Ocean City, New Jersey: Wikis


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Ocean City, New Jersey
—  City (New Jersey)  —
The Ocean City Boardwalk on a busy summer weekend
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: 39°15′55″N 74°35′38″W / 39.26528°N 74.59389°W / 39.26528; -74.59389Coordinates: 39°15′55″N 74°35′38″W / 39.26528°N 74.59389°W / 39.26528; -74.59389
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Cape May
Incorporated May 3, 1884
 - Type Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)
 - Mayor Salvatore Perillo
 - Administrator Jim Rutala[1]
 - Total 11.1 sq mi (28.7 km2)
 - Land 6.9 sq mi (17.9 km2)
 - Water 4.2 sq mi (10.8 km2)
Elevation [2] 3 ft (1 m)
Population (2006)[3]
 - Total 15,124
 - Density 2,222.8/sq mi (858.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 08226
Area code(s) 609
FIPS code 34-54360[4][5]
GNIS feature ID 0885332[6]
Website http://www.ocnj.us/
Kites on the beach.
The Sun rising over an Ocean City beach.
Ocean City Music Pier
Ocean City Boardwalk, looking south
Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1930 5,525
1940 4,672 −15.4%
1950 6,040 29.3%
1960 7,618 26.1%
1970 10,575 38.8%
1980 13,949 31.9%
1990 15,512 11.2%
2000 15,378 −0.9%
Est. 2008 14,756 [3] −4.0%
Population 1930 - 1990[7]

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. As of the United States 2000 Census, the city population was 15,378. In the summer months, with an influx of tourist and second homeowners, there are estimated to be 115,000 to 130,000 within the city's borders.[8][9]

Ocean City was originally formed as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 3, 1884, from portions of Upper Township, based on the results of a referendum held on April 30, 1884, and was reincorporated as a borough on March 31, 1890. Ocean City was incorporated as a city, its current type of government, on March 25, 1897.[10]

Ocean City is known as a family seaside resort that has prohibited the sales of alcoholic beverages within its limits since the city's founding in 1879. Ocean City possesses miles of guarded beaches, a 2.5 mile boardwalk, and a quaint downtown. (See Ocean City Boardwalk)

The Travel Channel rated Ocean City as the Best Family Beach of 2005.[11] 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.[12] In the 2009 Top 10 Beaches Contest, Ocean City ranked first.[13]

Ocean City requires purchase of a beach tag for all individuals age 12 and up to go on the beach from early June through Labor Day.[14] For the 2008 season, tags could be purchased on a daily basis for $5, weekly for $10 or $20 for the entire season.[15]



Ocean City is located at 39°15′55″N 74°35′38″W / 39.265371°N 74.593814°W / 39.265371; -74.593814 (39.265371, -74.593814).[16]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 square miles (28.7 km2), of which, 6.9 square miles (17.9 km2) of it is land and 4.2 square miles (10.8 km2) of it (37.58%) is water.

Ocean City is a barrier island with bridge connections to Marmora (Upper Township) via the 34th Street (Roosevelt Boulevard) Bridge , Egg Harbor Township via the Ocean City-Longport Bridge, Somers Point via the 9th Street Bridge (NJ 52), and Strathmere (Upper Township) via the Corson's Inlet Bridge. The Eastern side of Ocean City borders the Atlantic Ocean, while the Western side faces the Great Egg Harbor Bay, Beach Thoroughfare, Pecks Bay and Crook Horn Creek.


As of the census[4] of 2000, 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/sq mi (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 the age of 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 females age 18 and over, there were 82.8 males.

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.



Local government

The City of Ocean City was incorporated on March 25, 1897. Since July 1, 1978, the City has operated under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government.[17]

The Mayor is the chief executive of the community who is chosen for a four-year term at the Municipal Election in May and serves part-time for a yearly salary. The Mayor does not preside over, nor have a vote on the Council. The Mayor has a veto power over ordinances, but vetoes can be overridden by a vote of two-thirds of the Council.

City Council is the legislative body. There are seven elected members. Four members represent individual wards and three are elected at large. Each of the Councilpersons serves a staggered four-year term.

The Mayor of Ocean City is Salvatore Perillo. Members of the City Council are:[18]

  • At-Large - Scott Ping, Council President
  • At-Large - Keith Hartzell, Council Vice President
  • At-Large - Michael Allegretto
  • First Ward - John Kemenosh
  • Second Ward - Karen Bergman
  • Third Ward - Susan Sheppard
  • Fourth Ward - Roy Wagner

Federal, state and county representation

Ocean City is in the Second Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 1st Legislative District.[19]

New Jersey's Second Congressional District, covering all of Atlantic County, Cape May County, Cumberland County and Salem County and portions of Burlington County, Camden County and Gloucester County, is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City). New Jersey is represented in the Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

The 1st legislative district of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jeff Van Drew (D) and in the Assembly by Nelson Albano (D, Vineland) and Matthew W. Milam (D, Dennis Township).[20] The Governor of New Jersey is Jon Corzine (D, Hoboken).[21]

Cape May County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected at large in partisan elections to serve staggered three-year terms in office. Cape May County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Daniel Beyel (Upper Township, term expires December 31, 2008), Freeholder Vice-Director Ralph E. Sheets, Jr. (2008), Ralph E. Bakley, Sr. (2010), Leonard C. Desiderio (Sea Isle City, 2009) and Gerald M. Thornton (2010).[22]


The Ocean City School District serves public school students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district are Ocean City Primary School (K-3), Ocean City Intermediate School (4-8) and Ocean City High School (9-12).

