With “local summer” now in full force, the Ocean County freeholder board announced Tuesday that the county’s fleet of free pump-out boats would keep running through mid-October.
From May to Aug. 31 of this year, Ocean County’s pumpout boat program, the largest in the state, serviced more than 5,000 recreational vessels on the bay, which was a seven percent increase over the 2018 season during the same time period, county officials said.
The fleet of six pumpout boats will still be out on the Barnegat Bay during the weekends through Columbus Day, weather permitting. To request a pumpout, the boats – which are docked up and down Barnegat Bay in various towns – can be contacted on VHF radio channel 9, or the cell phone numbers for the captains can be found on the program’s website, at www.planning.co.ocean.nj.us/frmEPPumpoutBoats. Boaters are also encouraged to like the services Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pumpoutoceancounty.
“These boats are an integral part of our continuing work to ensure that the Barnegat Bay remains clean and free of pollutants,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines. “This program has grown in popularity over the years and Ocean County has the largest number of pumpout boats available to our visitors and residents who enjoy our waterways.”
The specially equipped vessels are capable of emptying the on-board toilets and tanks of other boats, which keeps waste from entering the bay.
The county partners with other organizations and municipalities including the Ocean County Utilities Authority, the Tuckerton Seaport, Brick Township, and Seaside Park to help operate the Pumpout Boat Program. The County also participates on the New Jersey State Clean Vessel Act Advisory Committee and works with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program and other partners towards the goal of a healthy Barnegat Bay.
“With the ongoing cooperation of all these groups and agencies, this program has been recognized statewide and nationally for its outstanding performance in protecting the Barnegat Bay and surrounding environment,” Freeholder Joseph Vicari said. “This also allows us to provide the service free of charge to boaters.”