Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, February 2005

Proposed Permit for All NJ Artificial Reef Sites

The US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) released a Public Notice seeking comments on the re-issuance of permits for New Jersey’s artificial reef sites, including the 14 existing sites and an additional site called Townsends Inlet off Cape May.  COA submitted comments to ACOE on January 17, 2005.

COA supports NJ’s artificial reefs and works to support improvements to the program.  Important strides have been made to ensure the materials used in the program are environmentally sound.  COA supports the permit for the 15 reef sites as long as the permit is consistent with state policy and applicable laws.  Unfortunately, the Public Notice and application was deficient and inconsistent with current state policy and law, and therefore, COA’s comments were:

  • The ACOE’s list of “materials of opportunity” included concrete-ballasted tires, obsolete subway cars, and ocean telecommunication cables, which is outdated and does not reflect current NJDEP policies, such as NJDEP’s Policy Directive 2003-02 or the September 2004 NJ “Draft Artificial Reef Management Plan.”  
  • ACOE did not request the required Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).  Section 7 of the ESA requires a NOAA/NMFS consultation.
  • The permit application failed to include information that the requirements of the New Jersey Coastal Zone Management Program have been met and are consistent with state policy. 

Based on these deficiencies, COA urged ACOE to ensure that the final application and permit are consistent with current law and state policy. 


For more information call Dr. Jennifer Samson at 732-872-0111.


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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