TOMS RIVER – While the summer might be over for the visitors, local summer for Jersey Shore residents continues strong. Ocean County officials are reminding locals that the County’s free pumpout boat services are still available until mid-October.
“The Ocean County Pumpout Boat Program has been operating for over 20 years,” said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to the program. “With Ocean County’s Barnegat Bay being home to thousands of recreational boats, we are committed to ensuring that the boaters have a safe and environmentally friendly method of disposing onboard wastewater.”
Ocean County’s pumpout boat program is the largest in the state, servicing over 5,000 recreational vessels on the bay throughout the summer months, May through August. Officials noted that this is a seven percent increase over the 2018 season during the same time period.
The fleet of six pumpout boats will still be out on the Barnegat Bay during the weekends through Columbus Day, weather permitting.
Pumpout boats can be requested via VHF radio channel 9 or at planning.co.ocean.nj.us/frmEPPumpoutBoats where you can find the cell phone numbers for the captains. Boaters are also encouraged to like the services Facebook page at 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 pumpout boats are specially equipped vessels capable of emptying the on-board toilets and tanks of other boats, which keeps waste from entering the bay.
This program is operated with the help of the Ocean County Utilities Authority, the Tuckerton Seaport, Brick Township, and Seaside Park. 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,” Vicari said. “This also allows us to provide the service free of charge to boaters.”