Jersey Shore's Little Egg Inlet reopens to boaters

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The Coast Guard has installed eight buoys to mark the newly dredged channel through Little Egg Inlet.

Essentially closed a year ago due to shoaling, the Little Egg Inlet between Long Beach and Brigantine Islands has reopened to boaters after a dredging operation and the installation of navigational buoys, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard removed the buoys last March and advised boaters that they traversed the inlet at their own risk due to shallow depths create by the shoaling.

Since then, the State of New Jersey launched an $18.5 million dredging-beach replenishment project that included reopening the inlet.

The Coast Guard said it installed eight buoys marking the new inlet channel on Monday.

The state Department of Environmental Protection said the inlet, one of the widest at the Shore, had never been dredged before.

The inlet’s constantly shifting shoals have long posed a challenge to boaters. The waters there are remembered for swallowing Tuckers Island, which was established as a resort in the 1860s and had a lighthouse before it disappeared in 1944.

Boaters unwilling to risk crossing the inlet after the navigational guides were removed last year had to travel to either Barnegat Inlet, 18 miles to the north, or Absecon Inlet, about nine miles to the south — as the seagull flies, not by navigable water — to get to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Little Egg Inlet