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2/2/2018

Barnegat Bay Restoration

The Barnegat Bay/Little Egg Harbor (BB/LEH) estuary is suffering from eutrophication due to the over-enrichment of nutrients from watershed sources as well as atmospheric sources. Impacts to BB/LEH include reduced submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), algae blooms, infestations by parasitic epiphytes, loss or drastic deterioration of shellfish populations, and alteration of the Bay’s fish communities.

Image of Barnegat Bay salt marsh at Cattus Island Park[+ ZOOM] Barnegat Bay salt marsh at Cattus Island Park © PPA

The number one cause of pollution in New Jersey's waterways is phosphorus and nitrogen, two substances found in inorganic fertilizers that run off lawns with stormwater. Fertilizer runoff is not only destroying important water resources, right now it is literally killing Barnegat Bay, one of the state's most important estuaries, ecosystems, and watersheds.

This comes at tremendous public health, environmental and economic costs from loss of shellfish, jellyfish and algae explosions, fish kills, and increased water treatment and rates - all of which damage New Jersey's multi-billion dollar tourism and fishing industries.

This Star-Ledger article and video have more information about this issue and these possible legislative initiatives.

PPA, American Littoral Society, Clean Ocean Action, and Save Barnegat Bay developed a petition to push the Governor and NJDEP to declare the Bay impaired (sick) from the non-point pollution. This is a critical step for restoring the Bay to health. Please share with others and sign here.

Barnegat Bay Legislation

Barnegat Bay succeeded in winning passage of four bills in 2010. The primary sponsors, Senator Bob Smith and Assemblyman John McKeon, crafted bills proposed by the conservationcommunity that will provide a new measure of protection for the waters of Barnegat Bay and throughout the State.

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How To Protect Barnegat Bay

The Barnegat Bay Watershed is a 660 square mile area encompassing all of the land and water in Ocean County, as well as parts of Monmouth County.

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Governor Christie's Barnegat Bay Plan

Governor Chris Christie issued a 10 point plan for restoring Barnegat Bay in January 2011. After over three years, the Governor and NJDEP have made little progress on a number of these strategies. PPA, American Littoral Society, Save Barnegat Bay, and Clean Ocean Action developed a score card so the public can better understand what has happened since the release of the plan in 2011. You can also read comments by the groups in our press release.

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