consists of seven members, four of whom represent one of four wards of the township and three who are chosen at-large. The mayor and the seven council members are chosen on a partisan basis as part of the November general election to serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with the mayor and three at-large seats elected together and the four ward seats chosen simultaneously two years later.
As of 2016[update], the Mayor of Toms River is Republican Thomas P. Kelaher, whose term of office expires December 31, 2019. Township Council members are Council President Brian S. Kubiel (R, 2019; at large), Jeffrey J. Carr (R, 2017; Ward 3), Kevin Geoghegan (R, 2017; Ward 2 - appointed to serve an unexpired term), Maurice "Mo" B. Hill Jr. (R, 2019; at large), Alfonso Manforti (R, 2017; Ward 4), Maria L. Maruca (R, 2017; Ward 1) and George E. Wittmann Jr. (R, 2019; at large).
In February 2016, Kevin Geoghegan was appointed to fill the vacant Ward 2 seat expiring in 2017 of Brian Kubiel, who won election to an at-large seat in the November 2015 general election; Geoghegan will serve on an interim basis until the November 2016 general alection, when voters will select a candidate to serve the balance of the term of office.
Federal, state and county representation
New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District is represented by Tom MacArthur (R, Toms River). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).
For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 10th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by James W. Holzapfel (R, Toms River Township) and in the General Assembly by Gregory P. McGuckin (R, Toms River Township) and David W. Wolfe (R, Brick Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Ocean County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected on an at-large basis in partisan elections and serving staggered three-year terms of office, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization held in the beginning of January, the board chooses a Director and a Deputy Director from among its members. As of 2015[update], Ocean County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and department directorship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director John C. Bartlett, Jr. (R, term ends December 31, 2015, Pine Beach; Finance, Parks and Recreation), Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little (R, 2015, Surf City; Human Services), John P. Kelly (R, 2016, Eagleswood Township; Law and Public Safety), James F. Lacey (R, 2016, Brick Township; Transportation) and Joseph H. Vicari (R, 2017, Toms River; Senior Services and County Operations). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Scott M. Colabella (R, 2015, Barnegat Light), Sheriff Michael Mastronardy (R, 2016; Toms River) and Surrogate Jeffrey Moran (R, 2018, Beachwood).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 59,987 registered voters in Toms River Township, of which 11,617 (19.4%) were registered as Democrats, 15,749 (26.3%) were registered as Republicans and 32,592 (54.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 29 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 65.7% (vs. 63.2% in Ocean County) were registered to vote, including 83.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 82.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 57.0% of the vote (22,773 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 42.0% (16,776 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (408 votes), among the 40,235 ballots cast by the township's 62,614 registered voters (278 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 64.3%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 57.2% of the vote (25,881 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 40.8% (18,439 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (600 votes), among the 45,215 ballots cast by the township's 62,909 registered voters, for a turnout of 71.9%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 60.7% of the vote (26,203 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 38.1% (16,467 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (360 votes), among the 43,170 ballots cast by the township's 59,544 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 72.5.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 74.5% of the vote (19,317 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 24.2% (6,269 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (330 votes), among the 26,470 ballots cast by the township's 61,593 registered voters (554 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 43.0%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 66.8% of the votes (19,906 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 26.7% (7,948 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.6% (1,372 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (283 votes), among the 29,782 ballots cast by the township's 61,578 registered voters, yielding a 48.4% turnout.
Students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade attend the Toms River Regional Schools, a regional public school system (centered primarily in Toms River Township) that is the largest suburban school district in New Jersey. In addition to students from Toms River, the district also serves the adjoining boroughs of Beachwood, Pine Beach and South Toms River. It is the largest suburban school district in the state, and the fourth largest school district in New Jersey (after Newark, Jersey City and Paterson). It is also the largest school district in the state that is not an Abbott District. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 18 schools had an enrollment of 16,981 students and 1,166.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.55:1.
Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Beachwood Elementary School (591 students; K-5), Cedar Grove Elementary School (883; K-5), Joseph A. Citta Elementary School (672; K-5), East Dover Elementary School (757; K-5), Hooper Avenue Elementary School (756; K-5), North Dover Elementary School (648; K-5), Pine Beach Elementary School (440; K-5), Silver Bay Elementary School (661; K-5), South Toms River Elementary School (375; K-5), Walnut Street Elementary School (841; K-5), Washington Street Elementary School (385; K-5), West Dover Elementary School (407; K-5), Toms River Intermediate East (1,468; 6-8), Toms River Intermediate North (1,423; 6-8), Toms River Intermediate South (1,052; 6-8), Toms River High School East (1,719; 9-12), Toms River High School North (2,368; 9-12) and Toms River High School South (1,535; 9-12).
Donovan Catholic High School, Ocean County's only Catholic high school, operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. The diocese also operates St. Joseph's Grade School for students in Kindergarten though 8th grade.
Ocean County College, a two-year college that offers four-year options in cooperation with other New Jersey colleges and universities, is located on Hooper Avenue in Toms River. In May 2014, The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation announced a $5.7 million donation to establish The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, the largest single donation received in OCC's 50-year history.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 453.89 miles (730.47 km) of roadways, of which 351.13 miles (565.09 km) were maintained by the municipality, 72.45 miles (116.60 km) by Ocean County and 24.04 miles (38.69 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 6.27 miles (10.09 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
Toms River is crisscrossed by several major roadways, including the Garden State Parkway and U.S. Route 9, as well as Route 35, Route 37, Route 70, Route 166, County Route 527, County Route 530, County Route 549, County Route 571.
Two of the most congested roads are Hooper Avenue and Route 37. Route 37 sees extra traffic from travelers to the Jersey shore during the summertime, due to it being a main artery to the shore from the Garden State Parkway at interchange 82. The township is also home to one of the state's only at-grade cloverleafs, at the intersection of Hooper Avenue and County Route 571 (Bay Avenue).
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority proposed in 1971 to build the Driscoll Expressway which was to start from exit 80 of the parkway and end 3 miles (4.8 km) north of exit 8A of the New Jersey Turnpike in South Brunswick Township. This project was killed in 1980.
The major bus station in Toms River is located downtown, off exit 81 of the Garden State Parkway. The township is served by NJ Transit bus routes 67 (to Newark and Journal Square), 137 (to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) in Midtown Manhattan), 319 (PABT in New York City and the Atlantic City Bus Terminal), and 559 (to the Atlantic City Bus Terminal).
Ocean Ride local service is provided on the OC1 Whiting, OC1A Whiting Express, OC2 Manchester, OC3 Brick - Lakewood - Toms River, OC3A Brick - Point Pleasant and the OC10 Toms River Connection routes.
There are a number of taxi services around and within Toms River. Fares vary depending on the service.
The Central Railroad of New Jersey and Pennsylvania Railroad ended service to the township in the late 1940s. The nearest rail station is the terminus of the North Jersey Coast Line in Bay Head. Service is currently being evaluated to nearby Lakehurst on the proposed Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex Line.
- New Jersey's largest non-teaching hospital, Community Medical Center, is located in Toms River.
- Toms River has been featured in television, including MTV which filmed three episodes of the show Made and scenes from MTV's Jersey Shore there.
- The toxic dumping that occurred in Toms River in 2001 was the subject of the 2013, Pulitzer Prize winning book Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin.
- Toms River is home to many beaches located along the Jersey Shore, including Ortley Beach, Normandy Beach, Monterey Beach, Ocean Beach, Chadwick Beach and Silver Beach.
- The New Jersey Chili and Salsa Cook-Off, as well as the New Jersey Ice Cream Festival are held in Toms River.
- The Toms River Branch of Ocean County Library is the headquarters of the Ocean County Library system and the largest public library in Ocean County. In January 2006, a renovation project was completed that doubled the size of the facility.
- Toms River is home to Artisan's Brewery.
- The 1979 movie The Amityville Horror was filmed in Toms River, rather than Amityville on Long Island. Local police and ambulance workers played extras. The Toms River Volunteer Fire Company Number One was used to provide the "rain" during one of the exterior scenes. If you look closely, you can see that it is sunny and not "raining" in the background, the next street over.
- Downtown Toms River hosts many community events, including festivals and the second largest Halloween parade in the world. The official logo is a 'T' with a river, forming an 'R', through it. The slogan is "Great Places. Familiar Faces."
