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Public Health
and Safety

Ecological Health

  Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring

AONorthCent is an ocean shellfish growing area that encompasses 18 miles of coastline from Bayhead in the south to Monmouth Beach in the north. This growing area then extends eastward from that coastline into the Atlantic Ocean for three miles.

A number of coastal towns can be found along the shoreline of shellfish growing area AONorthCent. Generally, these are seasonal communities with larger populations prevalent in warmer months. Although generally residential, commerce in the communities along this coastal sector of the State increases when comparing it to coastal locations to the south.

The discharge pipes and outfalls of six wastewater treatment facilities are located within AONorthCent. Wastewater treatment plant outfalls require the designation of safety zones or Prohibited areas that act as buffers for dilution. Having the dilution area provided by the buffers satisfies a National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) requirement, and supports public health and safety.

AONorthCent shellfish growing waters receive input from the Manasquan and Shark Rivers along with Poplar Brook and Whale Pond Brook (indirectly feeds into Lake Takanassee, which has an ocean outfall). There are a number of stormwater outfalls within those water sources and stormwater outfalls exist within various inshore lakes and ponds that empty into the waters of this growing area, and along the AONorthCent shoreline. Stormwater inputs from these outfalls, lakes, brooks, and rivers have generally been diluted before they meet and mix with AONorthCent shellfish growing waters.

AONorthCent Shellfish Classification

Click map to enlarge

Status: In total, AONorthCent is currently comprised of 46,664 shellfish growing waters acres. This acreage is comprised of 31,985 acres of Approved waters or 68.54 % is Approved for shellfishing and 14,679 acres or 31.46 % are designated as Prohibited (no shellfishing allowed).

Most recent Reappraisal Report

Most recent Sanitary Survey Report

AONorthCent Photo AONorthCent Photo AONorthCent Photo AONorthCent Photo

Photo Credit: NJDEP

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Last Updated: November 28, 2022