TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey’s artificial reef network has been significantly expanded through a deployment of 6,000 tons of concrete on the Manasquan Inlet reef site, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced.
Material for the first deployment on Oct. 28 consisted of 74 concrete forms, measuring 40 feet x 8 feet x 1.5 feet each, donated by Maher Terminals in Elizabeth, Union County. Another 77 forms were deployed Nov. 10. The forms, once used by U.S. Customs to scan shipping containers, were no longer needed and were slated to be recycled.
“This beneficial collaboration gives new life to these materials, keeping it out of landfills and providing habitat for a wide array of marine life, including species important to New Jersey’s world class commercial and recreational fishing sectors,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “We are proud to partner with Maher Terminals to enhance the marine ecosystem of our coastal waters.”
Artificial reefs are typically made up of concrete, steel, decommissioned ships and barges and provide a habitat for a variety of marine life. DEP studies have shown that these materials are colonized quickly with organisms such as algae, barnacles, mussels, sea stars, crabs, sponges and corals.
The structure of the reef, and the feeding opportunities provided by the animals growing on the reef, attract species such as black sea bass, tautog and lobster, and provide excellent opportunities for recreational anglers and divers.
“Maher Terminals recognizes the significant interconnection between providing efficient port and terminal-related services and our responsibility to the environment and communities where we operate and call home,” said Gary Cross, CEO of Maher Terminals. “The deployment of this reef off the New Jersey coast is part of our broader commitment to strengthening the local marine ecosystem and to investing in a greener future. We’re excited to give these concrete platforms a second life as part of New Jersey’s Artificial Reef Program.”
Encompassing a total of 25 square miles of ocean floor, the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program began in 1984, and currently consists of four reefs in New Jersey waters and 13 in federal waters. The program is administered by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Marine Fisheries Administration. The program is sustained largely by donations of reef materials from private organizations and companies.
The Manasquan Inlet reef is approximately two miles east of the inlet and is one of the newest reefs in the artificial reef system. Center point coordinates are 40° 04.617’ N and 073° 59.040’ W. The reef footprint encompasses 0.84 square miles, but only two deployments had been made prior to today. The new material adds nearly 1.25 acres of artificial reef habitat on what was formerly featureless sand bottom.
This new feature inside the Manasquan Inlet reef site will be called the Maher Terminals Reef in recognition of the donation of material. Maher Terminals has also committed to revisiting the reef site annually for several years to document the progression of material from bare concrete to a reef ecosystem.
Earlier this year, New Jersey deployed a 150-foot long caisson gate on the Deepwater reef site, a tugboat on the Sandy Hook reef site and a memorial reef on the Atlantic City reef.
BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ (OCEAN)–Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City rescued two fishermen after their boat caught fire approximately 34 miles east of Barnegat Inlet, N.J., Thursday.
Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay received a mayday call via VHF Channel 16 from one of the fishermen aboard the 53-foot Sport Fisher fishing vessel ‘Reel E Bugging’ stating their vessel engines were engulfed in flames and they needed immediate assistance.
The fishermen were preparing to abandon ship by donning life jackets and deploying their life raft. Sector Delaware Bay watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast notifying vessels in the area of the situation and launched the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from and two 47-foot Motor Lifeboat boat crews from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet and Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light to the scene.
Once on scene, the Dolphin aircrew spotted the life raft and was able to safely hoist both fishermen and transport them to Monmouth Executive Airport in Wall Township, N.J., where they were met by family. No injuries were reported.
A Coast Guard marine safety information bulletin was issued notifying mariners in the area of potential debris from the vessel fire.
“Today’s case was a perfect example of a unified effort between prepared boaters, the sector, small boats and the air station,” said Lt. j.g. Matt Devlin, a Dolphin helicopter pilot at Air Station Atlantic City. “We are happy that the mariners realized they were in distress and we were able to be there quickly. Ultimately their preparedness led to our success.”
Many law enforcement agencies across the state participated in the 2020 NJ Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics this morning.
On Friday, October 9th, more than 3,000 officers will take to the streets of their local communities on one of 26 separate routes to help carry the “Flame of Hope” a distance of nearly 750 miles throughout the Garden state to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey.
In 1982, the late Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Officer Steven Vitale was asked to take photos at a local Special Olympics competition in New Jersey. He was so moved by the determination exhibited by the athletes that he asked other police officers to volunteer at the Summer Games. In 1984, the first New Jersey Torch Run was conceived to raise funds and public awareness for the Special Olympics New Jersey program. The course ran from Liberty State Park in Jersey City to Rutgers Stadium in New Brunswick, through eight towns, covering 43 miles and raising $7,000. In each succeeding year, the dollar amount became greater and the number of volunteers increased substantially.
Driven by the willingness of the New Jersey Law Enforcement officers to do more, the Law Enforcement Torch Run began to expand over the years. New fundraising events and initiatives were created and held throughout the Garden State to promote the Special Olympics movement. With over $4 million raised annually by more than 3,000 officers through local and statewide events, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey has been recognized in the world for many years as one of the top grassroots fundraising organizations for Special Olympics. Fundraising events that are conducted year-round in New Jersey include an Adopt-a-Cop campaign for the annual Torch Run, three Polar Bear Plunges, the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K, the United Airlines Plane Pull and golf outings to name a few. In addition to fundraising, Law Enforcement officers volunteer at athlete competitions and events year-round, while serving as ambassadors in local communities.
Below are photos from Bordentown Township, (Burlington) and South Brunswick, (Middlesex)
MidJersey.News will post more as they are sent in: