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Across The Bay From LBI A Battle Brews Over Dredging For Boat Slips

Posted on May 2, 2016

A community that sits across the bay from Long Beach Island is divided.

Boats in Eagleswood Township may have to sit on dry land for this year’s boating season if a dredging project does not get done.

“We’ve lost eight slips, we can’t even rent them anymore because it’s so shallow, which is a big part of our income to pay taxes,” Debra Murphy, D&S Marine Services said.

Murphy and her husband own D&S Marine Service on Westecunk Creek.

“We have boats that constantly run aground, dollars and dollars of damage,” she told CBS2’s Meg Baker.

Natural shoaling, a buildup of silt and sand, has made it hard for anyone on Dock Road to get their boats in the water scale=0 v:shapes=”itxthook2icon”>.

Residents on the end of Dock Road where the creek meets the Barnegat Bay have banded together in opposition to the dredging, specifically because they don’t want dredged material placed across the street from their homes.

“We’ve been fighting them for ten years, now it starts over again,” David Fox said.

Fox does not want the traffic or the smell that may come with dumping the dredged materials across the street in state owned wetlands.

“This is a little two lane road built scale=0 v:shapes=”itxthook3icon”> on marsh, in my opinion couldn’t take it,” Fox said.

The state DOT said the site has been a confined disposal facility or CDF for more than 40 years.

Some environmental groups are concerned about the impact on the area, and water wells.

“There has never been toxic waste or contaminated materials disposed of at the West Creek CDF,” the DOT said.

Fox said he thinks the materials should go elsewhere, like to create a man made barrier island to protect the coast.

Murphy just wants to get back to business.

“It’s a big issue for everyone that pays taxes to live on the water. Why should we pay taxes for water we can’t use,” she said.

The DOT must go through the permit process with the Department of Environmental Protection before any work starts.

Fox and other residents are fighting the dredging in court.

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