There’s a new smart-device web app that can help hikers pick appropriate trails in New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry properties.

It also lets them know exactly where they are at any time and provides emergency contact phone numbers.

It’s called Trail Tracker and may be accessed at or

Visitors can find activities available at state parks and forests by season, search for trails by difficulty ratings and points of interest, and access detailed geographic maps that provide information on terrain and natural features along trails, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Trail Tracker was developed by the Division of Parks and Forestry’s Geographic Information System department as part of a project to map and highlight amenities in the state park system, which has nearly 1,000 miles of officially designated trails.

The park service recommends downloading trail maps to your device before entering areas with limited cell service.

Some trails are designated for foot traffic only, while others also accommodate bicyclists and horseback riders.

Downbeach cities, Cape May win Sustainable Jersey awards: Longport, Margate and Ventnor won this year’s collaboration award from the Sustainable Jersey program for having their green teams join forces to take on projects as Sustainable Downbeach.

Along with the Surfrider Foundation, Sustainable Downbeach encouraged coastal communities to pass ordinances prohibiting the intentional release of balloons. Balloons that end up in the ocean can be eaten by sea life, causing great harm.

Margate, Longport, Ventnor and about eight other coastal communities have adopted the ordinance.

Other projects the group has partnered on include reusable bag education and carry-out bag fee ordinances, beach sweeps, Absecon Island Back Bay Cleanup, a bike and pedestrian plan and a watershed management plan.

Cape May is this year’s Sustainability Champion in the Small Category, for its scoring the most points in the Sustainable Jersey certification program of all communities with small populations.

The awards were announced last week at a luncheon during the League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City.

Somers Point gets flood insurance discount: Starting on May 1, Somers Point property owners who have federal flood insurance will start to receive a 20-percent discount on their insurance rates, Mayor Jack Glasser announced last week.

The discount is a result of the city’s acceptance into the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System.

The CRS is a program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that provides lower federal flood-insurance premiums for communities that take action to lessen flood risk.

A total of 956 property owners in Somers Point have federal flood insurance policies. These policies insure over $221 million in property and have cost more than $806,000 in premiums in 2016 alone.

Glasser said property owners who have federal flood insurance will save more than $161,000 annually citywide, and that amount will grow as rates increase.

Lake Lenape lowered: Hamilton Township began lowering Lake Lenape last week so various routine inspections can be performed at the dam. The lake will remain 2-3 feet lower through December, and lakefront residents are encouraged to perform property maintenance and secure boats and docks.

Contact: 609-272-7219 Twitter @MichelleBPost

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In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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