- Toms River gained some notoriety in 1984 when local businessman Robert O. Marshall was charged with (and later convicted of) the contract killing of his wife, Maria. The case attracted the attention of true crime author Joe McGinniss, whose bestselling book on the Marshall case, Blind Faith, was published in 1989 and adapted into an Emmy-nominated 1990 television miniseries starring Robert Urich and Joanna Kerns.
- Several surrounding municipalities are served by Toms River mailing addresses, including South Toms River, parts of Manchester Township and parts of Berkeley Township.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Toms River include:
- 18th & Addison, rock band from Toms River 
- Platt Adams (1885–1961), athlete who won a gold medal in the standing high jump and a silver medal in the standing long jump at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm.
- Darian Barnes (born 1980), former NFL fullback.
- Alex Blackwell (born 1970), former NBA forward for the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Tom Brown Jr. (born 1950), naturalist, tracker, survivalist and author.
- Mike Bucci (born 1972), semi-retired professional wrestler best known for his appearances in Extreme Championship Wrestling as Nova, Super Nova, and "Hollywood" Nova and in World Wrestling Entertainment as Simon Dean.
- Syma Chowdhry, television news reporter in Philadelphia at KYW-TV.
- Danny Clinch (born 1964), photographer.
- Chris Connor (1927–2009), jazz singer.
- Jerry Dipoto (born 1968), former professional baseball player and an executive who is the General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
- Ryan Doherty (born 1984), professional beach volleyball player who had been the first seven-foot-tall player in Minor League Baseball history
- Frankie Edgar (born 1981), former UFC Lightweight Champion.
- Jazmyn Foberg (born 2000), artistic gymnast who was the 2014 US Junior National All-Around and Uneven Bars Champion.
- Marlene Lynch Ford (born 1954), politician, prosecutor and jurist who served in the New Jersey General Assembly.
- Charlie Frazier (born 1980), former professional baseball player for the Florida Marlins, brother of Todd Frazier.
- Jeff Frazier (born 1982), former professional baseball player for the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs, brother of Todd Frazier.
- Todd Frazier (born 1986), professional baseball player for the Chicago White Sox, 34th overall draft pick in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, brother of Jeff Frazier.
- Mia Galeotalanza, contestant on Survivor: Vanuatu.
- Brian Geraghty (born 1974), actor, We Are Marshall (2006), The Guardian (2006), Bobby (2006) Jarhead (2005) and Chicago P.D. (2014).
- Jared Gertner, stage actor who played a co-starring role in the first touring and London productions of The Book of Mormon.
- Ted Gillen (born 1968), former professional soccer player.
- J. M. Gold (born 1980), former professional baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Alf Goullet (1891–1995), Australian-born cyclist who won more than 400 races on three continents, including 15 six-day races.
- Bob Grant (1929–2013), radio host.
- Sheree Gray (born 1985), soccer defender who represents Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer.
- Virginia E. Haines (born 1946), politician who serves on the Ocean County Board of chosen freeholders and had served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1992 to 1994 and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery from 1994 to 2002.
- Judith Hird (born c.1946), was ordained as the pastor of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Toms River in 1972, making her the first woman pastor of a Lutheran church.
- James W. Holzapfel (born 1944), member of the New Jersey State Senate from the 10th Legislative District.
- Marty Jannetty (born 1962), professional wrestler, best known as one-half of The Rockers in the World Wrestling Federation.
- Pavle Jovanovic (born 1977), Olympic bobsled competitor.
- David de Kastrozza (born 1986), professional ice hockey forward.
- Chris Konopka (born 1985), MLS player for the Philadelphia Union.
- Stephenie LaGrossa (born 1979), contestant on Survivor: Palau, Survivor: Guatemala and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, under the Heroes tribe.
- Al Leiter (born 1965), former Major League Baseball player who pitched for both the New York Mets and new York Yankees.
- Mark Leiter (born 1963), former Major League Baseball player
- Leonard Lomell (1919–2011), U.S. Army Ranger who destroyed German gun emplacements on D-Day.
- Tom MacArthur (born 1960), businessman and politician who is the member of the United States House of Representatives for New Jersey's 3rd congressional district.
- Gia Maione (1941–2013), singer and wife of singer Louis Prima.
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- Jane Moffet (born 1930), former utility player who played from 1949 through 1952 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
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- Scott Palguta (born 1982), head men's soccer coach at Colorado College who played for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.
