Cape May County Freeholder Marie Hayes and the Emergency Management Director Martin Pagliughi met with NJDEP Commissioner Robert Martin in Trenton on October 13 to discuss challenges facing local municipalities, marinas and related businesses regarding dredging.
During the meeting, Commissioner Martin and his staff accepted a report compiled by a working group chaired by Hayes and pledged cooperation to work through logistical and environmental issues that delay or prohibit dredging projects in the region.
“Commissioner Martin made it very clear to our working group that it is very important for municipalities, counties and stake holders to have a good, active plan with active permits to accomplish essential dredging operations in our back bays and marinas,” Hayes said.
“The Commissioner reviewed the report and stated that it is very helpful for his staff to develop common sense, science-based approaches to issues that can impede dredging projects in our county and throughout the state.”
With the advice and consent of Commissioner Martin, Hayes and Pagliughi created a Dredging Working Group in 2014 consisting of engineers, scientists, environmentalists and business stakeholders to discuss all of the issues that delay or prohibit back bay dredging projects in our coastal areas.
The final report was delivered during the meeting with Commissioner Martin and contains 21 recommendations to the NJDEP that address permitting, disposal of materials, and environmental regulations that in some cases make dredging projects impossible to implement.
Commissioner Martin promised a continued dialogue in his office and tasked NJDEP Assistant Commissioner Ginger Kopkash and her staff to assist with these efforts.
Another meeting will be held on Trenton with the NJDEP on December 10 to discuss solutions to various dredging issues.