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Pumpout Boat Fleet, Role to Expand in Brick

County will fund effort in 2013 as usual, officials say

As crews work to clear Barnegat Bay of debris left in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, an additional level of protection will be present in local waterways this summer: an expanded pumpout boat fleet.

"At one time, it was just to keep Barnegat Bay clean, but now our main concern is safety," said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari at a recent meeting.

Captains of the pumpout boats – which serve as mobile emptying tanks for the heads of boats on Barnegat Bay – will this year also be serving as lookouts for any debris that could be left in the water.

"This is another safety net that we have," said Vicari.

For 2013, a new boat will be added to the county-wide fleet and will be homeported in Brick Township.

With the addition of the new boat, the pumpout fleet will grow six total – two in Brick, two in Seaside Park and two in Tuckerton.

"We're very happy that they selected Brick Township to operate the boat," said township Business Administrator Scott Pezarras.

"There has been a great improvement to the quality of water on Barnegat Bay since it's been implemented," he said, referring to the pumpout program, which has been in existence for 16 years.

The county provides the boats to municipalities to operate, along with $20,000 annually per boat for expenses, with an extra $5,000 per boat each year for maintenance.

Pezarras has said the county's funding, which itself is mainly derived from federal grants, has always covered the cost of operating the boats.

Normally, the pumpout boat is based at the township-owned Traders Cove Marina site, but damage from Sandy may mean the expanded fleet will have to dock elsewhere temporarily.

"Given the circumstances this year, I think we're probably going to have to go around and beg for a slip, at least for the beginning of the season," said Pezarras.

Richie's Girl March 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM
It would be a shame if the pumpout boat had to beg for a slip.They operate to preserve the bay,for our convenience,and this year we can add our safety to that list.There are plenty of small communities in Brick with their community docks.They need to step up to the plate and offer a slip.
Jan M Franklin March 26, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Is there, and if not should there be a web site or phone number to report debris especially navigational hazards to? Perhaps a smartphone application could be utilized to photograph and GPS tag debris by recreational boaters. This would greatly increase the numbers of "lookouts" who all have an interest in the safety and cleanliness of our waterways.
Don D March 26, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Jan, you can contact the Marine Trades Association of NJ to report any shoaling or debris that needs to be removed. We have been gathering information and reporting it the authorities responsible for the removal. info@mtanj.org or post on the FB page @ https://www.facebook.com/njmarinetrades. We have seen debris removal in as little as 1-2 days from time of reporting. more info here - http://mtanj.org/sandy.html
John Eric Mangino March 26, 2013 at 06:27 PM
I set this up months ago to no avail on Sailor for Sandy Site just for this reason and yes theres a Smartphone app . Still the problem is we dont ask for any Money so I guess that wouldn't fit into the current plans of most here .. Salilors for Sandy On Facebook
Donna March 26, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Wehrlen Brothers always has a few extra slips. check with Larry

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