Barnegat Bay Debris Removal To Begin Soon
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 10, 2013
The removal of debris Hurricane Sandy deposited in Barnegat Bay is expected to get underway early next week.
Governor Chris Christie says there’s a lot of debris in the water because of Hurricane Sandy.
“Nearly 14-hundred vessels were either sunken or abandoned in New Jersey waterways during the storm. Just Mantoloking alone 58 buildings and eight automobiles were washed into Barnegat Bay and remain in there today.”
After all the material is removed from the water, Christie says a massive amount of sand the storm deposited into the bay and its tributaries will be dredged.
“That’s going to mean that some of our waterways are not going to be open at the beginning of the summer to commercial or pleasure boating because it’s just going to be too dangerous to do it.”
Tim Dillingham with the American Littoral Society says flooding since the storm in some bayside communities might actually be the result of clogged storm drains, and he’s concerned about the impact of dredging.
“There’s very important habitats there that support recreational fish which a lot of the local economies are dependent upon. So dredging is something we ought to look at very closely before we go at it wholesale.”
Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese says the state is aware of environmental groups’ concerns.
“We’ll consider that but our number one job is to get out there, remove the debris, assess what we have to move and then we’ll go from there, and of course we’ll deal with it with environmental sensitivity.”
Ragonese expects the bulk of the debris in Barnegat Bay should be removed by the end of the month. Then a cleanup along the entire coastline will begin with the goal of having most of it done by Memorial Day.