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What is now Cape May was originally formed as the borough of Cape Island by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 8, 1848, from portions of Lower Township. It was reincorporated as Cape Island city on March 10, 1851, and finally became Cape May city as of March 9, 1869.
It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. It has a population of 4,034 year-round residents (as of the United States 2000 Census). Cape May is also home to approximately 100,000 seasonal residents.[dubious ] The town is named for 1620 Dutch captain named Cornelius Jacobsen Mey who explored and charted the area between 1611-1614, and established a claim for the province of New Netherland. It was later settled by New Englanders from the New Haven Colony.
Due in part to its award-winning beaches (Cape May was recognized as one of America's top 10 beaches by the Travel Channel), designation as the top birding location on the East Coast, Cape May's many Victorian structures and the island's rich history, Cape May is a seaside resort that draws visitors from all over the world. It was ranked the fifth best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.
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