The Future of Barnegat Bay

By Marie De Saules

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association - December 1995 / January 1996 Newsletter)

Barnegat Bay is an estuary located in Ocean County stretching from the Point Pleasant canal to Little Egg Harbor inlet. An estuary is a coastal area where fresh water from rivers and streams mixes with salt water from the ocean. Over 400,000 people live along the shores of Barnegat Bay, this population doubles in the summer. It is also home to many plants, animals, fish, crustaceans and shell fish. The bay provides spawning grounds, nurseries and an abundant food source to support it’s habitants and with it’s natural filtering system protects it’s marine life and the quality of the water. The bay also provides a natural barrier to protect the estuarys and land areas from severe impact due to coastal storms and flooding.. The economy of the Barnegat Bay area is based upon it’s natural beauty, recreational activities and the bountiful marine life that it produces.

In July 1995, Barnegat Bay was designated by the Enviromental Protection Agency for inclusion into the National Estuary Program, which was established by an act of Congress to protect and restore our coastal estuaries. The main goals of the program are to protect and improve water quality and enhance it’s natural living resources.

On December 2, 1995 a kick-off workshop was held in Toms River N.J. An open invitation was extended to all the residents of Ocean County to join in an ambitious effort to help develop a comprehensive conservation and management plan (CCMP) for the bay . New Jersey Departmental of Enviromental Protection Commissioner Robert Shinn and Enviromental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox welcomed about 100 people to the workshop. Also in attendance were Congressman James Saxton , Ocean County Freeholder Director Jack Kelly , other officals from county and local goverments and concerned citizens representing many user groups of Barnegat Bay.

This workshop was held to set up a list of suggestions and projects to help develop a sound management program for the bay. $1,500, 000 of E.P.A. funds will be used over the next 3 years for science, education and environmental problems along the 50 mile stretch of Barnegat Bay.

Robert Tudor of the Department of Enviromental Protection advised taking local control of matters now handled by state and federal agencies. He and others stressed that the process of management must be completely open to the public.

Theresa Fowler, a State D.E.P. planner, said the estuary program is soliciting people to join it’s citizen advisory committee, local goverment committee, and science and technical committee.

Those interested in participating please contact;

Theresa Fowler
N.J. Dept. of Environmental Protection
Office of Enviornmental Planning
CN 418
Trenton N.J. 08625-0418

Report illegal dumping to

Ocean County Prosecutors Office

Other participating groups and persons are

Barnegat Bay Watershed Association

Alliance for a Living Ocean

Scott Tyrrell
N.J.D.E.P. Water Supply

Joe Mattle N.J.D.E.P. Sewage

Elizabeth Rosenblatt,
N.J.D.E.P. nonpoint Source pollution

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