The fourth silt plume in less than a year appeared Friday in the Barnegat Bay off Seaside Heights, an environmental organization spokesperson said.
According to Save Barnegat Bay Executive Director Britta Wenzel, her organization discovered the plume off the Kearny Avenue bay beach on Friday and reported it to the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Wenzel says the impacted area, at the borough’s public dock, is a “critical winter flounder breeding area.”
This is the fourth significant silt plume in the Barnegat Bay since August, a story which NewsWorks and Jersey Shore Hurricane News (JSHN) have reported on extensively.
The latest discharge occurred as a contractor was cleaning a storm drainage system, one of nine that extend along Ocean County’s northern barrier island, in which silt has built up over recent months, state Department of Transportation spokesman Stephen Shapiro told NJ.com.
The spokesman, who said the discharge was clean, added that the pumps were turned off and would be cleaned out. A DEP spokesman said inspectors would investigate.
The newly installed pump stations along the Barnegat Bay from Bay Head to South Seaside Park are a component of the state’s Route 35 Reconstruction Project and are intended to pump out treated water into the bay.
But the “elaborate and expensive drainage system,” said William deCamp, Jr., Save Barnegat Bay founder in August, “has spectacularly failed, and the consequences for the public and the environment are great.”