Regarding the proposed Natural Gas Pipeline under Raritan Bay

by Capt. Paul Eidman, Board member & Forage Fish Committee Chairman
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association September 2019 Newsletter)

I sent this letter, personally, to the Governor and entire team at the DEP.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

I own and run a small charter fishing business in the exact area that this pipeline is proposed to run through. We fish and enjoy the waters from Old Bridge all the way to the Rockaways.

My daughter and I both live and breathe the air here in central New Jersey. We have supported your efforts to green the state and I currently advocate for the addition of offshore wind power along Jerseys coastline instead of continuing to buy fossil fuel sourced electric power for our home.

I am perplexed by the consideration of this NESE project by your administration. How is it possible to push to build fossil fuel infrastructure at the same time you are pushing for a 100% green NJ by 2050??

For the past 3 years, in addition to our fishing trips for Striped Bass, Bluefish, Summer Flounder and more in Raritan Bay, we have added Humpback Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin and Harbor Seal watching trips. After years of advocating for better Atlantic Menhaden (Bunker) fish conservation, we are finally beginning to see the fruits of our labor. Raritan Bay is teaming with life with the resurgence of these forage fish in the bay, and we now have over 115 named individual Humpback whales actively feeding in the bay, along with dozens of pods (families) of dolphins and seals.

All this is happening precisely above the entire length of the proposed pipeline route at different times of the season, make no mistake about it, you are proposing to run this pipeline directly through and under these magnificent creatures that now call the Raritan Bay and the NYNJ Bight home.

Natural gas fracking practices currently happening in the mountains, (next to the streams) of Pennsylvania to capture the gas utilize federally permitted fracking fluids which are known to contain toxins and carcinogens. Yes, this proposed NESE pipeline may transport the gas, but the process to acquire it contains evil nastiness that flows into the streams, aquifers then into the rivers and into the ocean polluting our waters, fish & wildlife. We all live downstream!

This proposed pipeline is an unavailing and harmful expense that will have devastating impacts on water quality, habitat, and wildlife in New Jersey. Both shore and offshore areas along the pipeline route are used vastly by the public as recreational areas that contribute to our quality of life. You should be working towards lessening our dependence on fossil fuels and moving towards a more sustainable, greener future.

My charter business, family and friends all stand firmly against this pipeline and we ask that Governor Murphy and the NJDEP to do the same. We implore the Murphy administration to please choose GREEN over BLACK. It's the right thing to do.

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