MacArthur Protects Barnegat Bay
Washington, DC – Congressman Tom MacArthur today announced legislation to protect and preserve New Jersey’s iconic Barnegat Bay. Fellow New Jersey Representatives Frank LoBiondo and Chris Smith joined in the call to Save the Bay by signing on as original cosponsors of the legislation.
America’s iconic bays and estuaries are a source of National pride, and invaluable contributors to America’s beauty and economy. Coastal watershed economies provide more than 69 million jobs and contribute an estimated $7.9 trillion to our GDP. Here in New Jersey, Barnegat Bay is part of New Jersey’s $3.4 billion coastal economic engine.
In recent years, Barnegat Bay has shown signs of rapid decline. With experts across the board deeming Barnegat Bay one of the most stressed estuaries in the nation, the largest coastal bay in the state faces a dire future without intervention. Pollutants in the Bay have severely impacted the water quality, causing algal blooms, and killing off what once was a thriving oyster, clam, and shellfish industry. One of the biggest sources of pollutants in Barnegat Bay is non-point source pollution, or runoff from homes and businesses that gets washed into the Bay. Our bill seeks to address this form of pollution by providing tax credits to both individuals and businesses of up to $3,000 to develop and implement plans to better manage this runoff within the watershed of Barnegat Bay. Any person or business owning property and living within the watershed of one of the 28 Estuaries within the National Estuaries Program would be eligible to apply for the tax credit.
“Like many people in Ocean County, I enjoy the many outdoor activities that Barnegat Bay has to offer,” said Congressman MacArthur. “From boating, fishing, and swimming, spending time on the bay really can’t be beat. As a member of the Natural Resources Committee I am dedicated to protecting the natural resources in our district. The Save Our Bays Act will decrease pollution and help protect the future of Barnegat Bay for generations to come.”
“Barnegat Bay is a treasure and something to safeguard for future generations,” said Congressman Smith, who represents northern Ocean County coastal areas. “Polluted run-off into the watershed is one of the main threats to the quality of the water, which is critical to commercial and recreational fishing, swimming and wildlife. The Save Our Bay Act will help take on a leading culprit—non-point source pollution—head on, and restore Barnegat Bay.”
“Protecting the natural treasures of South Jersey, including the Barnegat and Delaware Bays, has always been a priority for me. I appreciate Congressmen MacArthur and Smith’s equally strong dedication to reducing pollution, growing our maritime industry, and promoting public health for surrounding communities and visitors to our region. I look forward to working on this legislation and additional efforts to ensure the longevity of our bays,” said Representative LoBiondo.
“Storm water runoff is degrading water quality in estuaries across the country” stated Tim Dillingham for the American Littoral Society. “We are currently implementing clean water demonstration projects in the Barnegat Bay watershed that are funded through the federal Clean Water Act. Having the Save our Bays Act to shine a spotlight on this cause of pollution and then incentivize the creation of plans and implementation of new projects will lead to cleaner and healthier water for Barnegat Bay.”