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APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General


DESCRIPTION: This project was adopted in 1939 (HD 76-133, 1st session). This sea-level inland waterway, extends along the New Jersey Coast from the Atlantic Ocean at Manasquan Inlet, about 26 miles south of Sandy Hook, NJ to the Delaware Bay about 3 miles north of Cape May Point. The waterway extends through the inlet and up Manasquan River about 2 miles and thence through Point Pleasant Canal about 2 miles to the head of Barnegat Bay. It then passes through a series of bays, lagoons and thoroughfares along the New Jersey coast to Cape May Harbor and thence across Cape May County to Delaware Bay (Cape May Canal). This project is normally maintained to a depth of 6 feet Mean Low Water (MLW), except in the southern portion in the vicinity of the Cape May Canal where it is maintained to a depth of up to 12 feet MLW. Project length is 117 miles.

STATUS: This navigation project received more than $13M in PL 113-2 Supplemental Funds (Sandy) . These funds were used to restore safe navigation by dredging critical post-storm shoals that occurred along the entire waterway including the Cape May ferry channel ($4M), repair damaged areas of the east bulkhead along the Point Pleasant Canal ($8M) and repair the damaged Lovelandtown bridge abutment located on the Point Pleasant Canal. Post-Sandy dredging and placement activities have developed beneficial use alternatives to help restore the coastal system and bolster system resilience.  Dredged material from the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway was used to support the impacted shorelines near Mantoloking and Long Beach Island and to build critical habitat and restore marsh on state lands in Middle Township.  Additional dredging and placement projects for Mordecai Island and near Avalon were completed in November 2015 and February 2016 respectively. These projects removed critical post-Sandy shoals in the NJIWW and beneficially use the dredged material to help restore the adjacent marsh.

COMMENTS: This project provides a safe, reliable, and operational navigation channel for the East Coast’s largest and 5th most valuable commercial fishing fleet in the U.S. (Cape May/Wildwood) and nine U.S. Coast Guard Stations including Cape May training base. The USCG requires a reliable channel to fulfill their Homeland Security requirements, and conduct search & rescue operations.  The Delaware River and Bay Authority operates a ferry service between Cape May, NJ and Lewes, DE and the ferries dock in the Cape May Canal. Almost 1.5 million passengers and $17.2 million in revenues are dependent on maintenance dredging to keep the four vessels operating. Discontinuance of this ferry service would result in vehicle detours of 183 miles. The South Jersey economy is heavily dependent on recreational and commercial fishing and tourism, and these industries rely on the maintained channels of the NJIWW.

PROJECT GOALS: The purpose of this project provides for a sea-level island waterway, extending along the New Jersey Coast from the Atlantic Ocean at Manasquan Inlet to the Delaware Bay. It extends through the inlet and up the Manasquan River , then passes through a series of bays, lagoons and thoroughfares along the New Jersey coast.

PROJECT MANAGER: Monica A. Chasten