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

Develop Biological Monitoring Plan Pre- and Post-Closure of Oyster Creek

In December 2019, Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (Oyster Creek) will be decommissioned, resulting in a significant change in both flow of water and water temperature in the areas directly influenced by the plant. Previous ecosystem modeling, performed by Rutgers University and United States Geological Survey, has demonstrated that the closure of Oyster Creek will cause a shift in the local ecosystem and could change the biological community structure, Various species of fish and shellfish will have different responses to the change in the local conditions caused by the removal of the thermal plume and change in flow regime. (Jensen et al, 2016).

Thus, a Pre- and Post-Closure Biological Monitoring Plan is to determine the impacts of the closure on the ecosystem. The data obtained will be used to determine the impact of the Oyster Creek closure on the Barnegat Bay ecosystem. The project will include collection of various trophic levels including fish, shellfish, benthic organisms, zooplankton, and phytoplankton, and will include five years of sampling: two years pre-closure (2018 and 2019), one year transitional (summer 2020), and two years after closure.

  • Action: Develop a comprehensive biological monitoring plan for Oyster Creek that will include collection of organisms from various trophic levels.
  • Lead: DEP
  • Partners: United States Geological Survey and Academia

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Last Updated: February 2, 2021