Army Corps Still Reviewing DEP Permit Application for Little Egg Inlet Dredging

May 10, 2017

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently reviewing the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection’s permit application for a project to clear dangerous shoals from Little Egg Inlet. The DEP’s Division of Coastal Engineering is aiming to expedite dredging so that the boat thoroughfare is more easily navigable.

“Our public notice was issued April 13 for a 30-day public comment period,” Steve Rochette, spokesman for the Army Corps, said Tuesday. “In addition, we have ongoing consultations and coordination with environmental resource agencies.

“We don’t have an estimate of when we will reach a permit decision at this time,” he added.

According to DEP press officer Lawrence Hajna, “Bids are tentatively scheduled to be accepted on May 17, but we need to have the Corps permit before we can proceed.

“The earliest start date (for the project) is July 1.”

At a recent Long Beach Township meeting, commissioners reiterated that the dredging could begin as early as July 1, but they believe it will more likely start in mid-September.

The project will focus on shoaling on the ocean side of the inlet. An estimated 1 to 1.5 million cubic yards of sand will be dredged to create a channel 25 feet below mean sea level, and the dredged sand will then be used to replenish beaches on portions of southern LBI.

“This situation has become critical so we are moving forward, using state money, to dredge the channel and make it safe again for everyone who needs this vital access for fishing and recreation,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said earlier this year.

According to the DEP, the project is designed to have negligible to no impact on the nearby Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge or migrations of fish.  —J.K.-H.

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