By DON STINE
Ocean Township residents can participate in a new survey that is looking into the township’s long-standing problem with an increasingly-large deer population.
A form was printed in the recent issue of the township’s newsletter. Responders, however, must file electronically by going to www.oceantwp.org. Responses, one per household, must be submitted by May 15.
“We have had a lot of response already,” Mayor Christopher Siciliano said earlier this week.
He said the township is taking the survey in an effort to develop a deer management plan, get a feel for what residents are experiencing, and get input from the public.
“I hope there is a good response because it will give us more information,” he said.
The form asks where a respondent lives and for how long. It also requests information on Lyme disease, vehicular collisions with deer, if gardens and landscaping are being damaged, how they are personally dealing with the deer problem, and requests estimated costs for landscape or garden damage. It also asks if costs were incurred to install fencing, gates, etc.because of the deer problem.
Too many deer is an ongoing problem in Ocean Township and surrounding communities but township officials have formed a special three-member subcommittee to look into the problem and ways to solve it.
About 32 to 35 deer hit by vehicles every year in Ocean Township.
Deputy Mayor Robert Acerra said previously that the three-member special committee is “putting all options on the table” as it does its research. Acerra said there is no set timeframe to come up with a plan.
Monmouth County leads the state with deer carcass removal in 2017, with 999 dead deer found lying by the side of the road, with October and November being the worst months. In total, state Department of Transportation crews removed 6,525 deer carcasses statewide in 2016, an increase of 400 more than they removed in 2015.