Today the Senate Environment and Energy released a bill to help curb pollution going into the Barnegat Bat. S765 (Smith) requires the DEP to do a study and then adopt total maximum daily loads for Barnegat Bay ecosystem. As a result of increased pollution in the Bay, it has experienced loss of eel grass, fish kills, and other ecological indicators that are getting worse. Allowing the Bay to be polluted will jeopardize the $3.3 billion a year coastal tourism industry and $100 billion in ratables around the Bay. We need policies and actions like this bill that will protect the Bay now. New Jersey has continuously ignored science about the health of the Bay… In 2013, Dr. Mike Kennish authored a report by the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences on the deteriorating health of Barnegat Bay. The report shows that pollution is worse in the Bay than previously thought as a result of nitrate and phosphorus pollution and eutrophication. With the Rutgers report there is enough data to declare the Bay impaired and to implement a TMDL for the Bay. In April, Commissioner Martin defended the Administration’s policies and refuted the Rutgers study calling the Bay impaired.
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