US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center Website

New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway

Published March 13, 2020
New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway Project Index Map

New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway Project Index Map

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.

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 Dredge Fullerton, owned and operated by Barnegat Bay Dredging Company, conducts dredging in the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway near Stone Harbor, NJ in 2019 as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. The sediment was placed to create habitat on marshland owned by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The Dredge Fullerton, owned and operated by Barnegat Bay Dredging Company, conducts dredging in the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway near Stone Harbor, NJ in December 2018 as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. The sediment was placed to create habitat on marshland owned by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractor Barnegat Bay Dredging Company completed a dredging and habitat creation project near Stone Harbor, N.J. in December of 2018. Work involved dredging a portion of the federal channel of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and beneficially using the material to create habitat on marshland owned by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife. The Wetlands Institute is conducting ecological monitoring of the site.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractor Barnegat Bay Dredging Company completed a dredging and habitat creation project near Stone Harbor, N.J. in December of 2018. Work involved dredging a portion of the federal channel of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and beneficially using the material to create habitat on marshland owned by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife. The Wetlands Institute is conducting ecological monitoring of the site.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractor Barnegat Bay Dredging Company completed a dredging and habitat creation project near Stone Harbor, N.J. in December of 2018. Work involved dredging a portion of the federal channel of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and beneficially using the material to create habitat on marshland owned by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife. The Wetlands Institute is conducting ecological monitoring of the site.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractor Barnegat Bay Dredging Company completed a dredging and habitat creation project near Stone Harbor, N.J. in December of 2018. Work involved dredging a portion of the federal channel of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and beneficially using the material to create habitat on marshland owned by the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife. The Wetlands Institute is conducting ecological monitoring of the site.

Contractors plant a section of Mordecai Island that had previously been restored with dredged material. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Philadelphia District and its contractor removed critical shoals from the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and used the material to restore a portion of Mordecai Island marshland. The island serves two important functions within Barnegat Bay: it provides habitat for wildlife and augments overall coastal resiliency for the backbay communities of Long Beach Island.

Contractors plant a section of Mordecai Island that had previously been restored with dredged material. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Philadelphia District and its contractor removed critical shoals from the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and used the material to restore a portion of Mordecai Island marshland. The island serves two important functions within Barnegat Bay: it provides habitat for wildlife and augments overall coastal resiliency for the backbay communities of Long Beach Island.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Philadelphia District completed dredging and placement operations in 2015 and again in 2018 at Mordecai Island near Long Beach Island, N.J. USACE worked with the state and several non-profit organizations to dredge material from the federal channel of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and beneficially use it to restore sections of the marsh.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Philadelphia District completed dredging and placement operations in 2015 and again in 2018 at Mordecai Island near Long Beach Island, N.J. USACE worked with the state and several non-profit organizations to dredge material from the federal channel of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway and beneficially use it to restore sections of the marsh.

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