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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2013

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION GEARS UP FOR BUSY RECREATIONAL FISHING AND BOATING SEASON ALONG THE JERSEY SHORE; LAST OF RECREATIONAL USE ADVISORIES LIFTED FOR RARITAN BAY

(13/P34) TRENTON – With recreational fishing and boating season getting into gear, the Christie Administration today released a “Jersey Shore Open for Boating” fact sheet and flier to educate the public on having a safe time on the water.

“Governor Christie and I are committed to ensuring that our coastal communities are open for tourism and recreation this season after all our state has been through because of Superstorm Sandy,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin.

“We have come a long way. Marinas and charter fishing operations are gearing up for the season , and water quality is excellent,” Commissioner Martin said. “We want everyone to know that New Jersey’s waterways are open for your enjoyment. We just ask you to use common sense and caution as cleanup continues.”

“The waterways in some areas may be very different than before Superstorm Sandy, and boaters need to be aware of obstacles and adjust their speed accordingly for safety,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  "Everyone is reminded to be mindful of their surroundings and always follow commonsense measures, such as wearing personal flotation devices."

“The companies cleaning up the coast are doing a great job.  The Governor is on top of it,” said Fred Brueggemann, incoming president of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey.  “We know that  Barnegat Bay has been a priority of his since he took office long before the storm.  We look forward to working with the DEP and DOT to ensure a wonderful boating season.”

The DEP continues to monitor water quality along the entire coastline, with all test results meeting recreational use standards.   The DEP recently lifted the recreational fishing and boating advisory in place for Raritan Bay since Superstorm Sandy hit at the end of October.  As a result, all recreational use advisories have now been lifted across the state.

The DEP will continue to work with the New Jersey Department of Health as well as county and local health agencies to ensure protection of water quality and the safety of the public now and into the summer season. Recreational bathing beaches will be thoroughly monitored, with any closings posted on the DEP’s website at www.njbeaches.org

State contractors under the direction of the DEP have been focusing on removing debris from bays, channels, rivers, inlets and other coastal waters since the beginning of March, removing pieces of structures, docks, bulkheads, boats, and cars. Priority is being given to areas that pose a threat to public safety and the environment or impede navigation.

The DEP is working with the NJ Department of Transportation, the Marine Services Bureau of the State Police, the U.S.  Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and municipalities to assess boating safety as cleanup progresses.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has been doing sonar surveys and marking areas where debris is to be removed from state navigation channels. The Army Corps of Engineers has also been working on clearing the Intracoastal Waterway of debris.

 “Our focus during waterway debris removal remains on public safety,” Commissioner Martin said. “While this work is ongoing, it is imperative that boaters be particularly attentive while out on the water.”

Boaters should travel at slower speeds, always wear personal flotation devices and stay tuned to Channel 16 for public safety alerts. They are advised that some navigation channels may have shifted or become shoaled. Anyone observing floating or submerged debris should report this to the DEP at 1-877-WARNDEP.

To view the flier and fact sheet visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/docs/waterways-open-boater-flyer.pdf and http://www.nj.gov/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/docs/faq-boaters.pdf.

For more information on the waterway debris removal effort, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/wwdebris.htm . Follow on Twitter: @NJBeachReport.

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Last Updated: April 10, 2013