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There is a debate going on about Barnegat Bay in NJ, and whether eutrophication, specifically nitrogen, is causing algal blooms and increased plant growth, which are ostensibly causing documented secondary detrimental side effects (i.e., anoxia, loss of submerged aquatic vegetation, increase in jelly fish, decreases in fish and crab populations, etc).

Barnegat Bay InletThe debate revolves around the fact that Barnegat Bay has historically been poorly drained and that what we may see as current eutrophication affects is only a part of natural conditions exacerbated by current nitrogen loading. In addition, there are negative human affects coming from other stressors such as increased boat and Jet Ski traffic, bulkhead increases, water intake impacts on fisheries from the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, and the loss of freshwater flows due to regionalization of upstream river sewerage treatment plants and their loss through ocean outfalls.

To educate and inform departmental staff to the technical aspects of this situation, the NJDEP Office of Science hosted an in-house seminar on July 14, 2010 in the NJDEP Public Hearing Room, Trenton. The goal of the seminar was to inventory the scientific work done to date related to the health of Barnegat Bay. The focus of this workshop was to review the science including land use trends, hydrology, biology, ongoing NJDEP research and monitoring, as well as a background review of the biology behind Oyster Creek’s NJPDES permit. Presenters included Dr. Richard Lathrop (Rutgers), Dr. Robert Nicholson (USGS), Dr. Michael Kennish (Rutgers), Bob Connell (NJDEP), Susan Rosenwinkel (NJDEP) and Dr. James Vasslides (Barnegat Bay Partnership). Their presentations can be accessed at the links below:


Contact: Thomas Belton thomas.belton@dep.nj.gov

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Seminar Presentations
Each presentation is available below in PDF format. To view presentations, just click on the presenter's name


text bulletThomas Belton (DEP) Introduction to Workshop

text bulletRichard Lathrop (Rutgers) Land Use Trends

text bulletRobert Nicholson (USGS) Hydrology

text bulletMichael Kennish (Rutgers) Biology

text bulletRobert Connell (DEP) NJDEP Research and Monitoring

text bulletSusan Rosenwinkel (DEP) Background on Oyster Creek NJPDES Permit

text bulletJames Vasslides (BBP) National Estuary Program Ongoing Research


Related Links

Office of Science - Coastal Research

This web page provides links to research topics such as Brown Tide, Pfisteria research, Barnegat Bay hydrographic study, mercury concentration in fish from New Jersey waterways, perceived impacts of fish consumption advisories and the New Jersey coast.

Office of Science
Dr. Gary A. Buchanan, Manager
Mailing Address:
Mail code 428-01, P.O. Box 420
P.O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 0862

Phone: (609) 984-6070
Fax: (609) 292-7340


For Information regarding this site, please contact Terri Tucker.


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Last Updated: June 11, 2014