South Jersey Boaters: Little Egg Inlet

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porthole
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South Jersey Boaters: Little Egg Inlet

Postby porthole » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:24 am

Coast Guard warns boaters against using Little Egg Inlet, shoaling cited

Image


The Coast Guard on Friday warned boaters that they will now have to transit Little Egg Inlet at the south end of Long Beach Island "at their own risk."

Due to heavy shoaling, or shallowing due to sandy elevation of the bottom of the inlet, the Coast Guard said it is temporarily removing six navigational buoys from the inlet. A seventh will remain because the Coast Guard cannot get to it.

"Heavy shoaling in the vicinity of Little Egg Inlet has progressed, making the waterway inaccessible to vessels with a draft greater than three feet," the Coast Guard in a statement. "At this point, the aids to navigation no longer accurately mark the waterway and are misleading to mariners, which can potentially be more dangerous than having no aids to navigation."

"Mariners transiting through Little Egg Inlet do so at their own risk."

Boaters seeking to get to open ocean water from the Great Bay or Little Egg Harbor without risk will now have to use Barnegat Inlet to the north or Absecon Inlet to the south.
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rtk
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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby rtk » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:45 am

I do not use this inlet for access to the ocean but I anticipate this may cause Barnegat Inlet to become even more congested during peak season weekend boating. On the weekends during the summer Barnegat Inlet is already a freakshow. Especially if the Oyster Creek channel is the only channel available for access to the inlet. Double Creek channel has been closed and opened so many times I really don't know what the current status is,

Oyster Creek channel itself is so poorly maintained that it has been very common to see boats grounded in the middle of a recently marked channel. The local fishing website participants have to constantly post advice on how to navigate the channel so everyone is not constantly running aground. Example- it is not uncommon to see something like this posted: hey guys even though the channel has been recently dredged and marked ignore standard convention when interpreting red and green channel markers. Instead of taking green 40 (number isn't important) to starboard heading out to the inlet you must take it to port because most of the channel between the green and red markers is only two feet deep.

Forget about Double Creek channel- at best this has been a "local knowledge" channel.

This is just another example of where this state's priorities are. The State of New Jersey really does a horrific job (really no effort) in providing boaters any type of infrastructure to enjoy the water.

Yes I understand this type of channel maintanance is usually a task performed by the Federal Goverment (Army Corps) but New Jersey's only true effort in correcting this type of thing is simply telling their tax paying constituents that it isn't New Jersey's fault; if you don't like it write a letter to your Federal government representative(s).

New Jersey's policies and efforts in providing, repairing and maintaining any infrastructure needed by thier residents for any reason is horrific. Forget about State boat ramps- I truly believe the State of New Jersey does not even know what one is.

It is why I have been spending my hard earned money in Vermont (northern Lake Champlain) when I want to enjoy boating. Quantity and quality of State boat ramps is fantastic. Throw in the abilty to enjoy boating and fishing without some lunatic almost killing you while operating a boat as they operate a vehicle on the Garden State Parkway Vermont deserves the entire amount of my recreational boating budget. It is really funny to listen to Vermont residents desacribe their Garden State Parkway driving experience. I'm used to it but to a fisrt time user it can truly be an adreniline stoked experience.

Plus people in Vermont are simply just nice people. It's quite a new experience for me to be around that considering I have lived in New Jersey my entire life.

Rich

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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby Dutchman » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:44 pm

Sorry to hear on all accounts Rich
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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby porthole » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:48 pm

Shark River dredging was just completed last month after a 30+ year span, and it needed it 20 years ago. Preliminary reports are the the channel is neither as wide or as deep as it was supposed to be.
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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby Ridge Runner » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:02 pm

Thanks Duane - This sure makes it tough for folks in the area.
I used to keep a boat at Total Marine in Little Egg Harbor on Tuckerton Creek, that's a long run up to the Barnegat Inlet.
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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby Beerspitnight » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:37 am

rtk wrote:
Oyster Creek channel itself is so poorly maintained that it has been very common to see boats grounded in the middle of a recently marked channel.

