DEP study shows Barnegat Bay is healthy, despite brown plumes

Scientists working for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection revealed Tuesday their findings about the health of the Barnegat Bay. According to the state, the results show that despite

News 12 Staff

Nov 18, 2015, 6:23 AM

Updated 3,073 days ago

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DEP study shows Barnegat Bay is healthy, despite brown plumes
Scientists working for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection revealed Tuesday their findings about the health of the Barnegat Bay.
According to the state, the results show that despite concerns about brown plumes surfacing from Route 35 stormwater pumps and an abundance of stinging jellyfish, the bay is doing better than people thought.
"The bay is in relatively good health," says Gary Buchanan, who heads science and research at the DEP. "It's a very resilient ecosystem."
He says clams, crabs and fish populations are thriving throughout most of the bay. These findings were presented to the public and environmental groups at a symposium at Ocean County College in Toms River Tuesday.
Despite these claims, some environmentalists in New Jersey question the state's findings as they conflict with some previous studies. Willie de Camp Jr., the president of Save Barnegat Bay, says overdevelopment in Ocean County continues to threaten the bay and the state needs to limit growth.
"The DEP has this sunny view of the state of the bay," says de Camp. "But talk to a clammer. The clams aren't there. Talk to a fisherman. The fish aren't there."
State officials say they will use the data to see what programs and policies are needed to further protect the health of the bay. They say that it is likely property owners will be asked to pitch in more, such as only using native plants that don't require fertilizer.
Scientists say that they also plan to use the data collected as a baseline to help them assess ecological impacts from the planned closure of Oyster Creek Nuclear plant in 2019.


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