Posted on July 20, 2021
Congressman Frank Pallone announced he is trying to secure an $8 million federal grant to dredge Shoal Harbor off Belford.
MIDDLETOWN, NJ — This week, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ6) announced he is trying to secure an $8 million federal grant to dredge Shoal Harbor in the Belford section of Middletown.
This is a waterway commonly used by commercial fishermen that operate out of the Belford Seafood Co-op, but also used by recreational boaters in the Middletown area and beyond.
Both Middletown and Monmouth County have been discussing for more than a year how the Raritan Bay around Belford needs to be dredged, said Middletown Mayor Tony Perry (R).
“Every day more and more sediment does build up in that channel,” he said. “Middletown will do everything possible to help move this along.”
However, don’t expect the dredging to begin anytime soon: Pallone put in a request for the $8 million as part of the House appropriations bill, which is expected to be voted on in Congress in the coming months.
“Hopefully September or October the bill will get a vote,” said Perry. “And hopefully this will make it all the way to the president’s desk and get Biden’s signature.”
Pallone is also trying to get funding for the following local projects:
- $1.5 million to rehabilitate the Perth Amboy historic Public Library, which was originally built in 1903 and requires critical renovations and upgrades to meet the current needs of the community.
- $8 million for maintenance dredging of Shoal Harbor near the Belford section of Middletown that will bring much needed relief to local boaters, businesses, and community members that depend on safe and navigable waterways.
- $480,000 to hire additional researchers at the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Lab at Sandy Hook who will study the impacts of environmental change on marine habitats and fisheries in New Jersey. Funding will also be used to create lab space to host underserved student populations at Sandy Hook.
- $450,000 for research on coastal community resilience conducted by Monmouth University in conjunction with Naval Weapons Station Earle that will help improve our understanding of coastal resiliency to combat extreme flooding and bad weather events.
- $300,200 to support the Agricultural and Aquacultural Workforce Training Program at the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools to develop the next generation of farmers and fishermen trained in emerging technology.
- $450,000 to help the Borough of Keyport elevate the existing bulkhead at Fireman’s Park to mitigate flooding events in its Downtown Business District.
“More money for the Marine Sciences program at Sandy Hook, flood mitigation at Naval Weapons Station Earle — all of this is fantastic,” said Perry. “All of those would be a great help to Middletown.”