US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center

New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway

Published Dec. 10, 2012
New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway Project Index Map

New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway Project Index Map

Completed in 1940, the existing New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway project provides for a channel through the inlet and outer bar, a channel extending in a northwesterly direction from the inlet gorge to the Oyster Creek channel and through the latter channel to deep water in the bay, and the maintenance of a channel 8 feet deep and 200 feet wide to connect Barnegat Light Harbor with the main inlet channel. In 1991, new design deficiency measures were constructed including:  a new south jetty parallel to the existing north jetty, a navigation channel 300 feet wide to a depth of 10 feet below mean low water from the outer bar in the Atlantic Ocean to the north end of the existing sand dike in Barnegat Bay, and jetty sport fishing facilities on the new jetty.

Completed in 1940, the existing New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway project provides for a channel through the inlet and outer bar, a channel extending in a northwesterly direction from the inlet gorge to the Oyster Creek channel and through the latter channel to deep water in the bay, and the maintenance of a channel 8 feet deep and 200 feet wide to connect Barnegat Light Harbor with the main inlet channel. In 1991, new design deficiency measures were constructed including: a new south jetty parallel to the existing north jetty, a navigation channel 300 feet wide to a depth of 10 feet below mean low water from the outer bar in the Atlantic Ocean to the north end of the existing sand dike in Barnegat Bay, and jetty sport fishing facilities on the new jetty.

The location of the Cape May Canal as part of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway project. The 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 location of the Cape May Canal as part of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway project. The 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 location of the Point Pleasant Canal as part of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway project. The 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 location of the Point Pleasant Canal as part of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway project. The 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.

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 the coastal system and bolster system resilience. Dredged material from the NJIWW has 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 on NJDFW lands including Ring Island, Great Flats and Avalon. 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