Ocean City cancels wood contract

Some still gets used
January 22, 2008 2:50:01 PM PST
The mayor of Ocean City, New Jersey, agreed today to scrap a plan to use tropical rainforest wood to repair part of its boardwalk - even as workers were bolting some of it to the walkway.

Mayor Sal Perillo issued a press release saying he would cancel a contract with a Baltimore lumber company to buy tropical ipe wood for a block-long stretch of its boardwalk in need of repair.

Ipe is certified as having been harvested responsibly.

But some environmental groups say the certification offers a fig leaf for practices that still denude the rainforests where the trees come from.

The wood was intended to replace a block-long stretch of the Ocean City boardwalk.

But city Business Administrator Jim Rutala said even as the mayor's words were being written, workers were busy using some of the tropical hardwood to fix the boardwalk.

Some wood from the $1.1 million contract had already been shipped.