Boat owners stuck along bayshore await dredging to provide access to Raritan Bay

Boat owners along the bayshore say they are fed up with not being able to take their boats out onto the Raritan Bay, and it's costing them money. (7/10/14)

KEANSBURG - Boat owners along the bayshore say they are fed up with not being able to take their boats out onto the Raritan Bay, and it's costing them money.

The state has not yet begun a dredging project on a channel needed to access the Raritan Bay.

Laura Siemientkowski and Jerry Kegley desperately want to fish on the bay, but the water is so shallow in the Keansburg floodgate that it would ground their boat.

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The couple from Hazlet paid $3,400 for the slip at Lentze Marina at Thorns Creeks with the understanding that dredging needed to access the bay would start at the beginning of June.

Owners of the marinas say they are losing money on empty slips too. "The state is not maintaining their channels," says the owner, Jeffrey Lentze. "We have to have depth at low tide at 7 feet."

Lentze says the delay has cost him 70 percent of his customers and some boat owners have been asking for refunds.

The state has awarded the million-dollar contract, but there's no word on when machines will start to dig.

The Department of Transportation did not return a request for comment.

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