Raven SantanaJul 27, 2016, 1:02 pmJul 27, 2016, 1:02 pm

Announcement on restart of Shark River dredging project canceled without explanation

Cleanup of waterway was halted by Gov. Chris Christie due to broke transportation trust fund

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Today, Monmouth County officials gathered at the Shark River Hills Marina in Neptune Township to announce a plan to restart the stalled Shark River dredging project. But area resident say they heard anything but that.

Instead, the news conference was instead abruptly canceled without an explanation.

The original focus of the meeting was to announce a plan to restart the project that was halted on July 8 after Gov. Chris Christie issued an executive order halting all projects funded by the state’s broke transportation trust fund.

John Dempsey, a board member of the Shark River Cleanup Coalition, says without the dredging, the river will become a health hazard as it becomes more polluted with debris and sediment buildup.

“You can't take mussels, you can't take clams out of the water, so it’s a health hazard,” Dempsey explains. “There is $55 million of the economy that’s tied into this river annually. The thing is, if this doesn't get done soon, restaurants are going to start shutting down. People don't want to get bit by those big green head flies. So, it’s a big, big issue and it has to get resolved real soon.”

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