Clean Ocean Action

Contaminated Sediments in New Jersey's Coastal Waters

Contaminants in sediments pose threats to aquatic ecosystems and public health but are often overlooked in water quality assessments in watersheds.  New Jersey does not have a sediment quality assessment program even though it is reasonable to expect sediment contamination in New Jersey’s estuaries and coastal areas. 


COA reviews the status of marine sediment quality in the coastal zone and advocates for measures that will improve sediment quality.  The few data available for New Jersey's coastal zone show that coastal sediments are polluted.  A sediment monitoring and assessment program is sorely needed in New Jersey.  To target sources of sediment contamination, COA:

  • actively reviews dredging projects and advocates for environmentally sound dredged material management,
  • works to reduce non point source pollution by education, outreach, and policy programs, and
  • advocates for the clean up of point sources of pollution and better oversight of ocean dischargers of wastewater. 

Fish consumption advisories are also legacies of sediment contamination.  Because of the intimate food chain connection to sediments, bioaccumulative contaminants are efficiently transferred from sediments to wildlife.  Follow this link to learn more about fish consumption advisories in New Jersey.


For more information about this New Jersey Coastal Sediment program, contact COA's scientist at 732-872-0111 or


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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