The Jersey Shoreline: Sept. 7
Aquaculture & Commercial Fishing
Prodigy to pariah: N.J. oysterman’s bizarre battle with the state — Marc Zitter, an oyster farmer in Cape May County, filed a lawsuit against state Department of Environmental Protection employees after illegal harvesting charges against him were dropped. Two years ago, conservation officers seized Zitter’s boat, ATV and tens of thousands of dollars in gear, loaded Zitter’s 600,000-plus oysters into pickup trucks, hauled them on a boat to the middle of Delaware Bay and dumped them overboard, basket by basket. Then, Zitter was charged with the harvesting from prohibited waters and arrested outside his home. He’s suing for $3 million in damages to his business. Read more at NJ.com.
Lawmakers promote measures to enhance NJ oyster farming— Proposed legislation aims to increase the growth of New Jersey’s aquaculture industry and boost oyster production. Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Atlantic, and Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, D-Cape May, would consolidate the review process for obtaining permits for aquaculture projects. That industry in New Jersey is now regulated by about a dozen agencies with different requirements, Andrzejczak said. Read more at Newsworks.org.
NJDOT overseeing North Wildwood dredging project — An estimated 43,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged from the Beach Creek channel and North Wildwood inlet, onto the front beach of North Wildwood, south of 2nd Avenue and John F. Kennedy Boulevard. Read more at The Press of Atlantic City.
Dredge off the job in Sea Isle for engine repairs — For the second time since the dredge Illinois arrived in local waters, it has been forced to halt work on a beach fill project due to problems with its cutter head engine. Read more at the Press of Atlantic City.
Views from above: hyperspectral images used to monitor Meadowlands plants — Red ballons floating 150 to 300 feet above the Meadowslands are equipped with a 10-megapixel Canon Power Shot G11 camera to capture high-resolution photos of the ground below. These tethered balloons are part of MERI’s efforts to track plant species throughout the Meadowlands through the use of hyperspectral images, which capture 120 different kinds of light reflected from the surface by plants. Read more at the South Bergenite.
State to dredge three bay channels near Barnegat Inlet — The state Department of Transportation has received permission to dredge three Barnegat Bay channels that lead to the Barnegat Inlet. The three channels, which are important navigational linkages to the busy Barnegat Inlet, have suffered from severe shoaling since Superstorm Sandy. Read more at Newsworks.org.
Community Resilience & Climate Adaptation
Deadline nears to reopen Superstorm Sandy claims — With a mid-September deadline fast approaching, victims of Superstorm Sandy who believe they were underpaid by their flood insurance companies are running out of time to reopen their claims. Read more at the Record.
Today is the peak of hurricane season, but all is mainly quiet — We have had eight storms, but most of them have been tropical storms and not hurricanes, and most of them have been duds. The majority of those storms have fizzled, succumbing to the hostile conditions in the atmosphere over the Atlantic for much of the summer that are not conducive for hurricane development. Read more at the Press of Atlantic City.
El Nino could bring more ‘nuisance flooding’ to North Jersey — A strong El Nino weather pattern, combined with rising sea levels, should generate even more tidal flooding than usual over the next several months in low-lying areas of coastal New Jersey, according to a new federal study released Wednesday. Read more at the Record.
Wetland loss the issue in Delaware Bay — Sea level rise is expected to inundate salt marshes along the Delaware and, so far, the focus has been on loss of land, habitat, flooding and shoreline erosion. But one of the primary values of these wetlands is that dozens of juvenile fish species grow and mature along the fringed marsh edges. Read more at the News Journal.
EXPLAINER: PATCHWORK OF LAWS KEEP COASTAL DEVELOPMENT IN CHECK — Amid the growing desire to live, work, and vacation near the water’s edge, state and federal authorities have created a multitude of regulations to ensure that unfettered development doesn’t totally wreck the environment and put coastal residents in harm’s way during major storm. Read more at NJSpotlight.org.
Bottlenose dolphins rebound in South Jersey after virus deaths — Bottlenose dolphins in South Jersey have recovered from a deadly virus that led to mass die-offs two years ago. Read more at the Press of Atlantic City.
Marine Recreation & Jersey Shore Tourism
South Jersey businesses say this was the best summer since before Sandy — Businesses in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties say this summer was the best season they’ve witnessed since before Hurricane Sandy made landfall in October 2012. Read more at the Press of Atlantic City.
End of Labor Day weekend ushers in South Jersey’s ‘local summer’ — As the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day has a special significance to South Jerseyans. It’s the last few hours to catch a wave, perfect a tan or take a little time to relax. For others, summer’s end is also an end to the non-local beach lovers, the tourists, affectionately or not called the shoobies. Read more in the Press of Atlantic City.
Delaware regional fishing report — Shore fishermen in the lower bay welcomed the early re-opening of the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier last weekend and wasted little time getting lines back in the water. Reports from the pier over the first few days listed a variety of fish, including croaker, spot, trout, snapper bluefish, porgies and flounder, along with at least one small cobia. Read more at the News Journal.
Prodigious fisherman looks out for Barnegat Bay — Wutkowski is a locally famous striped bass fisherman, with a long history of deep-sea trophy fish to boot; the money he got from a prize tuna paid for his wife’s car. Now 71, and more than 20 years removed from his retirement as president of a northern New Jersey construction company, Wutkowski is still out on the water, gently urging anyone he sees breaking the rules or acting irresponsibly to do what’s right. Read more at Philly.com via the Associated Press.
Water Resources & Coastal Access
How clean are New Jersey’s beaches? — Not a single Cape May County beach has been closed this summer due to high bacteria counts. Testing showed the precautionary closing in Ocean City on July 30 did not include any pollution, since the sewage never made it to the water. Read more at the Press of Atlantic City.
Water Still Being Pumped Into Barnegat Bay From Route 35 Project Prompts Environmental Fears — A storm sewer pump, installed after Hurricane Sandy and exempt from environmental impact reports, is continuously pumping fresh ground water into Barnegat Bay causing concern among, resident, environmentalist and officials. Read more at Shorebeat.com.
Sediment flow into water presents ‘serious consequences’ to Barnegat Bay health, group says — Newly released aerial images of sediment flow into the Barnegat Bay shows that thebayshore continues to experience adverse impacts from the Route 35 drainage project, an Ocean County environmental advocacy group said today. Read more at Newsworks.org.
The Jersey Shoreline is a weekly newsletter from New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium that scours the Garden State’s press and broadcasters for reports on several key topics related to the consortium’s research and research extension.
The consortium employs five research extension agents and maintains an expertise database of marine science researchers, who can be called upon to offer their insights for reporters covering New Jersey’s coastal environments.