F-Cove in Brick is threatened with closure. Here’s how you can help.

The Problem in Brief

F-Cove in Brick is threatened with closure. Here’s how you can help.

The Solution

You can help save F-Cove from closing by urging the Township of Brick to work out an alternative with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which owns F-Cove.

Please write:

Council President Joseph Sangiovanni
Township of Brick
401 Chambersbridge Road
Brick, NJ 08723

Please ask Council President Sangiovanni to work with the US Fish & Wildlife Service to arrive at a mutually agreeable way to keep F-Cove in existence for future generations of boaters to safely enjoy. If you live in Brick, be sure to mention that in your letter.

Help us mobilize support for F-Cove. Get your friends to write and phone Brick Township leaders to help save this public access site.

If you want to help organize this effort, please let Save Barnegat Bay know by email

More about the Problem

The organizations whose work would result in closure of this public access are:

The American Littoral Society
The Army Corps of Engineers
The New Jersey Department of Transportation, and
The US Fish & Wildlife Service

The government agencies’ reasons would be (1) to use the deep lagoons as a dredge spoil site (which from their perspective is a “beneficial use of dredged material”), (2) to restore wildlife habitat, and (3) to tighten up on management of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. [Save Barnegat Bay was in error when we previously stated that one of the rationales was to create wetlands so that developers could be allowed to destroy wetlands elsewhere.]

What is Proposed

The agencies’ plan calls for filling the lagoons to a depth of six feet. This depth figure may well change to an even shallower depth if they find, as they most likely will, that the shelf at the point of entry is only about three feet in depth.

Some of the dunes would be lowered, especially between the fingers of the F, in order to create habitat for rare diamondback terrapins. A connection would be broken through to the L-Lagoon immediately to the north.

Powerboats would no longer be allowed entrance. “Bollards” – pilings put in various places much as is done on land to enhance security of some building – would restrict access to craft above a certain size.

Various Perspectives

From the standpoint of the Refuge Managers, what currently occurs at F-Cove does not fit the Congressionally mandated criteria for recreational activity on a Federal Wildlife Refuge, which are:1 – Hunting, 2 – Fishing, 3 – Wildlife observation, 4 – Wildlife photography, 5 – Nature-related interpretive experiences, and 6 – Environmental education.

Also in the managers’ defense is the fact that the deep water of the lagoons contains so little oxygen at the bottom that their lower portions are biologically useless.

Save Barnegat Bay acknowledges that the current activities do not meet the official recreational criteria. But we strongly believe that the fact that thousands of boaters enjoy this natural setting on weekends over the course of the summer creates an obligation on the part of representative government to work out an accommodation.

The government employees contemplating this step need to stop and ask themselves what the purpose of government actually is. To deny thousands of people in the state of New Jersey this simple enjoyment merely for the sake of disposing of dredge materials or for the sake of recreating a few acres of habitat is to lose sight of the very purpose of government, which was originally to benefit people.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has been very people-friendly over the years

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has been a model government agency. Over the years they have purchased thousand of acres along the New Jersey shore – over 43,000 to date – for conservation notwithstanding the fact that Congress has never given them anything close to the amount of money required to manage this land.

One of the most painful aspects of this situation from the standpoint of Save Barnegat Bay is that of finding ourselves in a disagreement with an organization that in all other ways has demonstrated a strong work ethic and pro-people approach that has greatly improved the environmental quality of the coast. The favorable contrast of the Service to other government agencies that could be named could not be more striking. Thousands of conserved acres would be polluting subdivisions were is not for the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Stay tuned to this site in order to be updated on how you can help save F Cove. You may be able to help by writing letters or attending a hearing.

To get some idea of what the government is trying to do, open this enormous 753 page Army Corps of Engineers report and scroll to page 164. (This large document takes a very long time to load.

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