N.J. seeks to dredge 9 channels in the Barnegat Bay

New Jersey officials are seeking to dredge nine navigation channels in the Barnegat Bay. (Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps)

New Jersey officials are seeking to dredge nine navigation channels in the Barnegat Bay. (Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps)

New Jersey officials are seeking to dredge nine navigation channels in the Barnegat Bay.

The project is for the restoration and maintenance of safe navigational depths for boats in the bay off Long Beach Island, according to a U.S. Army Corps notice.

The dredging is at the request of New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Maritime Resources as part of a 10 year maintenance plan.

Dredging is proposed for the Beach Haven State Channel Complex, including Southwick Channel, Bay Harbor Channel, Eastern Channel, Shelter Harbor Channel, Beach Haven Condos Channel, Morrison’s Channel, Liberty Thorofare Channel, Buoy 77 Channel, and Penna’s Channel.

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The Army Corps is seeking public comment and recommendations on the project by Jan. 8.

“This is a required public notice as part of the process to get permits for future dredging of the channels,” Steve Schapiro, deputy director of communications for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, said in a statement. “Details on the project and when dredging may begin will be determined sometime after the permit is issued, design plans are finalized and funding is secured.”

Crews will dredge approximately 26,747 yards of sand and silt and transport via a marked floating and submerged pipeline to the 4.3 acre, federally-owned Parker Island, a confined disposal facility in the bay off Beach Haven.

The latest dredging plan is the latest in a series of projects that began in 2014 to alleviate severe shoaling caused in part by Superstorm Sandy. Shoals are commonly known as shallow areas that pose a hazard to navigation.

In recent years, among other areas, the state has dredged portions of the Manasquan River, Absecon Inlet, Hereford Inlet, Little Egg Inlet, Barnegat Inlet, Cape May Harbor, and other areas within the Barnegat Bay.

A separate dredging project to eliminate dangerous shoals in the state’s Intracoastal Waterway was announced late last year. The contractor, Barnegat Bay Dredging Company of Harvey Cedars, will begin in the Cape May-Lewes Ferry area, according to Stephen Rochette, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman.

He has previously said that the sequence and location for dredging after the contractor finishes in the Cape May area is still not set.

Comments on the proposed work should be submitted in writing within 30 days to District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107-3390. Any person may request, in writing to the district engineer within the comment period, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for a public hearing must include the particular reasons for a hearing.

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