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.
One of the best ways to mobilize the cleanup of Barnegat Bay is to declare the Bay impaired which will trigger the legal requirements under the Clean Water Act to develop a plan for limiting pollution and reversing the decline in the Bay's health. We are asking people to sign a petition directed to the Governor requesting that the impairment designtion is made immediately. You can sign here.
Governor Christie’s 10 Point Plan to Clean Up the Bay is a good first step towards restoring the Bay by recognizing the Bay and its watershed as an integral whole.
1)The Plan contains some good first steps towards restoring the Bay.
2)The Plan shows a recognition that government – and citizens – must see the Bay and its watershed as an integral whole if the Bay’s ecological problems are going to be solved. We cannot continue leaving this issue to individual municipal governments, the Pinelands, and CAFRA, each doing its own thing for its own reasons.
3)The Governor commits to funding the repair and retrofit of failing stormwater systems, of land acquisition, and of planning work.
4)The Governor states his support for important statewide legislation on lawn fertilizers and soil restoration.
5)The Plan says the state will support and participate in education efforts aimed at showing the public how to reduce nutrient contamination of the Bay.
6)The Plan commits to protecting more sensitive areas from harm by boats and personal water craft.
The plan still leaves some concerns.
Some of the problems with Christie’s plan include:
1) The Plan does not directly address the need to stop developing natural areas in the watershed;
2) The Plan does not specify the features of a Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) that DEP is supposed to create for the watershed;
3) The Plan does not commit to the creation of a numerical standard for total maximum daily load (TMDL) of nutrients;
4) The Plan does not require the installation of cooling towers at Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station before the closure in 2019;
5) The Plan does not reference Low Impact Development (LID) techniques as a tool to design developments; and
6) The Plan encourages more research without identifying funding.