- Piper Perabo (born 1976), stage, film, and television actress who has her breakthrough role in the 2000 film Coyote Ugly.
- Sam Porcello (c.1936–2012), food scientist, developed the Oreo cookie's creme filling.
- Garret Reynolds, professional BMX rider.
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- Edelson, Stephen. "Toms River's Barnes returns to N.J. with Jets", Asbury Park Press, March 9, 2007. Accessed April 6, 2011. "Darian Barnes' professional football odyssey came full circle Thursday when the Toms River native signed a free agent contract with the Jets, nearly five years after he began his NFL career by being released by the Giants during training camp in 2002."
- Denman, Elliott. "Shore Hall of Fame inducts 17", Asbury Park Press, May 13, 1999. "Alex Blackwell, a Toms River North and Monmouth College basketball player who spent a year with the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and several more seasons in international professional competition."
- Osborne, James. "Tracker gains big following even as some say tales stray; Many disciples, and a few skeptics, for outspoken Pinelands outdoorsman.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 26, 2011. Accessed August 14, 2014. "Brown, who grew up near Toms River, N.J., founded his school in 1978 after spending his 20s living in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains and Central America for extended periods."
- Melok, Bobby. "Where Are They Now?: Simon Dean", WWE, August 6, 2014. Accessed October 12, 2015. "Growing up in Toms River, N.J., Mike Bucci was a huge wrestling fan."
- Eichel, Molly. "Temple grad Syma Chowdhry officially joins CBS3", Philadelphia Daily News, October 2, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2014. "Originally hailing from Toms River, N.J, Chowdhry began her career in 2004 in Raleigh, N.C., and was a familiar face on "News 12 New Jersey" in Edison and a reporter for The University Network in Jersey City."
- Cotter, Kelly-Jane. "THAT OLD BRUCE 'MAGIC': Springsteen, E Street Band won't be doing a disappearing act anytime soon", Asbury Park Press, September 30, 2007. Accessed October 19, 2007. "Clinch, whose company is in Manhattan but who lives in Toms River, is especially proud of the portrait that runs across the center panel of the CD sleeve."
- Holden, Stephen. "Chris Connor, Jazz Singer Whose Voice Embodied a Wistful Cool, Dies at 81", The New York Times, September 1, 2009. Accessed April 6, 2011. "Chris Connor, the great jazz singer whose lush, foggy voice and compressed emotional intensity distilled a 1950s jazz reverie of faraway longing in a sad cafe, died on Saturday in Toms River, N.J. She was 81 and lived in Toms River."
- Sielski, Mike. "Heard on the Field", The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2011. Accessed August 14, 2014. "Jerry DiPoto, a native of Toms River, N.J., who pitched for the Mets in 1995 and 1996, will be named the general manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during a news conference Saturday, a person with knowledge of the situation has confirmed."
- Stump, Scott. "7-Foot-1 Pitcher Cut By Team In Minors Is Next Big Thing In Beach Volleyball", The Pst Game, November 19, 2013. Accessed October 12, 2015. "Doherty grew up in baseball-mad Toms River, N.J., home of the two-time Little League World Series champions and a trio of strong high school programs. After starring as a hard-throwing right-handed starter at Toms River High School East, Doherty became an All-Big East closer at Notre Dame in 2004."
- Feitl, Steve. "BACK TO HIS ROOTS: Frank Edgar part of fight card in UFC's return to New Jersey", Home News Tribune, November 15, 2007. Accessed December 28, 2007. "After an accomplished wrestling career — one that saw him place twice at states while at Toms River High School East and qualify for nationals all four years as an All-American at Clarion University in Pennsylvania — Edgar chose to train for the combat sport that merges numerous disciplines from wrestling to jiu-jitsu to kickboxing."
- UFC Fighter Profile of Frank Edgar, Ultimate Fighting Championship. Accessed March 15, 2007.
- Jazmyn Foberg, USA Gymnastics. Accessed October 12, 2015.
- Oglesby, Amanda. "Former prosecutor to lead Ocean County Superior Courts", Asbury Park Press, June 15, 2015. Accessed March 27, 2016. "'There's something about coming home,' said Ford, who lives in Toms River. 'I'm in awe of the responsibility that has been placed on me by the chief justice.'"
