The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has greatly extended the season when the dredging of shallow bay waters is permitted, Ocean City, NJ, said in their latest release.
NJDEP informed the city that existing timing restrictions on dredging activity are being changed.
A requirement for work to stop in November is being changed to March 1, allowing for an additional three to five months each year for residents and the city to clear clogged channels and boat slips.
At a town hall meeting, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian credited ongoing cooperation from NJDEP Office of Dredging and Sediment Technology for their work with consultants ACT Engineers to bring relief to residents, property owners, boaters and everybody who uses the bay for recreation.
“This is a big break for Ocean City and all the residents on the bay and in other shore towns,” Gillian said. “The extension of the dredge season not only benefits Ocean City but all shore communities dealing with silted waterways.”
It is estimated that five coastal counties account for $22 billion in tourism revenues and approximately 300,000 tourism jobs in Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean, Middlesex and Monmouth.
Ocean City has invested $20 million in a groundbreaking effort to find long-term solutions for maintaining waterways on the bay.
The short window between July 1 and November when dredging had previously been permitted proved to be a challenge for operations throughout the state, the city said.