The ecological health of Barnegat Bay is in decline, mostly resulting from human activities. Since Barnegat Bay is a key feature of the shore experience in central New Jersey, the impact to its aesthetic, economic and recreational values threatens the economic health of the region. In December 2010, the New Jersey Legislature enacted three statutes designed to comprehensively address the situation.
Barnegat Bay lies between mainland New Jersey to the west and Barnegat Peninsula and Long Beach Island to the east, and runs from Monmouth County to the north to southern Ocean County to the south. Development along the bay has increased nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus) in storm water runoff that have negatively impacted the water quality of the bay. This has affected the bay ecosystem and resulted in habitat destruction for both animal and plant species.
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