Upwards of $60M in federal funds to assist N.J. channel dredging projects

    The MURDEN

    The MURDEN

    Millions of federal dollars are heading to New Jersey to fund waterway dredging projects after the state prevailed on an appeal with the Federal Emergency Management Agency,  officials announced. 

    New Jersey will receive additional time and upwards of $60 million to complete the dredging of state channels that remain clogged with silt and sand since Superstorm Sandy struck in Oct. 2012. The federal deadline has been extended from October 30, 2017 to December 31, 2024. 

    In a prepared statement, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says the funding will improve safety of New Jersey’s navigable coastal waterways for recreational and commercial boating.

    “Safe navigation of these waterways is essential to the economic vitality of our coastal communities, providing recreational boaters access to marinas and docks as part of their enjoyment of the shore’s beauty. Safe channels also ensure commercial fishing vessels have reliable access to ports and fishing grounds,” he said. 

    Since Superstorm Sandy struck, the state has restored 12 channels and begun dredging work on an additional 15, the release said.

    Some 200 channels have experienced shoaling to varying degrees since the storm.

    New Jersey’s recreational boating industry, with more than 1,000 employers providing nearly 12,000 jobs, contributes $2.2 billion to the state economy, according to the release. 

    “We are very pleased with this decision, as it is consistent with the need for a statewide network of safe and navigable coastal waterways,” New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin said. “Safe navigation of these waterways is essential to the economic vitality of our coastal communities, providing recreational boaters access to marinas and docks as part of their enjoyment of the shore’s beauty. Safe channels also ensure commercial fishing vessels have reliable access to ports and fishing grounds.”

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