Reduce Water Craft Impacts
Many areas of Barnegat Bay are negatively affected by boating; boating discourages bird nesting and foraging, disrupts aquatic habitats, and can cause propeller scarring of submerged aquatic vegetation. A 2016 a Rutgers University report funded by DEP found that, "Island Beach South Ecologically Sensitive Area, followed by Island Beach 19 North were identified as major hotspots of boat scarring, accounting for over 76% of the boat scarring in Barnegat Bay."
In early 2012, sixteen Ecologically Sensitive Areas were identified and targeted for Green Boater practices. Subsequently, a map showing these Ecologically Sensitive Areas was developed for boaters which highlighted green boating practices that reduce the impact of boats and personal watercraft in Ecologically Sensitive Areas. Additionally, a mobile friendly "app" was created with an interactive map to aid boaters in locating the Ecologically Sensitive Areas.
- Actions: Continue the distribution of Green Boater education materials to marinas and public access areas along Barnegat Bay and update mobile app as needed.
- Lead: DEP – Division of Fish and Wildlife, Division of Water Monitoring and Standards, and Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health
- Partners: Marine Trades Association, Personal Watercraft Industry, Marine Fisheries Council, ReClam the Bay, Friends of Island Beach State Park, Ocean County, Save Barnegat Bay, Littoral Society