By MADDY VITALE
Talk about a hot streak.
Ocean City is once again the people’s choice when it comes to favorite beach.
In a statewide poll, beachgoers selected the resort town as “New Jersey’s Favorite Beach” for the ninth year in a row.
On Friday morning, representatives of the N.J. Sea Grant Consortium announced the winners of the annual contest in a presentation at the Ocean City Music Pier.
The Wildwoods came in second overall in the poll. The contest is decided by online voters who are prevented from voting more than once.
Winners were announced just before the Fourth of July weekend.
Ocean City dignitaries, including officials from the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, the mayor and City Council, were among those in attendance.
“It’s great to see Ocean City achieve this honor,” Mayor Jay Gillian said. “Every year, we face new challenges. But Ocean City remains the best beach in the state and a tradition for generations of families.”
The N.J. Sea Grant Consortium introduced the survey in 2008 to “inspire pride in and stewardship of New Jersey’s beaches while promoting a little healthy competition between New Jersey’s favorite beach towns.”
Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, said the city has won the poll for nine straight years. The poll began 15 years ago.
“It’s always an honor when Ocean City is recognized as the favorite beach in New Jersey and it is humbling,” Michele Gillian said.
The winners for the four coastal counties were also announced during the ceremony.
In addition to the top two Cape May County beaches of Ocean City and the second-place finisher, the Wildwoods, were Ocean County — Seaside Heights and second place Point Pleasant Beach, Atlantic County — Brigantine and second place Margate, and Monmouth County — Asbury Park and second place Spring Lake.
“We are very happy for Ocean City. For New Jersey, the beaches are an important part of the tourism economy,” said Peter Rowe, Sea Grant Consortium executive director. “We put out the polls each year. It’s just supposed to be fun. And we let the people decide.”
Rowe said with a chuckle, “The overall crowing rights for the year goes to Ocean City.”
The honor bestowed this year on Ocean City is among the many that have been given over the years. Ocean City has been named “Best Beach in America” and “Best Beach” in other polls.
“America’s Greatest Family Resort” also has been recognized for its Boardwalk, downtown, ecotourism, family destinations, women-owned businesses and more.