- Kreidler, Mark. "Inseparable: Little League, Toms River - The town from New Jersey is back where it believes it belongs: in Williamsport", ESPN, August 20, 2010. Accessed January 17, 2011.
- "Former Rutgers Standout Jeff Frazier Called Up To Detroit Tigers", ScarletKnights.com, July 29, 2010.
- Christopher, Chris. "Frazier to Cincinnati; 34th overall", Ocean County Observer, June 8, 2007. "She had to do something to honor her cousin, Todd Frazier, the former Toms River High School South standout selected 34th in the supplemental first round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft yesterday by the Cincinnati Reds.... Todd Frazier of Toms River, right, was picked by the Cincinnati Reds yesterday."
- Mia Galeotalanza profile, Survivor: Vanuatu at CBS.com. Accessed October 24, 2007.
- Brian Geraghty, The New York Times from Allmovie. Accessed April 6, 2011. "After viewing that performance, Geraghty -- unclear after high school about where he wanted to go or what he wanted to do -- made a beeline from his home of Toms River, NJ, to New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse, where he plunged headfirst into classical theater -- and subsequently received a bid to audition for HBO's organized crime drama The Sopranos."
- Filichia, Peter. "'Little Shop' is good fit for diminutive actor", The Star-Ledger, June 5, 2008. Accessed August 14, 2014. "Jared Gertner, a native of Toms River, stars as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors at the Paper Mill Playhouse."
- Kurland, Bob. "METROSTARS MINUS TWO -- DONADONI, RAMOS TO MISS OPENER", The Record (Bergen County), April 12, 1996. "Kearny native Ted Gillen, who grew up in Toms River, was placed on injured reserve due to a slow-healing hamstring."
- Stump, Scott. "STARTING OVER Former Toms River North star J.M. Gold has not given up on his big league dream", Asbury Park Press, May 25, 2004. Accessed January 17, 2011.
- Hagenmayer, S. Joseph. "A. Goullet, A Legend In Bike Racing", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 14, 1995. Accessed August 14, 2014. "Alfred T. 'Alf' Goullet, 103, whose world-record-setting performances in bicycling races on three continents prompted sportswriters to compare him to baseball's Babe Ruth and boxing's Jack Dempsey, died Saturday at a retirement home in Toms River... He resided in Newark for 75 years and lived in Red Bank and then Toms River for the last eight years."
- Griffith, Janelle. "Bob Grant, father of conservative talk radio, dead at 84", The Star-Ledger, January 2, 2014. Accessed October 12, 2015. "He lived for a time in Woodbridge, where his favorite diner named a dish in his honor, and Manalapan before moving most recently to Toms River."
- Sheree Gray, Penn State Nittany Lions. Accessed August 14, 2014.
- Larsen, Erik. "Haines appointed Ocean County freeholder", Asbury Park Press, January 26, 2016. Accessed August 30, 2016. "Ocean County Freeholder-designate Virginia 'Ginny' Haines is surrounded by supporters and county Republican leaders following her appointment to the county's governing body on Tuesday night. Haines, 69, of Toms River, becomes only the second woman to serve on the Ocean County freeholder board since 1850."
- "Lutherans Updating Status Of Women", The News-Palladium, July 5, 1972. Accessed October 12, 2015. "The denomination ordained its first woman minister only last year, and now has two of them out of 7,328 clergy--the Rev. Judith Hird, a Toms River, N.J., pastor, and the Rev. Elizabeth Platz, campus pastor at the University of Maryland."
- Hopkins, Kathleen. "Taxes key in 10th District;Hopefuls spar over millionaires surcharge", Asbury Park Press, October 24, 2011. Accessed August 14, 2014. "'I think we've done an excellent job in representing the interests of our district,' said Holzapfel, 67, a Toms River resident who served as Ocean County prosecutor from 1987–1992 and who is senior partner in the Toms River law firm of Citta, Holzapfel and Zabarsky."
- Araton, Harvey. "Sports of The Times; One Man's Lifeblood of the Games", The New York Times, February 8, 2002. Accessed February 15, 2012. "Yesterday, an American bobsledder, Pavle Jovanovic of Toms River, N.J., lost his appeal of a suspension for flunking a similar test in December at the United States trials."
- Staff. "Mavericks re-sign Robinson, add de Kastrozza", ECHL, July 13, 2015. Accessed October 12, 2015. "A native of Toms River, N.J., de Kastrozza tallied 42 points (19g-23a) in 64 regular-season games with the Steelheads last season."
