DESCRIPTION: This navigation asset is located in Monmouth County, NJ and consists mainly of a large tidal basin that drains into the southeastern end of Sandy Hook Bay. This asset provides for the following: An Entrance Channel 12 feet deep, 300 feet wide, following the westerly shore from deep water in Sandy Hook Bay to a point 600 feet south of the former location of the railroad bridge at Highlands, NJ, and south of the existing Route 36 Bridge, with a length of about 2.2 miles; a channel 9 feet deep, 150 feet wide, suitably widened at the bends in the South Branch of the river from a point 600 feet south of the former location of the railroad bridge at Highlands, NJ to the Branchport Avenue Bridge at Long Branch, NJ, with a length of about 6.8 miles; a channel 6 feet deep, 150 feet wide, in the North Branch, within the Navesink River from the junction to Red Bank, with a length of about 6.1 miles.
AUTHORIZATION: Rivers and Harbors Act of 1919 (P.L. 656-323), modified in 1935 (P.L. 74-409), 1950 (P.L. 81-516) and 1965 (P.L. 89-298).
COMMERCE: This asset serves as a Harbor of Refuge during severe storms. This asset also supports the New Jersey State Police Marine Law Bureau Station at Sea Bright, NJ, and recreational boating, including at least a dozen commercial marinas located throughout the tidal basin. The SeaStreak Ferry Terminal operating at Highlands, NJ, adjacent to the 12-foot federal channel, provides annual public ferry service between Highlands, NJ and Manhattan, NY.
BACKGROUND: This asset was last maintenance dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, when approximately 53,000 cubic yards (CY) of dredged sand was removed from the South Branch and beneficially used on Monmouth Beach, Monmouth County, New Jersey; as well as maintenance dredging of the Entrance Channel and the North Branch, with beneficial use of that dredged sand at a nearshore placement site on the ocean-side of Sandy Hook, NJ. Prior to that, the channel was maintenance dredged in FY2010, when approximately 51,000 CY of dredged sand, in total, was removed from the North Branch & South Branch, and also beneficially used on the Monmouth Beach shoreline.
STATUS: In FY2023, commonly performed Operations & Maintenance (O&M) work includes sediment sampling & testing, based on shoaling identified in the latest annual hydrographic condition survey, and preparations for future needed maintenance dredging. Production of an annual hydrographic channel condition survey, and publication of a controlling depth report on the District’s website (https://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Controlling-Depth-Reports/) is scheduled for FY2023.
Alexander F. Gregory
Asset / Project Manager
P: (917) 790-8427
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278
District Area: NJ #4, #6