Rich


Hi Rich,

I hope you enjoy Vermont this summer. I spent many summers on Great Pond in Maine, so I understand the appeal of inland lakes.

I was hoping you could provide some examples of boats commonly running aground in the middle of the Oyster Creek Channel. I transversed this channel four to eight times per week this past summer and never came upon a grounded boat, no less one "in the middle of a recently marked channel." But my experience in the Oyster Creek Channel is by no means an official record of boating incidents there as my time traversing the channel are minimal in comparison to the total number of in-and-outs that take place each day at Barnegat Inlet. So, I would appreciate some additional insight into the location so as to avoid any problems this summer.

The Oyster Creek Channel is often a chaotic channel during the height of the summer. With that being said, I would like to avoid running aground while transversing the Oyster Creek Channel, so any insight is appreciated.

And, I appreciate the difficulty that it will take south Jersey folks to get up to Barnegat Inlet. Hopefully, the Coast Guard will sort out Little Egg Inlet as soon as possible.
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rtk
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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby rtk » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:45 am

Hello Beerspitnight,

But my experience in the Oyster Creek Channel is by no means an official record of boating incidents there as my time traversing the channel are minimal in comparison to the total number of in-and-outs that take place each day at Barnegat Inlet.


Great point! It sounds like you work with statistics a bit? Me too and my post is certainly not coming from my "statistical" side. If you tagged it as anecdotal and a bit emotional you would not get an argument from me and I would not be offended. The the last couple of years my actual use of Barnegat Inlet (compared to past years) has significantly declined so I truly do not have a good deal of hard data on this.

If you want to read some of the postings for "actionable intelligence" check out http://www.bhweb.com. Very nice and helpful group of people so I'm sure if you asked for comments on Oyster Creek channel they would be very helpful. Over the past couple of years it just seems that posts about channel marker placement, groundings, etc have increased in frequency. I did witness a time or two a couple of boats grounded "in the channel". I wasn't aware of a problem so it was very bizzare to witness this. Commercial towing company boats were on the scene assisting and "directing traffic". It doen't impact me greatly because these days I barely need a channel for my 1966 16.

Sorry for my bit of a rant. The delay in getting the beach replenishment and other coastal infrastructure projects even started in this State is making me cranky because I really think it is time to stop with all the bureaucratic nonsence and just simply get some work done.

Rich

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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby jimh » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:42 am

RICH--in regard to your general remarks about the present day efforts of your state to maintain existing infrastructure that assists recreational boaters, your state is perhaps typical of many these days. Here in MIchigan we are enjoying the legacy of decades of investment by the state into facilities that provide direct benefit to recreational boaters, including an extensive statewide system of launch ramps, harbors, and marinas. I count my blessings that in the 1960's there were politicians and legislators here that understood that by providing a means of access to the Great Lakes and the many wonderful inland lakes here, our state government could create a significant boating industry. For decades Michigan lead the nation in the number of registered boats and boaters.

Today in MIchigan we are fortunate to see continued support for this infrastructure by the state, but federal funds that used to provide for harbor dredging have been taken away. The small community of Leland, population perhaps in the hundreds, has taken the unusual step of purchasing its own $500,000 marine dredge to keep its harbor open--a harbor that was once maintained by the federal Army Corps of Engineers, but for the past several years has had to be dredged by private contractors hired by the harbormaster. Leland has learned that support from government for recreational boaters is unlikely in today's political climate.

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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby Beerspitnight » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:47 pm

rtk wrote:Hello Beerspitnight,

Sorry for my bit of a rant. The delay in getting the beach replenishment and other coastal infrastructure projects even started in this State is making me cranky because I really think it is time to stop with all the bureaucratic nonsence and just simply get some work done.

