def # 83 05/11/11
OCEAN COUNTY PUMPOUT BOATS READY TO PROTECT THE BAY
TOMS RIVER - With names like Bay Watcher, Bay Sweeper, Water Warrior, Circle of Life and Waste Watcher, there can be
little doubt that the work of the pumpout boat is to protect and enhance water quality in Barnegat Bay and along the coast.
Now preparing for its 14th season, Ocean County’s pumpout boat program will be launched this weekend offering limited
service starting May 13 and will provide full service starting Memorial Day weekend.
"Through the 2010 boating season, over 672,000 documented gallons of concentrated sewage have been removed from the holding
tanks and portable toilets of about 35,000 boats that would otherwise have been discharged directly into the Barnegat Bay
National Estuary and the Little Egg Harbor Bay," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as
liaison to the program. "We have given our support to this program for 13 years now knowing it is vital to the health of
The pump out boat program got its start in the mid 1990’s when the State of New Jersey decided to participate in the federal
Clean Vessel Act Program.
An early advocate of the program, Pete McLain, convinced the Borough of Seaside Park, the NJ CVA committee and the County
of the need for a pump out boat. Seaside Park moved forward to purchase the first pump out boat, with 100 percent
reimbursement through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and with the assistance and support of the County.
"The Ocean County Board of Freeholders agreed to provide the operational funds from the very beginning, to assist with the
operational costs and to ensure that the service was provided free of charge," Vicari said.
The "Circle of Life," which was the first pump out boat in New Jersey, began operations in 1998 to service the central
Barnegat Bay, especially in the Tices Shoal area where hundreds of boaters congregate during the summer months. Since then,
the demand for pumpout services has been dramatically increasing.
"At this time, the County’s fleet numbers 5 boats, which service the entire intercoastal Barnegat Bay down to the Little Egg
Harbor Bay," Vicari said.
Ocean County’s pumpout boats are all about 21-foot vessels that are specially equipped to be capable of emptying the
on-board toilets and tanks of other boats, thus keeping waste from entering the bay. The five boats cover different areas
of the bay throughout Ocean County.
"This successful program has been run through the collaboration of the Ocean County Board of Freeholders, Tuckerton Seaport,
Seaside Park, Brick Township and the Ocean County Utilities Authority," Vicari said. "As a team, we have made significant
strides in preserving and protecting the Barnegat Bay. Keeping Ocean County waterways clean is so important to us and we
are eager to get this new season under way."
The newest pump out boat, the Bay Sweeper, was purchased in 2010 and joins the Waste Watcher at the Tuckerton Seaport, the
Circle of Life and Water Warrior, operated by Seaside Park and the Bay Saver, operated by the Township of Brick.
"Each new boat was an opportunity to educate local schoolchildren on the importance of keeping the Barnegat Bay clean,"
Vicari said. "The children participated in boat-naming contests to name each of the boats. The winning name for the newest
boat, the Bay Sweeper, was chosen by the fifth grade classes at the Tuckerton Elementary School."
All of the Ocean County pump out boats were purchased by the County with grants provided through the Clean Vessel Act
Program with Federal and State funds, with the exception of the "Circle of Life," which was purchased by Seaside Park with
the assistance and support of the County. The program uses federal grants to fund 75 percent of the cost for pump out
boats and pump out stations in New Jersey’s coastal waters. The remaining 25 percent is provided by the State of New
Jersey through the "Shore to Please" license plate program.
In addition, the Ocean County Board of Freeholders provides operational funds to the operators in an amount up to $20,000
per boat, and the County also partners with the Ocean County Utilities Authority, which reimburses the County up to half of
the operational costs each year up to $50,000 for the five pump out boats.
Vicari commended the boat captains for their continuing interest in protecting the bay and also for keeping a watchful eye
on the waterways.
"The Captains are the key to the success of the program," Vicari said. "From Jerry Golembeski and Robert Cardwell in Seaside
Park, Harry Thorne and Mark Byrne in Brick Township and George Ward and Dick Gouldey at the Tuckerton Seaport, they are all
dedicated to this program and the many benefits that come with it."
The pumpout boats typically operate from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September. The boats are usually in
service from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Monday and can be contacted on the marine VHF radio channel 9 by identifying
the boat, its location and service requested. The boats are also in operation on holidays and special events.
"From the captains to the hosting towns and organizations to the Ocean County Utilities Authority to the county staff that
works directly with the program, this is a free service we can be proud of," Vicari said. "It makes a difference every