The state Department of Transportation has removed navigational buoys in the Double Creek Inlet Channel in Barnegat Bay, due to severe post-Superstorm Sandy shoaling that has created a severe navigation hazard and an unsafe channel condition.
All boaters should use the Federal Oyster Creek Channel - buoy markers
#35 to #40 - as the primary entrance into the bay. But the DOT warns that extreme
shifting sediment is affecting the entire bay, according to a DOT press release.
Boaters also may reference U.S. Coast Pilot #3 for additional information on the shifting sediments in the area. The Double Creek Inlet Channel remains marked from the inlet side to the fishing grounds - old buoy set 15 and 16 - to allow boaters to fish the area.
The DOT in March announced the start of a multi-year, multi-million dollar State Channel Dredging Program to waterways affected by Sandy.
The Double Creek Channel is slated to be dredged later this year. But the DOT's Office of Maritime Resources found "extreme siltation" and shifting sediments had severely affected the inlet area.
Oyster Creek is one of two channels boaters use to access Barnegat Inlet
from the bay. The second channel, the Double Creek Channel, is normally
used by boaters accessing the inlet from Long Beach Island and points
The DOT is working with the State Police Marine Services Bureau, Island Beach State Park officials and state and federal agencies to determine what priority dredging can take place as soon as possible. Dredge material placement in the area is restricted to protect important bird nesting habitats. The priority dredging work is expected to be done in phases.