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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2006

 

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994
Darlene Yuhas
(609) 984-1795

DEP ISSUES NAVIGATIONAL ADVISORY AROUND SHARK RIVER REEF

(06/51) EDISON -- With construction of an undersea rock ridge set to begin Sept. 16, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today cautioned boaters, anglers and divers to navigate with care around the Shark River Reef, located 15.6 miles southeast of Manasquan Inlet, Ocean County.

“Safety on the water should always be on top of everyone’s mind. But it will be particularly important in this area during the coming weeks as we work to enhance New Jersey’s marine environment, our nationally recognized network of artificial reefs and the recreational opportunities they offer,” Commissioner Jackson said.

As part of the state’s Artificial Reef Program, administered by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, approximately 35,000 cubic yards of dredge rock, obtained from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be used to create the undersea rock ridge.

During construction, tugs continually will be pulling large barges of shale bedrock dredged from Howland Hook Marine Terminal to the Shark River Reef site and depositing the rock at a predetermined location. For safety reasons, boaters must constantly be aware of the reduced maneuverability of these tugs and allow them the right of way. 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.

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, and will provide hiding places for bottom-dwelling species such as sea bass, blackfish, crab and lobster. The shale rock ridges will create productive fishing grounds for generations to come.

The project is a partnership between DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It will continue through October.

The Differential Global Positioning System coordinates of the Shark River Reef Site corners are as follows:

         

NE

40 07.330’

73 41.080’

 

NW

40 07.330’

73 41.800’

 

SE

39 40.200’

73 41.080’

 

SW

40 06.200’

73 41.800’

Anglers and divers can obtain a chart of the rock deployment area by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Rock Chart
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
P.O. Box 418
Port Republic, NJ 08241

For more information on New Jersey's artificial reef program, visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/artreef.htm.

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Last Updated: September 14, 2006