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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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Public Health
and Safety

Ecological Health

  Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring

About the Bureau

Under direction of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protectionís (NJDEP) Water Resource Management (WRM) and Division of Water Monitoring and Standards (WMS), the Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring (BMWM or the Bureau) manages several public health and safety related programs within NJís coastal waters. These coastal waters include ocean, estuaries, tidal rivers, and creeks within NJ jurisdiction. BMWMís core responsibilities focus on the sanitary harvest of shellfish by the shellfish industry so it can be safely consumed by the public. Through successful implementation of this program, BMWM protects public health, as well as the shellfish harvesting industry which is an important revenue source to the Stateís economy.

In addition, the Bureau administers additional programs that support its core responsibility of safe shellfish harvesting. These programs include pollution source track-downs to identify potential pollution sources, air craft remote sensing for detection of floatables affecting beaches, identification of potential Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS), debris removal from shoreline communities, and supporting WMS's Beaches Program.

BMWM also monitors to understand the ecological health of NJ marine waters. Through the Bureauís on-site laboratory facilities, an entire suite of nutrient analyses is performed to characterize marine waters throughout NJ. To supplement these laboratory analyses and to better understand NJ water quality dynamics, the Bureau has incorporated the use of real-time continuous data sensors on buoys and deployed an ocean glider. Both buoys and glider are equipped with real-time continuous sensors to collect vast amounts of data that are used to more accurately characterize NJ coastal waters. The combined data output from continuous sensor data, and BMWMís Bacteriological, Chemistry, and Microbial laboratory facilities, makes BMWM one of the largest generators of publicly available water quality data within the state.

Photo Credit: NJDEP

The Bureau successfully implements this wide-range of programs because it is uniquely represented by a diverse assortment of skillsets. The field staff, laboratory technicians, data managers, and assessment personnel form a collaborative unit with the capability to complete challenging projects from start to finish. Because of this reputation, BMWM provides analytical and technical support internally within NJDEP, externally to various government agencies, and academia for coastal water issues.

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Last Updated: February 21, 2023