Crews have completed dredging the Barnegat Inlet, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today.
Utilizing the MURDEN, a dredge owned and operated by the Army Corps’ Wilmington District, the work involved removing 60,000 cubic yards of sand and material from the federal channel to improve safety prior to the summer boating season, an Army Corps release said.
“The navigable channel was already tight so it’s important that [the Army Corps] is dredging the inlet to make transit safer and easier,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class John Kopp from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light.
The U.S. Coast Guard and a large fishing fleet, consisting of full-time commercial, charter, and recreational vessels, pass through the inlet regularly.
The Army Corps said that finishing the dredging work in April was “especially critical as a separate project to repair the inlet’s north jetty requires mooring a barge in the inlet.”
The north jetty project involves repairing 740 feet of the jetty damaged by Superstorm Sandy, requiring a public access restriction for the duration of the project, which is expected to last through the fall of 2014.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced last week that it had closed the Double Creek Inlet Channel due to severe post-Superstorm Sandy shoaling that created a significant hazard. With the closure, boaters are advised to use the federal Oyster Creek Channel to and from the Barnegat Inlet.