Students from Corbin City, Upper Township and Sea Isle City attend Ocean City High School for grades 9-12, as part of sending/receiving relationships.[23]

St. Augustine Regional School a K-8 coeducational Catholic school which closed in June 2008.[1]


Known first as Peck's Beach, a seven-mile stretch of sand dunes, meadows and cedar swamps was probably named for John Peck, a whaler who used the island as a staging spot for his whaling operation.

The island had served as a summer fishing camp for local Native Americans, a grazing land for cattle driven out from the mainland and an occasional hunting or picnic spot for mainland residents who would come out by boat. Original ownership of the land was by the Somers family.

Several individuals had made their home on the island, most notable of which was Parker Miller who had served as an agent for marine insurance companies. He and his family lived in a home at about what is now the southwest corner of Seventh Street and Asbury Avenue.

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[24]. 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”, 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.

From these beginnings Ocean City has grown into the town as it exists today. The first bridge was built to the island in 1883, while the first railroad soon followed. The first school began in 1881. The boardwalk grew and was relocated several times. 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 failed salvage attempt was launched in the 1970s, but none have been tried since. It was assumed by treasure hunters that after sailing back from Asia large amounts of treasure and plunder from the Boxer Rebellion had been on board, although both crew and captain said otherwise.[25] A large fire in 1927 changed the town significantly.

Popular culture references


The Ocean City Barons of the USL Premier Development League play at Carey Stadium.


Media publications in Ocean City include its two major newspapers, The Gazette and The Sentinel, in addition to its two other weekly prints, The Sandpaper and The Sure Guide.

Noted residents

Noted current and former residents of Ocean City include:


  1. ^ Business Administrator, City of Ocean City. Accessed July 11, 2008.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Ocean City, Geographic Names Information System, accessed November 12, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Census data for Ocean City city, United States Census Bureau. Accessed August 5, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  7. ^ New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. Accessed March 1, 2007.
  8. ^ Julia Lawlor (2004-05-07). "Weekender". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E04E1D91E3DF934A35756C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2007-02-09.  
  9. ^ O.C. seeks new way to surf at beach, The Press of Atlantic City, February 9, 2007.
  10. ^ "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 115.
  11. ^ Best Family Beach of 2005, Travel Channel, March 2005.
  12. ^ Urgo, Jacqueline L. (May 23, 2008). "Triumph for South Jersey". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/entertainment/19204259.html. Retrieved 2008-05-30.  
  13. ^ Ocean City wins No. 1 beach in New Jersey for '09, The Star-Ledger, May 19, 2009.
  14. ^ Ocean City Beaches, Ocean City, New Jersey. Accessed September 24, 2007.
  15. ^ OFFICIAL 2007 BEACH FEE INFORMATION, Ocean City, New Jersey. Accessed September 24, 2007.
  16. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  17. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 8.
  18. ^ City Council, City of Ocean City. Accessed July 12, 2008.
  19. ^ 2008 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey league of Women Voters, p. 62. Accessed September 30, 2009.
  20. ^ Legislative Roster: 2008-2009 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed June 6, 2008.
  21. ^ "About the Governor". New Jersey. http://www.nj.gov/governor/about/. Retrieved 6 June 2008.  
  22. ^ Freeholders Home Page, Cape May County, New Jersey. Accessed January 30, 2008.
  23. ^ Ocean City High School 2006 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 7, 2007. "Ocean City is a comprehensive high school serving the communities of Ocean City, Upper Township, Sea Isle City, and Corbin City, with an enrollment of over 1,400 students."
  24. ^ Ocean City Tabernacle History, Ocean City Tabernacle. Accessed September 16, 2008.
  25. ^ The Sindia: The Mystery Continues, The Sindia. Accessed June 4, 2007.
  26. ^ "nfl / eagles camp '70", The Press of Atlantic City, August 4, 2007. Accessed August 5, 2007 "Punter Sav Rocca went home to his native Australia for a few weeks and spent some time in Ocean City with place-kicker David Akers, who owns a home there."
  27. ^ Miller, Michael. "Pulitzer Prize poet will read works in O.C.", The Press of Atlantic City, June 22, 2007. Accessed August 14, 2007. "The late poet A.R. Ammons, formerly of Ocean City, Northfield and Millville, won the prestigious National Book Award."
  28. ^ "Catarcio, Maurice A.". Northeast Obits. http://www.northeastobits.com/archives.cfm?s=print&obit=15052. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  29. ^ Lawlor, Julia. " Weekender: Ocean City, N.J.", The New York Times, May 7, 2004. Accessed August 14, 2007. ""
  30. ^ Ocean City Directory, Press of Atlantic City, accessed March 17, 2007.
  31. ^ 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."
  32. ^ 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."
  33. ^ Princess Grace Exhibit, 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."
  34. ^ a b Sugarman, Joe. The Other Ocean City, 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.... When the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce decided to throw a film festival for the first time this June, it included only G-rated films. Smoking is permitted on the boardwalk— but in designated areas only. Heck, Jimmy Stewart used to vacation here.... Now there’s Cousin’s, an excellent Italian eatery where Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell often dines (he owns a house in town)."
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ 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."

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