Southern Ocean County area fishermen may finally be getting their wish for Little Egg Inlet dredging.

According to a report in The SandPaper the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is currently reviewing proposals for the work after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a dredging permit on November 6.

Earlier this year, NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin said called the need for dredging at Little Egg Inlet “critical” to the local fishing community.

“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,” Martin said.

The project will focus on shoaling on the ocean side of the inlet where an estimated 1 million to 1-1/2 million cubic yards of sand will be dredged to create a channel 25 feet below mean sea level. The Sandpaper reports that local officials are hoping to see the dredged sand used to replenish beaches on portions of Long Beach Island.

Farther to the south, Delaware Bayshore anglers get equally impressive news as the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Artificial Reef Program is scheduled to begin deploying material on the new Delaware Bay Reef site beginning the second week of December.

The reef site is approximately 1.13 square miles in area and located approximately 9.2 nautical miles southwest of the Maurice River, bearing 188 degrees off Cumberland County, NJ (coordinates of the reef boundaries).

The minimum vertical clearance is 15 feet below mean low water for all material placed on this site. A recent bathymetric survey was performed of the site and found depths ranging from 19 feet on the southwest corner to 35 feet midway between the northeast and southeast corners. This will result in material rising off the bottom from 4 feet to 20 feet respectively.

Any boaters/anglers active in the vicinity of the new reef site should be aware of the material being deployed and use caution in and around the reef area.

Delaware Bay Reef Corner Coordinates:
NW: 39 03.309′ x 075 04.595′
NE: 39 03.295′ x 075 03.506′
SE: 39 02.288′ x 075 03.520′
SW: 39 02.297′ x 075 04.606′