The Arnone Report: Shark River Dredging To Resume, Freeholders Support Mayors’ and Assemblywoman Handlin’s Efforts With JCP&L
By Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
It’s finally here …summer has returned! I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having lately, and enjoying all that our beautiful Monmouth County has to offer – beaches, parks, lakes, rivers, boardwalks, lighthouses, museums, theaters, historical sites, restaurants and much more. Our tourist season is in full swing, and according to early estimates, we are paced to match or exceed last year’s numbers, providing economic stability here in our region.
Speaking of tourist season, I am happy to report that the dredging of the Shark River is set to restart in the next few weeks, getting us closer to increasing the recreational side of the Shark River corridor as well as restoring the channels for our commercial fishing industry. As you may know, the dredging had started late last fall and was halted on January 1, 2016, due to state regulations in place to protect spawning and the early life stages of winter flounder and anadromous fish. The dredging project is moving along nicely due to a coalition of State, County and local leaders that effectively advocated for the project, including Senator Jen Beck, Committeeman Randy Bishop, County of Monmouth, Board of Chosen Freeholders, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJ DOT) Office of Maritime Resources, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP), and the governing bodies of the participating municipalities including Neptune City, Neptune, Belmar, and Wall.
NJ DOT identified viable solutions that included using innovative technologies to remove approximately 102,000 cubic yards of sediment from the River comprised of sand and silt. The sediment will be hydraulically dredged and piped via a secure welded pipeline to the selected dewatering locations. The dewatered material will then be trucked to the Monmouth County Reclamation Center for beneficial use.
We are extremely pleased with the progress of the project thus far, and on behalf of my project partners and my fellow freeholders, I would like to thank our contractor Mobile Dredging and Pumping Co., of Chester, PA. Another thank you must go out to our friends at Shark River Clean Up Coalition for hosting “Dredgefest” at the Headliner this week as way to kick-off the next phase of the project.
I have heard from many constituents recently regarding their valid and realistic concerns on JCP&L’s Monmouth County Reliable Project. We hear you and have been in constant contact with the governing bodies of the affected communities. Myself and my fellow members of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, share the same concerns that the Mayors and governing bodies have with the installation of these large monopoles on New Jersey Transit property and the potential impacts they may have on these communities. We believe the lines would be much better served if they were buried, and urge Assemblywoman Handlin to use her authority over NJ Transit and the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to see that this is resolved in the best interest of our residents and affected communities.
Please feel free to continue to contact my office with your concerns on these important issues or any others you may have concerning the County.
Thank you for your support!
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone can be reached at [email protected]