Princeton Hydro’s Conservation Spotlight: SAVING BARNEGAT BAY


This Conservation Spotlight explores and celebrates
the American Littoral Society’s efforts to save Barnegat Bay

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Barnegat Bay stretches 42-miles, primarily along the inner-coast of Ocean County, New Jersey. The “Bay” is nationally recognized as a unique estuarine ecosystem with a variety of different habitats that many species depend on for survival. Due to numerous factors, but especially the development of its watershed and resulting high levels of nitrogen loading from stormwater runoff, the Bay has suffered serious ecological decline.

In an effort to save the Bay, the American Littoral Society developed a multi-faceted Clean Water Project plan, which focuses heavily on one of the Bay’s key issues: eutrophication due to excessive nitrogen loading. In partnership with Princeton Hydro, the Ocean County Soil District and others, American Littoral Society began work to decrease the volume of stormwater runoff and associated pollutants flowing into and damaging the Bay.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.58.17 AMIn 2013, American Littoral Society, with assistance provided by Princeton Hydro, successfully secured $1,000,000 in 319(h) implementation funding through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. American Littoral Society then developed an innovative basin ranking matrix. The matrix, created by Princeton Hydro, provides a non-biased, quantitative means of identifying and ranking stormwater management projects having the greatest potential to decrease pollutant loading to the Bay.

With funding secured and a prioritization methodology in place, American Littoral Society then began its work to retrofit antiquated, inefficient stormwater basins throughout the Barnegat Bay watershed. The goal was to reduce runoff through upgraded stormwater management systems emphasizing the application of green infrastructure techniques.

American Littoral Society and Princeton Hydro along with key partners implemented a variety of green infrastructure projects to treat stormwater at its source while delivering environmental, social and economic benefits to Barnegat Bay. Completed projects include:

  • 2 Years After Planting was Completed: Laurel Commons, Carnation Basin RetrofitConversion of standard, grassed detention basins into naturalized bio-retention basins, as exemplified by the Laurel Commons Carnation Circle Basin, which now serves as a paradigm for the cost-effective retrofitting of aged, traditional detention basins
  • At Toms River High School North, the installation of tree boxes,
  • At the Toms River Board of Education offices, the replacement of conventional paving with permeable pavement,
  • At multiple sites, the construction of rain gardens,
  • At Toms River High School North, the construction/installation of stormwater management Manufactured Treatment Devices (MTDs)
  • At the Toms River Community Medical Center (RWJ Barnabas Health), the construction of a bio-retention/infiltration basin

Education and outreach have also been key factors in improving the condition of the Bay, including training seminars for engineers, planners and code officials on basin conversion and management of green infrastructure; educational materials and signage; and public involvement in volunteer clean-ups, lawn fertilizer usage reduction, and rain garden and basin planting.  

Through its work with key partners, like Princeton Hydro, and countless volunteers, the American Littoral Society has made notable progress in Barnegat Bay, but much more needs to be done to restore and protect this unique ecosystem. Join the cause to help save Barnegat Bay; contact the American Littoral Society to find out how you can make a difference. 

For a detailed review of each project and an in-depth look at the incredible work being done to save Barnegat Bay, go here and download our brochure.

About the American Littoral Society: The American Littoral Society, founded in 1961, promotes the study and conservation of marine life and habitat, protects the coast from harm, and empowers others to do the same.

6 thoughts on “Princeton Hydro’s Conservation Spotlight: SAVING BARNEGAT BAY

  1. I would like to learn more about the bay water quality improvement project. Also I could only view the left half of the article so please resend the article.

    Also does your research and does the water quality improvement project extend to the Little Egg Harbor.

    Last, is the water quality affecting the blue crab and the clam or are other factors like rays affecting those species.

  2. How are these projects meeting the enforceable load allocation reductions in the TMDL?

    Ooops, forgot, there is not TMDL.

    Do you have data on cost effectiveness and what it would cost to scale up these techniques to meet necessary load reductions to meet water quality standards and avoid the ecological collapse of the Bay as predicted by Rutgers Professor Kennish’s analysis?

    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post and submit your comments and questions. Someone will be in touch with you directly to discuss everything and make sure all of your questions get answered.


  3. It would be interesting to do a side-by-side multi-criteria performance comparison of the voluntary private ENGO managed $1 million Christie DEP grant performance with the mandatory public EPA regulatory TMDL for the Chesapeake Bay.

    Hey, that sounds like a great grant proposal!

    But who would fund it?

    It would expose the Christie DEP, National Estuary Program and Foundation drive (Wm. Penn, Dodge) voluntary, private non-regualtroy model.

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