DEP ISSUES NAVIGATIONAL ADVISORY AROUND
SHARK RIVER REEF
(04/29) TRENTON - The
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
is cautioning boaters, anglers and divers to navigate with
care around the Shark River Artificial Reef Site located
offshore of the Shark River Inlet, Monmouth County. The
area has been under construction for more than a year for
the creation of two undersea rock ridges that will provide
habitat for fish. The partnership project among the DEP
Division of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will
continue throughout 2004.
"With warmer weather approaching,
we could see more boaters, anglers, and divers travelling
through this high traffic area," said DEP Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell. "Because of the massive size and
density of the bedrock being excavated and brought into
the area, it is extremely important for the public to understand
the danger that exists near the project site."
For safety reasons all boats in this area
must give way to tugs towing barges of material to the site.
All anchored vessels in the line of transit should immediately
retrieve anchor and clear the area. Commercial fishermen
should not set fixed gear, such as lobster or fish pots
on the reef site during rock deployments because the gear
could be damaged.
During construction, tugs will be pulling
large barges of granite bedrock from New York Harbor to
the Shark River site depositing the rock at predetermined
locations. Boaters should keep in mind that when tied to
a barge, tugs have greatly reduced maneuvering ability.
To visualize the volume of material generated by this project,
imagine two lanes of the Garden State Parkway covered with
three feet of granite over the entire 170-mile length of
The cooperative goal is to create two massive
undersea ridges that function like traditional reef structures.
The creation of the undersea structure will influence the
entire water column with varied marine life communities
flourishing from sea floor to sea surface.
Adding rock to the ocean floor provides
much needed hard-structure habitat for fish, lobster and
other marine life. The rocky ridges will become attachment
surfaces for invertebrate marine life, such as mussels,
barnacles, sponges and anemones as well provide hiding places
for bottom-dwelling species like sea bass, blackfish, cod,
crab and lobster. The granite rock ridges will create productive
fishing grounds for centuries to come.
The Shark River Reef is located 16 nautical
miles offshore of Shark River Inlet. The DGPS coordinates
of the reef site corners are: