Toms River officials attended a briefing with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to discuss the debris removal from waterways. Assistant NJDEP Commissioner Jane Kozinski presented information that included the contracts for debris removal, as well as all of the waterway areas that will be included in this monumental task.

 
Based on the advice from the Attorney General’s office, the NJDEP will remove debris from the "waters of the State" which will include lagoons, rivers, streams and the Barnegat Bay.  "This is an unprecedented effort on the part of the DEP," Mayor Thomas Kelaher stated. "In the past, the DEP didn’t acknowledge responsibility for the lagoons, so I'm pleased that our many lagoons will be included in the State's dredging project of debris removal."
 
Debris is defined to include anything that ended up in the waterways from Hurricane Sandy, inclusive of floating and submerged objects.  This will include boats, cars, parts of homes, contents of homes and businesses, structural debris and sand. 
  • The debris will be removed first and there will be a priority on debris that poses an imminent health and safety hazard.  The sand will be removed through dredging. The NJDEP has agreed to have the contractor pump the sand back on to the public beach areas and the private beach areas, where public easements exist.  Mayor Kelaher has advised the NJDEP that Toms River wants to participate to the maximum extent that it can in the sand recovery for their beaches.
  • The NJDOT is currently conducting soundings and underwater surveying to determine the extent of the debris and the extent of sand that needs to be removed. The FEMA standard is to measure the “eligible debris” to be removed by virtue of the greatest draft of the typical boat that utilizes the waterway, plus 2 feet at low tide.  This would appear, on the surface, to be a liberal interpretation which would result in the greatest amount of debris and sand being removed.  
  • The schedule in the contract will have a year duration. Governor Christie has set an ambitious goal to remove 75% of all debris by June 1, 2013.  
Mayor Kelaher is delighted with the clean up order and the action of the DEP because it will also permit safe recreational boating for his residents, as well as restoring the Barnegat Bay. As per Governor Chris Christie's directive, the DEP is set to award three contracts for removal of debris from waterways within the next week or so.  The State DEP has delineated 11 waterway zones and Toms River Township falls into zones 5 & 6, as illustrated on the attached map. (Click here for map)

 

 

 

 

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Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 728,
Toms River, New Jersey 08754-0728
Town Hall located at:
33 Washington Street
Toms River, New Jersey 08753
732-341-1000