CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: NJ-2, 3, 4
APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General
BUSINESS PROGRAM: Navigation
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: In recent years, dredging and placement activities have developed beneficial use alternatives using Regional Sediment Management and Engineering with Nature principles to help restore and bolster system resilience. NJIWW sediments have been used to support shorelines and marshes near Mantoloking, Mordecai Island, Seven Mile Island. USACE continues to work with partners to dredge critical shoals while building habitat and restoring marsh including Ring Island, Great Flats, Sturgeon and Gull Islands. These collaborative efforts have been precedent setting and continue to develop knowledge and innovative solutions for future marsh enhancements in NJ and nationally.
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 inland 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