Boaters across New Jersey will have easier access to information about best boating practices, fishing regulations and other vital and helpful facts through NJBoating.org, a new website launched by members of the New Jersey’s Clean Vessel Act Program, which includes the Department of Environmental Protection.
NJBoating.org is a comprehensive, easy- to-use, interactive website that links visitors to a wealth of New Jersey boating information. The site contains extensive information about the New Jersey CVA Program, including pumpout station locations — contact information, water depth at pumpout sites and GPS coordinates — as well as additional information to assist boaters, such as locations and availability of public boat ramps, best boating practices and state fishing regulations.
It is consistent with Governor Christie’s Comprehensive 10-Point Plan to restore Barnegat Bay, which includes by a major initiative to encourage green boating practices – an effort that also is applicable to waters statewide.
“Boaters will find it easier than ever to help protect New Jersey’s environment and natural resources by using NJBoating.org to find a pumpout facility whenever they venture out for a day of fishing or pleasure boating in the Garden State,” said Dave Chanda, Director of the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. “Improperly disposed vessel-generated sewage can impact public health and wildlife, negatively affecting water quality and leading to potential closures of beaches and shellfish beds.”
The website was designed by the Rutgers University Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, in coordination with the Clean Vessel Act Steering Committee, which includes the DEP, Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Monmouth County Health Department, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, Ocean County Planning Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“The Clean Vessel Act Committee recognized the potential of web technology and mobile communication for recreational boating, and saw real value in a website that could provide boaters with on-the-spot and up-to-date information about boating related resources,” said Mike Danko, chairman of the New Jersey Clean Vessel Act Program Steering Committee and Assistant Director for the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium Extension Program. “This website will make it easier for boaters to find pumpout station locations, as well as other amenities to make their time on the water even more enjoyable.”
The Clean Vessel Act was passed by Congress in 1992 and provides funds for the construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of sewage pumpout stations and dump stations for recreational boats, as well as information and education programs that encourage boaters to use pumpout facilities. More than 250 marina pumpout stations and eight pumpout boats in New Jersey waters have been funded since the program’s inception. As a result, millions of gallons of sewage have been removed from boats and treated safely.
About 75 percent of funding for the CVA program is provided through the federal Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is derived from excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, plus import duties and interest on the fund. Matching funds are provided from New Jersey’s “Shore to Please” license plate sales.
The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. NJSGC meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs.
Image courtesy New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection