Pumpout Boat Program Preparing to Launch Memorial Day Weekend

“People can still get out on the water,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who is liaison to the popular environmental program. “While there will be new protocols in place for our boat captains and social distancing requirements for boaters due to the coronavirus pandemic, we still need to make sure we protect our waterways and provide boaters with a means to properly dispose onboard wastewater.

“This summer we will be stressing more than ever the importance of safety for our captains and the boaters,” Vicari said. “It’s still remains imperative that we do all we can to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, but we also know people want to get out of the house and back on the water.”

The pumpout boats are specially equipped vessels capable of emptying the on-board toilets and tanks of other boats, keeping waste from entering the bay. The boats are available to provide the pumpout service on weekends starting Memorial Day weekend running through October.

To request a pumpout, the boats can be contacted on VHF radio channel 9, or by contacting the captains by cell phone. The contact 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 pumpout program’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pumpoutoceancounty for up to date announcements and contact information.

“There are now six full-time pumpout boats operating in the Barnegat Bay and the Little Egg Harbor, in addition to the Circle of Life which was the first pumpout boat in New Jersey and continues to be operated as a part-time back-up boat and during the peak season.

“With miles and miles of waterways to enjoy, Ocean County operates the largest pumpout boat program in the state,” Vicari said. The six full-time boats were all purchased by Ocean County. The purchasing costs were reimbursed through the Clean Vessel Act Grant and the New Jersey Shore-to-Please license plate program. These same programs fund the installation of fixed pumpout stations at marinas throughout coastal New Jersey.

For more in depth details and protocols please visit the Ocean County website – www.ocean.nj.us/home