CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: NJ-2
APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General
BUSINESS PROGRAM: Navigation
DESCRIPTION: Project provides for a channel 8 ft deep through the inlet and 10 ft deep through the outer bar, a channel of suitable hydraulic characteristics extending in a northwesterly direction from the inlet gorge to Oyster Creek channel and through the latter channel to deep water in the bay, and the maintenance of a channel 8 ft deep and 200 ft wide to connect Barnegat Light Harbor with the main inlet channel. Project has two rubble-mound jetties. The project length is about 4.5 miles as described above. It was originally completed in 1940, but the Supplemental Appropriation Act of 1985 contained language stating that the existing project had not worked as projected and, in fact, created a hazard to navigation. As a result, the following administratively approved modifications were constructed in 1991 as design deficiency measures: a new south jetty 4,270 feet in length along an alignment generally 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. Funds are used for channel surveys and maintenance dredging.
PROJECT GOALS: The purpose of this project provides for a channel through the inlet and through the outer bar, a channel of suitable hydraulic characteristics extending in a northwesterly direction from the gorge in the inlet to Oyster Creek channel and through the latter channel to deep water in the bay, and the maintenance of a channel to connect Barnegat Light Harbor with the main inlet channel. The project also provides for protecting the inlet channel with two converging stone jetties.
The project requires dredging to provide a safe, reliable navigation channel for a critical refuge between the Atlantic Ocean and the bay. The US Coast Guard designates this site as a “Surf Station” due to the hazardous inlet and requires a safe channel to fulfill their Homeland Security mission and critical life safety, search and rescue operations. The project is critical to a large fishing fleet consisting of full-time commercial, charter and recreational vessels that contribute to the economic value of the nation and an annual direct fish value of over $25M/year (NMFS, 2017).