Police and Department of Environmental Protection authorities will be sweeping Barnegat Bay periodically this summer to ensure boaters are having fun in an environmentally friendly manner.
The DEP asks boaters to stay out of 16 ecologically sensitive areas (outlined in blue on the map above) where unique underwater vegetation and shellfish, crabs, fish and shorebirds live.
The DEP has a full version of the map that can be found on its website.
“There’s plenty of Barnegat Bay to go around,” DEP spokesman Bob Considine said.
The state offers the following tips for boating in the Bay:
Stay out of restricted areas set aside for wildlife. Do not harass nesting birds and other animals.
Buoy mooring chains and lines to prevent them from scraping on the Bay bottom and harming submerged aquatic vegetation and animals.
Use pump-out boats and facilities. Do not discharge wastewater holding tanks into open water.
Maintain 100′ distance (about the length of six cars) from natural shorelines, Bay islands and sensitive ecological areas, and use marked navigational channels for travel.
Minimize wakes in all shallow areas to help reduce erosion and harm to aquatic plants and animals.
Help reduce air pollution by cutting the engine and not idling in open water.
Avoid giving invasive aquatic plants and animals a ride. Thoroughly clean boats, personal watercraft and equipment when transferring them from one water body to another.
Keep the engine leak-free and well-tuned in order to minimize the discharge of fuel and oil into the water.
Use a pillow or oil absorbent pad in the bilge to absorb any spilled oil.