New York Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. yesterday announced a new plan to dredge the Shoal Harbor shipping channel.
The funding will be used for maintenance dredging of approximately 160,000 cubic yards in the channel. Pallone secured $8 million for the project in a federal spending bill that was signed into law earlier this year.
The US Army Corps of Engineers estimates that 8,700 trips are made through the channel each year.
“Our waterways are critical to our state’s commercial fishing and recreational industries, and this dredging will help ensure the waterway is safe and accessible for the Belford Fishing Co-Op and the commuter ferry,” said Pallone. “At a time when our state’s economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, this dredging will go a long way in helping these industries thrive.”
“Anytime we can improve the quality of life for our residents while driving economic development, that’s a win in my book,” said Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone. “Monmouth County has always shown its full support for dredging projects, such as this one, which enhance recreation and provide resources to the fishing industry. We hope this project will also benefit many local small businesses, many of which are still recovering financially from the pandemic. »
“We need the waters to be open and navigable to do our job. This project will help our boats get to where they need to be. The pandemic has hit New Jersey’s fishing industry hard, so the dredge project will help keep us up and running,” added Captain Richard Isaksen, Chairman of the Belford Seafood Cooperative.