The NJ DOT has begun some dredging of the Metedeconk River and Kettle Creek Complex in an effort to restore state channels to navigable depths.

The dredging work is part of a $16 million project to continue returning State channels in Barnegat Bay to a state of good repair.

Dredging work will take place in the Upper Metedeconk River Channel (6-feet.), Green Cove Channel (5-feet), Beaver Damn Creek North and South (5-feet.), Bay Head Channel, Winter Yacht Basin, Kettle Creek-Sailors Quay (5-feet.) and Kettle Creek (5-feet.) with one foot of allowable over-dredge, respectively.

The DOT says the work is needed as these channels were severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy creating shoals and limiting navigation.

The project is anticipated to last through December 31, 2019.

NJDOT's contractor, H&L Contracting, will be mechanically dredging the channels.

An estimated 180,000 cubic yards will be removed taken by barge to the placement location known as Dredge Hole 18 (DH18) which off the coast of Mantoloking's Bayside Park.

The final material placed on top will include material with the highest sand content in an effort to restore the area and allow for recruitment of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation.

Mobilization of equipment is taking place now, dredging operations are expected to begin October 22 and will at that point continue 24/7 through the end of December 2018, according to the NJ DOT.

Channel use may be limited where the excavator barges are located.

Channel closures are not expected, although this is subject to change.

Mariners should be advised that State Aids to Navigation (ATON) will be removed as necessary for the duration of the project.

All mariners, including those using human powered craft, should be especially alert to project equipment much of which will be continuously moving.

Updates to the Local Notice to Mariners should be expected as the project progresses.

You're being advised to be aware of and stay alert to the construction equipment, buoys, barges and other equipment and you should not approach the construction site or any related project equipment under any circumstances, whether or not active dredging operations are observed.

Boaters should proceed through dredging maintenance and construction zones with the utmost caution.

No wake speed should be observed in active work zones throughout the project duration.

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