The Manasquan Ridge – Essential Fish Habitat or Common Borrow, and at what cost?

Beach replenishment is costly and exacts a heavy toll on the environment, depleting underwater ridges that are home to a broad variety of sea life. “This project is another important component of the Christie administration’s plan to bring engineered beaches and dunes to the entire coast,” state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said September 2, as he announced work would start soon on a new project, pumping another 3.8 million cubic yards of sand from the sea floor onto eight miles of beach from Atlantic City to Longport. Fishermen question the cost to the environment from demands for more and more sand on the beaches. A seafloor survey of sand ridges off Manasquan commissioned in June by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management raised alarms that the Corps of Engineers could dredge more sand from undersea hills that are essential fish habitat. Collectively known as the Manasquan Ridge, the hills attract seasonal concentrations of fish, and could be a future “borrow area,” where sand is extracted to pump onto nearby beaches. “They are already planning to use borrow areas closer to the beach,” said captain James Lovgren of the Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative in Point Pleasant Beach, who, with other fishermen, met with DEP officials in late July regarding their concerns about sand mining. Read the story here 09:16

One Response to The Manasquan Ridge – Essential Fish Habitat or Common Borrow, and at what cost?

  1. DickyG says:

    Conservative estimate: the world uses 44 billion tons of sand per year for the worldwide construction boom. This NJ sand debacle is just a prelude for more and more extraction of sand and minerals from the offshore and near shore ocean bottom. However, Pew, Oceana, Environmental Defense Corporation, Conservation Law Foundation, the National Resource Defense Council, and the U.S. Federal Government would have you believe that it is mobile gear fishing that is destroying the ocean environment! The NGO faux environmentalists are constantly campaigning to remove fishing, claiming that Marine Monuments and Essential Fish Habitat Marine Protected Areas are absolutely necessary for the survival of the marine environment. But, not a peep from them about the actual removal of entire fish-essential bottom features as described here in NJ, or the destruction of fish spawning areas off of Long Island, NY and RI and MA due to the planned installation of thousands of 650 foot tall ocean windmills.

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