PENN Slammer III Spinning
Go To The Homepage
FISHING REPORTS
Fishing News

NJDEP OFFERS BOATING TIPS TO PROTECT BARNEGAT BAY

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is urging boaters and users of personal watercraft to exercise care to reduce damage to Barnegat Bay’s salt marshes and sea grass beds this summer.
By NJDEP, Division of Fish and Wildlife  |  June 18, 2018
NJDEP OFFERS BOATING TIPS TO PROTECT BARNEGAT BAY
Ol' Barney stands as a beacon at the inlet entrance to Barnegat Bay, what NJDEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe describes as an "ecological treasure that provides many opportunities for recreation and relaxation."

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is urging boaters and users of personal watercraft to exercise care to reduce damage to Barnegat Bay’s salt marshes and sea grass beds this summer.

“Barnegat Bay is an ecological treasure that provides many opportunities for recreation and relaxation,” said NJDEP Acting Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “We remind boaters and users of personal watercraft to treat the bay with extra care so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of this special place and the amazing variety of wildlife it supports.”

Barnegat Bay is extremely popular among boaters and users of personal watercraft. The bay is also very popular for fishing, crabbing, clamming, kayaking and wildlife watching. But according to NJDEP, being narrow and shallow also makes it susceptible to ecological damage caused by boat wakes and propellers, as well as jet-wash from personal watercraft. Operated at high speeds in ecologically sensitive areas, boats and personal watercraft can erode salt marsh banks, damage shellfish beds, and harm habitats used by birds such as herons, terns and oystercatchers. They also can damage sea grass beds that provide nursery, shelter and feeding areas for fish and wildlife.

“The recreational boating industry depends heavily on clean water and a healthy boating environment,” said Melissa Danko, Executive Director of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey. “Everyone who enjoys our beautiful waterways must work together to protect and preserve these natural resources. As an industry, we not only develop new technologies and clean boating practices, but we provide the information, resources and infrastructure to help boaters do their part to protect the environment and reduce impacts. Together, we can all protect our natural resources for this generation and generations to come.”

“Now that the weather is warming up, it’s a great time to be out on the bay in a boat, whether you’re sailing, fishing, kayaking, or just enjoying the water and the scenery,” said Stan Hales, Executive Director of the nonprofit Barnegat Bay Partnership. “With nearly one in three boaters statewide saying they use Barnegat Bay, we encourage everyone to be a safe and responsible boater.”

The NJDEP has designated 16 Ecologically Sensitive Areas to protect natural resources, such as sea grass beds, wildlife habitats and shellfish areas. In addition, the Barnegat Bay boater map provides locations for marinas, sewage pump-out facilities, bait-and-tackle shops, launches and ramps, restrooms and places to dispose trash.

The NJDEP offers the following guidelines for boating in Barnegat Bay, as well as for other estuaries and coastal waterways:

  • Safe Boating in Barnegat Bay Use marked navigational channels for travel.
  • Stay out of restricted areas set aside for wildlife. Do not harass nesting birds and other animals.
  • Use buoys for mooring chains and lines to avoid damage to seagrass and shellfish beds.
  • Use pump-out boats and facilities. Do not discharge wastewater holding tanks into open water.
  • Maintain a 100-foot distance from natural shorelines and ecologically sensitive areas.
  • Minimize wakes in shallow areas to reduce erosion and harm to aquatic plants and animals.
  • Appreciate wildlife from a distance.
  • Reduce air pollution by cutting the engine and not idling in open water.
  • Keep trash, recyclables, hooks and lures in secure containers and dispose of them properly.
  • Recycle used monofilament fishing lines instead of throwing them away.
  • Thoroughly clean boats, personal watercraft and equipment when transferring them between waterways to avoid the possibility of spreading invasive aquatic species.
  • Keep engines leak-free and well-tuned to minimize the discharge of fuel and oil. Use a pillow or oil absorbent pad in the bilge to soak up any spilled oil.

A study by the University of Delaware for the Barnegat Bay Partnership estimates that the bay’s watershed and activities related to natural resources contribute more than $4 billion to the state’s economy each year, either directly or indirectly supporting more than 60,000 jobs.

View Barnegat Bay boater's map at www.nj.gov/dep/barnegatbay/plan-watercraft-map.htm

Explore Product Partners: