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2018 NJDEP Water Quality Restoration Grant

Latest Updates:

Data Collection continues at Cattus Island
Stevens staff and students spent the spring collecting data on the physical conditions impacting the shorelines of Cattus Island.
Stevens Institute is in the process of performing a site assessment
The site assessment involves collecting a variety of information about the site including shoreline change rates, water levels, waves, boat wakes, land elevations, and local bathymetry.
Ten students from Stevens are using Cattus Island as the basis for their final project
As a part of the assignment students are working alongside Stevens researchers during the site assessment phase.

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Drone Footage:

Drone footage provided by NJDOT Office of Maritime Resources

Important Links

Overview of Project

NJDEP Grant Award
Ocean County was awarded a $3 million 2018 Water Quality Restoration Grant from the NJDEP for a 4-year living shoreline restoration project at Cattus Island County Park, part of $10 million in grants for local water-quality improvement projects in the Barnegat Bay watershed.

Signifcant Erosion of Cattus Island Shoreline
The overall goal of this project is to restore critical shoreline areas of Cattus Island County Park to address significant erosion and prevent extreme wetlands and habitat loss in the Barnegat Bay. Some areas of the park have lost more than 300 feet over the past 85 years. This erosion is likely to increase over time, if the shoreline, and especially the northeast peninsula known as “Page’s Point,” is not stabilized.

Cattus Island breakwater protects surrounding natural lands and neighborhoods
Cattus Island is the most significant salt marsh and the largest breakwater in the northern portion of Barnegat Bay. It preserves a significant portion of the total remaining natural lands in the northern part of Barnegat Bay, encompassing 530 acres out of over 1,000 acres of preserved public property in the immediate vicinity. In addition, Page’s Point itself serves as a wetland buffer and upland forest breakwater that protects four surrounding neighborhoods from tidal flooding and erosion. While the project’s primary goal is to restore and provide resiliency to public land, the adjacent protected area includes Toms River Township’s Shelter Cove Park, containing at least 825 homes with a total estimated value of $181.5 million, and 25 businesses with a total estimated value of $37.5 million.


Ocean County has partnered with the Stevens Institute of Technology. Stevens Institute, with its Davidson Laboratory, is a renowned independent not-for-profit research university, specializing in the field of marine engineering and hydrodynamics.

Stevens is uniquely qualified to evaluate and determine mitigation of the marine conditions contributing to extreme erosion affecting the Cattus Island peninsula. Stevens literally wrote the manual on living shorelines for the NJDEP: Living Shorelines Engineering Guidelines, 2016. https://www.nj.gov/dep/cmp/docs/living-shorelines-engineering-guidelines-final.pdf

A Stakeholder Committee has been formed to provide expertise and guide the project development. The Committee consists of the County Departments of Parks, Planning, and Engineering, and also includes knowledgeable representatives from a number of agencies, including: NJDEP Water Resource Management, NJ Fish and Wildlife, US Fish & Wildlife, NJDEP Marine Fisheries, Barnegat Bay Partnership, NJDOT Office of Maritime Resources, Ducks Unlimited, and NOAA.

Project Milestones

This is a 4-year project that will go through August 2024.

  • Task 1: Site Assessment and Data Collection
  • Task 2: Planning and Design
  • Task 3: Implementation / Construction
  • Task 4: Post-construction and Evaluation
  • Task 5: Public education and outreach
  • Task 6: Final project evaluation and reporting

Latest Photo Galleries

Overview of erosion and site conditions: Photos by Ocean County Parks Department

Wave Logger: Photos by Barnegat Bay Partnership and Stevens