- Edelson, Steve. "Konopka right at home, in Ireland", Asbury Park Press, March 12, 2008. Accessed April 8, 2008. "Since stepping off a plane at Dublin Airport on Jan. 15 and signing a contract with storied Bohemian Football Club two weeks later, Chris Konopka has experienced a side of soccer he could barely have imagined growing up in Toms River."
- Tan, Michelle. "Survivor's Stephenie LaGrossa Gets Married", People (magazine), July 7, 2006. Accessed October 12, 2015. "LaGrossa, a former pharmaceutical sales rep who now models and makes TV and personal appearances, grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia and now lives in Toms River, N.J. "
- Olney, Buster. "BASEBALL; Mets Bolster Rotation in Deal for Leiter", The New York Times, February 7, 1998. Accessed February 15, 2012. "Al Leiter grew up in Toms River, N.J., rooting for the Mets on television, a die-hard with indelible memories of the 1969 World Series. Now Mets fans will be rooting for him."
- Anastatisa, Phil. "Scout reflects on baseball love affair", Courier-Post, June 7, 2004. Accessed October 23, 2007. "Lynch mentions former Cherry Hill West left-hander Shawn Senior, Lenape left-hander Scott Schoeneweis and Toms River brothers Al Leiter and Mark Leiter among the local athletes who best caught his eye."
- Lomell, Leonard. "June 6, 1944", Time (magazine), March 31, 2003. Accessed April 7, 2008.
- via Associated Press. "A look at congressional candidate Tom MacArthur", Asbury Park Press, May 3, 2014. Accessed October 12, 2015. "RESIDENCE: Toms River. Also owns homes in Randolph and Barnegat Light."
- Boulard, Garry. Louis Prima, p. 145. University of Illinois Press, 1989. ISBN 9780252070907. Accessed October 12, 2015. "Following the newspaper coverage from Toms River, New Jersey, was twenty-year-old Gia Maione, a waitress at the local Howard Johnson's who studied voice and piano in high school."
- Staff. "DEATH PENALTY UPHELD IN MARSHALL CASE A MILESTONE RULING FOR N.J. HIGH COURT", Philadelphia Daily News, January 24, 1991. Accessed September 14, 2010. "The state Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence for Robert O. Marshall, the Toms River businessman whose conviction for arranging the murder of his wife drew nationwide attention as the subject of a best-selling book and a television movie."
- Dremousis, Litsa. Demetri Martin, The Believer (magazine), February 2006. Accessed June 23, 2007. "The son of a Greek Orthodox priest (note: Orthodox priests can marry prior to ordination) and a nutritionist, Martin grew up with his brother and sister in Toms River, New Jersey."
- Roberts, Sam. "Metro Matters; Rosenberg Case: Family's Struggle At Reconciliation", The New York Times, June 20, 1988. Accessed February 15, 2012. "His nephews, Michael and Robert Meeropol, planned no special remembrance. Robert intended only to take a long walk alone near his home in Massachusetts to reflect on that afternoon in Toms River, N.J., when his older brother, then 10, was ushered outside to join him after the television broadcast of the Yankees-Tigers game was interrupted repeatedly by news bulletins about the impending execution of their parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg."
- Kahn, Roger. October Men: Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and the Yankees' Miraculous Finish in 1978, p. 78. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003. ISBN 9780151006281. Accessed October 12, 2015. "As CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers, O'Malley, called the Big Oom, let a bright young righthander named Andy Messersmith, a physician's son from Toms River, New Jersey, pitch for the entire 1975 season without signing a contract."
- Spelling, Ian. "N.J.'s River City Extension opens for Avett Brothers at PNC Arts Center", The Record (Bergen County), September 22, 2011. Accessed January 25, 2015. "Joe Michelini formed River City Extension in 2007, and since then enough members have joined and left the Toms River-based band that the group's founder and lead singer considers their current tour a series of get-to-know-you shows. 'It's like we're forced to overcome a lot of obstacles at once and in a very short amount of time,' Michelini says by telephone from his Toms River home."
- Micko, Lillian. "Real 'League Of Their Own' Players Are Honored Fans Inspired By The Movie Came. So Did Two Women Who Played And Their Coach.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 13, 1994. Accessed October 12, 2015. "Moffet, who now lives in Toms River but grew up in Pitman, retired just last month after 42 years in education."
