January 20, 2016
The End of NJ's Shellfish War is Nearing
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) ban on shellfish research and restoration programs in the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary had been set in stone since 2010, even after Superstorm Sandy prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to recommend beefing up shellfish reefs to protect shorelines from storm surge and erosion.
UNTIL, on January 19, 2016 Governor Chris Christie signed bill S2617, which requires NJDEP to adopt Shellfish Rules by September 2016. We look forward to working with DEP to improve current Rules that will strengthen our coasts. This is a HUGE FIRST STEP to LIFTING DEP’s 2010 ban! The bill requires NJDEP to revisit Shellfish Rules one year after being adopted to provide improved and expanded research and restoration opportunities based on comments from a community engagement process.
NJDEP’s Shellfish Rules, proposed in November 2015, are unreasonable and make it nearly impossible to conduct valuable shoreline resiliency research. The Rules only allow shellfish research and restoration activities in less than 1% of NJ waters in the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary. We look forward to working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to improve current Shellfish Rules that will strengthen our coasts.
Restoration Program Director