Posted on January 25, 2023
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be dredging Manasquan Inlet in the next few weeks, routine maintenance for the inlet, an Army Corps spokesman said.
The Army Corps dredge Murden is scheduled to arrive off the Jersey Shore within the next week, said Stephen Rochette, the public affairs officer for the Army Corps’ Philadelphia district.
The Murden is a 156-foot by 35-foot split-hull hopper dredge owned by the Army Corps’ Wilmington, North Carolina, District. The dredge has a draft of 5 feet, which allows it to navigate shallow inlets and rivers along the Atlantic coast.
The Murden will be dredging Shark River Inlet first, with a load or two of dredging each day at Manasquan Inlet, where it be coming for crew changes, Rochette said. Once Shark River Inlet is dredged, the Murden will be focused on Manasquan Inlet.
The sand from Manasquan Inlet will be deposited on the north side of the inlet jetty to fortify the beaches in Manasquan, he said.
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey’s 4th District, which includes Point Pleasant Beach and Manasquan, hailed the dredging plan as good news.
“Ensuring the safety of our local fishing and boating community is of paramount importance,” Smith said in a news release. “I am grateful for the Army Corps’ response and commitment to keep the waterway clear for our local recreational and commercial vessels as well as their dedicated follow through over the past few months.”
Last August, the Army Corps was called in and asked to dredge the inlet after significant shoaling happened inside the inlet along the south jetty. Officials monitored the situation, which dissipated following storms in September.
A sonar survey of the Inlet showed the channel remained safe for boat traffic at the time, but Smith asked the Army Corps to repeat the surveys out of an abundance of caution.
“With the temperate weather we expect over the next few weeks, the Army Corps’ dredging comes not a moment too soon,” Smith said.
Manasquan Inlet, which is 450 feet across and about 11 feet deep, is one of the entry points for boats that want to sail down the Intracoastal Waterway, a 3,000-mile stretch of natural and some man-made inland waterways that stretch from New England to the Gulf of Mexico.