Clean Ocean Advocate, January 2005
Jennifer Samson, Ph.D., 732-872-0111, Science@ cleanoceanaction.org
Atlantic Highlands Marina to Dredge
COA submitted comments to NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) on the dredging of Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor. The borough proposes dredging ~42,000 cubic yards (CY) from the east end of the harbor, plus an additional undisclosed volume from the west end, with all dredged material placed in a Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) just east of the harbor. Dredging has begun on the west end and the remaining work is awaiting final permit approval. The borough is running against a January 1 deadline that prohibits dredging through May 31 to protect eggs and larvae of winter flounder.
COA is not against maintenance dredging, as it is necessary for safe navigation, but there are several concerns with this project. Sediment sampling data indicated Acute, Chronic and Human Health Surface Water Quality Criteria were exceeded for several contaminants, including mercury, lead and copper. NJDEP should therefore require all effluent be tested prior to discharge from the CDF to ensure water quality is not degraded. We also expressed concern with the capacity of the CDF. The project volume is 42,000+ CY and the capacity of the CDF is only ~45,000 CY. Also, the northern retaining wall is only 18 feet from the Mean High Water Line in some locations, raising concerns over its stability during a major storm event.
Port Jersey Dredging Project Continues
COA submitted comments to the US Armys Corp of Engineers (USACE) regarding the dredging of Contract Area 2A of the Port Jersey Channel to deepen and widen the existing non-federal 38’ channel to a depth of 41’ below mean low water. This is part of a larger project that will eventually deepen the channel to 50’ and generate a total of over 3.5 million cubic yards (CY) of dredged material. Contract Area 2A includes a proposal to place 95,000 CY of material at the Historic Area Remediation Site (HARS). Click here for our comments.