Barnegat Bay's ecosystems have been declining for years due to overdevelopment in the Barnegat Bay watershed area which has resulted in ‘over-paving' of land, which causes storm-water runoff from lawns, roadways and parking areas that carries nitrogen and phosphorus into the bay, causing algal blooms that choke oxygen off from native eel-grass and shellfish.
Barnegat Bay stretches approximately 30 miles along the coast of Ocean County, between Barnegat Peninsula and the mainland. The Toms River and Forked Rivers are among several rivers that wind through the bay's 660-square-mile watershed on their way to its inner shore.
This unique area is rich in marine life. Commercial and recreational fishing, and related recreation and eco-tourism, contribute approximately $3.5 billion annually to the region's economy.
Legislators have yet to pass the Assembly and Senate environment committee's bill recommendations. Let's remember that a healthy Barnegat Bay is necessary for ALL our livelihoods along Ocean County's Jersey Shore.
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