Quick action by Pt. Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid and Congressman Chris Smith will ensure that the Manasquan Inlet remains navigable for commercial and recreational marine traffic this summer.
Unexpected shoaling that threatens to block marine traffic has developed in the inlet since January when the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers performed their regularly scheduled survey.
Mayor Reid brought the situation to Congressman Smith attention on April 28. Smith immediately contacted the USACE who responded by preforming an emergency channel depth survey on May 2. The survey confirmed the danger to the inlet’s passage which would have had a devastating impact on the Jersey Shore economy.
On Friday, Congressman Smith and Mayor Reid met at the inlet with other local officials and representatives of the marine and fishing industries to announce that the USACE will perform an emergency 48 hour clean up dredge in mid-June, in addition to their regularly scheduled maintenance of the channel in late July.
“Our regional economy—commercial fishing, recreational fishing, boating and summer tourism, AND all the jobs these activities generate—depends upon the health and safety of the Manasquan Inlet,” said Smith, NJ-4, who represents several shore communities in Ocean and Monmouth counties. “I am grateful that the Mayor brought this potentially devastating problem to the fore and appreciate that the Army Corps responded with a fact-finding survey and a critical decision to dredge as soon as possible.”
“This emergency dredging the Army Corps is scheduling for mid-June will likely not remove the entire shoal, but it will help to greatly alleviate any navigation issue until the maintenance dredging occurs in July,”
“So, from our standpoint, from an industry standpoint—both as Marine Trades Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, United Boatmen, all of the entities that represent people who utilize this inlet, and then the general public—can’t thank the Congressman enough nor the Mayor enough. This is a big, big deal,” Ray Bogan, legal counsel for the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Recreational Fishing Alliance, and United Boatmen of New Jersey.
“We are grateful that the Congressman stepped in proactively on this issue,” said Mayor Reid. “The commercial and recreational fishing industries in Point Pleasant Beach and the surrounding communities generate millions of dollars of revenue annually, employing hundreds of area residents.”
Reid added, “Assuring that the Manasquan inlet remains one of the safest and most navigable waterways in New Jersey is critical to the survival of our fishing fleet and the people and businesses which serve it.”