Months After Super Storm Sandy Clean Up Efforts Continue in Barnegat Bay
Clean up continues after Super storm Sandy hit Barnegat Bay. Three companies were awarded contracts to clear New Jersey's waterways of debris before spring arrives. State authorities have removed more than 1,000 boats since the storm hit, but the remains of many others, plus debris resulting from everything from destroyed homes to derelict vessels previously undetected pose a threat to navigation as the spring boating season draws near. The area with the worst structural damage was identified as northern Barnegat Bay, near the area where a 20 foot-deep inlet formed near Herbert Street in Mantoloking. Cleaning up the bay entails first locating submerged debris in brackish water, which is difficult to see through, except in very shallow spots. Side scan sonar is being used to get detailed information to mark areas of potential clean up. Full barges pull up to shore where a land-based crane operator moves the debris into a truck, for its final trip to a landfill. After nearly two weeks working the waters just north and south of the bridge, operators have recovered three cars and 2000 cubic yards of debris. Sonar also will be used to locate debris in the ocean for removal. New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection has hired three companies to clean up the waters along the state's entire coastline and Delaware Bay to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and plans to seek reimbursement for the cost from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. One home was left underwater after Sandy tossed into Barnegat Bay from the town of Mantoloking. Such debris poses an environmental hazard, and a threat to anyone in the waters. As of earlier this month, state officials said there are about 1,400 vessels, 58 homes and eight cars still in Barnegat Bay. All had to be pulled out by the summer. Crews have set a target of Memorial Day weekend to get all the debris out.