- Steve Mormando, New York University Athletics. Accessed October 12, 2015. "A native of Toms River, NJ, Mormando resides in Dover, NJ."
- Scott Palguta, Colorado College. Accessed January 12, 2014. "Palguta, a native of Toms River, N.J., was a two-time all-Ivy League selection at Cornell University, where he graduated in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in hotel administration."
- Hill, Todd. "Piper Perabo keeps on plugging; The 'Imagine Me & You' star rebounds from her fair share of flops with a Brit rom-com", Staten Island Advance, February 5, 2006 at Imagine Me & You site. Accessed October 12, 2015. "Piper Perabo has come a long way from Toms River, N.J."
- Hinckley, David. "Man who developed Oreo cookie filling dead at 76; Sam J. Porcello was known at Nabisco as 'Mr. Oreo'He died Saturday at 76, and worked at Nabisco for 34 years", New York Daily News, May 20, 2012. Accessed January 25, 2015. "That's not all that Sam J. Porcello of Toms River, N.J., did. But if it had been, that would have been enough. This obituary had me at 'Oreo.'"
- Palmer, Chris. "Meet Garrett Reynolds, the anti-BMX star", ESPN. Accessed September 14, 2010.
- Vice Admiral Charles E. Rosendahl Collection, University of Texas at Dallas. Accessed June 23, 2007. "1960: Retired to Toms River to write and to organize Lighter-Than-Air Museum Association at Lakehurst."
- King, Wayne. "It's Not Us, Toms River Says of Protrayal [sic] in Book", The New York Times, March 29, 1989. Accessed October 12, 2015. "In the book, the politician is called Raymond DiOrio. But he clearly is John F. Russo, a Toms River lawyer, president of the New Jersey Senate and, until Blind Faith, a man thinking about a campaign for governor."
- Schiller, Dawn. The Road to Wonderland; Surviving John Holmes, p. 14. Medallion Press, 2010. ISBN 978-160542083-7. Accessed September 16, 2015.
- Marshall Jr., Tyrone C. "Schwartz Honored for Exceptional Service as Air Force Chief", United States Department of Defense, August 10, 2012. Accessed October 12, 2015. "The defense secretary described Schwartz as a hardworking Toms River, N.J., native, who grew up in a blue collar world."
- "Destined to Coach", The Colorado Springs Gazette, March 16, 2004.
- Garafolo, Mike. "NY Giants Game Day: Look for running game to exploit weak Atlanta defense", The Star-Ledger, November 22, 2009. Accessed April 6, 2011. "The Giants' defenders said all week third-string RB Jason Snelling (a Toms River native who moved to Virginia before high school) is just as dangerous."
- Staff. "Speedy Stokes' World Tour Continues in Philly", ArenaFootball.com. Accessed October 12, 2015. " Originally from Toms River, NJ, most of Keith's extended family still resides in New Jersey and makes regular appearances at his games."
- Hagenmayer, S. Joseph. "Episcopal Bishop Albert W. Van Duzer", The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 30, 1999. Accessed November 8, 2015. "Raised in Toms River, Bishop Van Duzer was a 1935 graduate of Toms River High School, where he was manager for the baseball team, a member of the football team, and in the school play."
- Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, Ocean County, New Jersey. Accessed October 12, 2015. "A Dover (Toms River) Township Committeeman from 1980 to 1994, Freeholder Director Vicari served as mayor of the state's 10th largest community five times."
- Staff. "Renewed Pride for Seton Hall", The New York Times, April 3, 1989. Accessed October 12, 2015. "On Saturday, Werkman had 100 people in his home in Toms River, N.J., to watch the Pirates defeat Duke in the semifinals. He has also become a recognizable figure again, even if people do not remember that he is Seton Hall's leading career scorer with 2,273 points."
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Toms River.|
- Toms River Township web site
- Toms River Regional Schools
- Toms River Regional Schools's 2014–15 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Toms River Regional Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- Toms River Branch of Ocean County Library
- Dover Township: A Brief History - from the Asbury Park Press.
- Toms River Community web site
- Toms River Community web site dedicated to the worlds 2nd largest Halloween Parade
- Toms River Community News
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