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.
- 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.