Discolored water in Barnegat Bay causing concern

Discolored water in Barnegat Bay is causing concern.

Discolored water in Barnegat Bay is causing concern. (10/22/15)

SEASIDE PARK - Jersey Shore residents are concerned about another brown plume in the Barnegat Bay. 

The discolored water is from the Route 35 stormwater pumps, and it has many environmentalists angry.

The new plume has prompted the nonprofit group Save Barnegat Bay to take water samples. The group is pushing the state for routine monitoring of what is being dumped into the bay.

"It's having an impact not only on water quality but on eel grass, shellfish, fin fish like winter flounder.  It's impacting the bay every day,” says executive director Britta Wenzel.

Environmentalists tell News 12 New Jersey that they are worried that the rust color of the plume could indicate the presence of heavy metals in the water.

A spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection say the Barnegat Bay has “low bacteria levels, consistent with normal samplings of the bay. The material was simply silt.”

According to the Department of Transportation, the silt discharge is to be expected while construction of the pump stations along Route 35 is completed and sealed.  A spokesperson for the DOT says the bay is safe.

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