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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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Phase Two: Moving Science into Action

Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is the maximum amount of a pollutant from all contributing sources that a waterbody can assimilate and remain nonimpaired. As noted, a relationship has been established which indicates that as total nitrogen concentrations increase certain sensitive benthic macroinvertebrate organisms are lost (Taghon, et al., 2016). Modeling work establishes a correlation between the contributing loading from all sources and the existing nutrient concentrations in the bay. The results from this work will be used to establish TMDL reduction targets to ensure total nitrogen concentrations are at appropriate levels, thereby protecting sensitive species.

A TMDL would require load reductions from within the watershed and specific tributaries contributing to those portions of the bay not meeting the water quality targets. Reductions would be achieved through regional and local actions including additional measures to be implemented through New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System municipal and industrial stormwater permits in the contributing watershed.

Potential TMDL Municipalities

Based on current monitoring and modeling information, potentially 18 of the 37 municipalities in the Barnegat Bay watershed could be affected by a TMDL. These municipalities are:

  • Barnegat Township
  • Beachwood Borough
  • Berkeley Township
  • Brick Township
  • Freehold Township
  • Howell Township
  • Island Heights Borough
  • Jackson Township
  • Lacey Township
  • Lakehurst Borough
  • Lakewood Township
  • Manchester Township
  • Ocean Gate Borough
  • Ocean Township
  • Pine Beach Borough
  • Point Pleasant Township
  • South Towns River Borough
  • Toms River Township
  • Action: Continue the development of a targeted nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load
  • Lead: DEP Division of Water Monitoring and Standards and Division of Water Quality, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and United States Geological Survey
  • Partners: Municipal stakeholders, Barnegat Bay stakeholders

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Last Updated: February 2, 2021