Rich


I am with you on that point, Rich!

The Oyster Creek Chanel is certainly busy in the summer, and the shoaling at the western entrance can be damaging, I've just never seen anyone who has run aground out there.

Brian
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porthole
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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby porthole » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:15 pm

Update

http://www.nj.com/ocean/index.ssf/2017/03/major_nj_inlet_to_be_cleared_of_dangerous_shoals.html#incart_river_home


Major N.J. inlet to be dredged after becoming dangerously shallow

A project to dredge the Little Egg Inlet has been expedited after the U.S. Coast Guard pulled channel markers this week and warned boaters that the area was dangerously shallow.

The inlet is a major thoroughfare for boat traffic between southern Long Beach Island and Brigantine, however, the build up of sand in the channel has gotten too severe for safe passage of boats, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The channel has become less than six feet below mean sea level in many places and the Coast Guard warned boaters that if they use the inlet, they would be doing so at their own risk.

"This situation has become critical so we are moving forward, using state money, to dredge the channel and make it safe again for everyone who needs this vital access for fishing and recreation," DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in a release. "We need to take action to get this channel dredged for the safety and enjoyment of the public this summer season."

Martin has directed the DEP's Division of Coastal Engineering to develop permit applications, design plans and contract specifications with the expectation of going out to bid for the multimillion-dollar project in April.

Approximately 1 million to 1.5 million cubic yards of sand will be dredged from the ocean side of the inlet in order to create a channel that is 25 feet below mean sea level. The Coast Guard-marked channel in this area has extended as far as a mile into the ocean, the DEP said.

The Little Egg Harbor Inlet - which connects the Little Egg Harbor portion of Barnegat Bay, Great Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway - is one of the widest ocean inlets in New Jersey and a federally marked waterway, but it has never been dredged, the DEP said.

The Coast Guard would instead use buoys to mark the deepest and safest natural route through the inlet each year, because the inlet's shoals constantly shift with the seasons.

The sand dredged from the inlet will be used on southern Long Beach Island beaches that have eroded since the completion of a major beach fill and dune project last year.

Rob Spahr may be reached at rspahr@njadvancemedia.com.
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Duane
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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby Beerspitnight » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:40 am

It is nice to see our state take action on this. Perhaps not the player that deserves to pay, but still.
Well played by the USCG.

When are they going to open Double Creek Channel, Port & Rich?
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rtk
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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby rtk » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:03 am

Jim- I have been following the articles about Leland with great interest. Even though the situation does not directly impact me stuff like that is very frustrating to me. A lot of these situations seem to be occuring because of an immediate and severe reduction or removal of Federal dollars to pay for waterway/coastal infrastructure projects. I hope Ledland is succesful in their efforts- the marina sounds like a very well needed and appreciated "port in a storm" for the area.

Wow I guess I really sound like a wacko based on the update (thanks!) posted on the State of New Jersey's immediate action on this! Kinda scary too that right after I threw my hissy fit they are taking immediate and appropriate action. This is quite a policy change and I mean that as a compliment.

I agree Beerspitnight- kudos to New Jersey for stepping up to the plate and taking a swing. Perhaps Double Creek and other projects will receive the same attention? I hope so.

And as ALWAYS thank you to United States Coast Guard for this action and everything else you do for Country and citizen. I do a bit of offshore fishing and it is always a really good feeling to see the Coast Guard on patrol in the Barnegat Inlet as we head out. We know they have our back.

Rich

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Re: For all the South Jersey boaters "Little Egg Inlet"

Postby porthole » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:09 pm

It took 30 years to get Shark River dredged, and so far early runs through the channel are not real impressive.
Key factor in selling our 42 Post was the inability to transit the river two hours on either side of low tide and three hours on the [full] moon [or Neap] tides.
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Duane
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porthole
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Re: South Jersey Boaters: Little Egg Inlet

Postby porthole » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:10 pm

Thanks,
Duane
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