Double Creek Inlet Channel closed because of navigation hazards in Barnegat Bay, Ocean County
Boaters directed to use
Oyster Creek Channel to access Barnegat Bay
(Trenton) – The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) today announced that navigational buoys in the Double Creek Inlet Channel in Barnegat Bay, Ocean County, have been removed due to severe post-Superstorm Sandy shoaling in the channel that has created a severe navigation hazard and an unsafe channel condition.
All boaters should use the Federal Oyster Creek Channel (bouy markers #35 to #40) as the primary entrance into Barnegat Bay, although extreme shifting sediment is affecting the entirety of the Bay. Boaters also may reference U.S. Coast Pilot #3 for additional information on the shifting sediments in the area. The Double Creek Inlet Channel remains marked from the inlet side to the fishing grounds (old buoy set 15 and 16) to allow boaters to fish the area.
In March, NJDOT announced the start of a multi-year, multi-million dollar State Channel Dredging Program that will begin to return New Jersey’s waterways affected by Superstorm Sandy to a state of good repair.
As part of the planning and engineering for the expected dredging of the Double Creek Channel later this year, the NJDOT Office of Maritime Resources (OMR) found extreme siltation and shifting sediments were severely affecting management efforts in the inlet area.
To address the critical situation, the Department is working with the State Police Marine Services Bureau, Island Beach State Park officials and State and Federal agencies to determine what priority dredging can and should take place as soon as possible. Dredge material placement in the area is restricted to protect important bird nesting habitats. The priority dredging work is expected to be done in phases.
To address post-Sandy dredging needs, NJDOT is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Engineer Research and Development Center to coordinate inlet management and determine a best channel and dredged material management strategy. NJDOT has enlisted the assistance of the Richard Stockton College Coastal Research Center to provide expert guidance and monitoring of sand shifting in the inlet area.