This Special Issue of the Journal of Coastal Research (JCR) focuses on the comprehensive research conducted on the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor estuary in New Jersey, USA. More than three years of comprehensive ecosystem data were collected and numerous research projects were completed to fill in key data gaps and to define baseline conditions. This information, along with extensive water quality data, provides an exceptional view of Barnegat Bay's current status and ecosystem health. Interestingly, data were collected prior and subsequent to landfall of Superstorm Sandy in the State, which provided a tremendous opportunity to compare conditions of the estuarine ecosystem and assess potential impacts. These data were also used to support water quality improvement (e.g., development of nutrient criteria) and advance habitat restoration on the bay.
Front Cover Photograph Descriptions; Clockwise from top left corner:
(A) Saltmarsh surface on island in northern Barnegat Bay, New Jersey looking south towards Route 37 bridge showing undercutting of bank, and marsh ‘chunk’, a likely remnant from Hurricane Sandy, photo taken May 2013. Photo credit: Gary Buchanan
(B) Dr. Tracy Quirk (Louisiana State University) taking salt marsh elevation measurements from a Surface Elevation Table (SET) at mouth of West Creek on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Photo credit: Thomas Belton
(C) Tide Pool and Maritime Forest, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey. This refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats, sizeable portions of which are along Barnegat Bay's western shoreline. Per the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the refuge is in one of the Atlantic Flyway's most active flight paths. Photo credit: Thomas Belton
(D) Bay shoreline, tidal wetland and mud flat in the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey. Photo credit: Thomas Belton
(E) Field crew launching a boat for a Winter SET Deployment (Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University): Sedge Islands Marine Conservation Zone, Island Beach State Park, Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Photo credit: Thomas Belton
(F) Bayside hardened shoreline with adjacent housing, Barnegat Bay. Photo credit: Thomas Belton
(G) Sunset from a northern bayside home over Barnegat Bay looking west from Normandy Beach (Brick Township), New Jersey. Photo credit: Gary Buchanan
(H) Satellite photo of Superstorm Sandy centered just offshore New Jersey: NASA GODDARD MODIS RAPID RESPONSE TEAM. NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Sandy's massive circulation on Oct. 29 at 2:20 p.m. EDT, 2012. Sandy covers 1.8 million square miles, from the Mid-Atlantic to the Ohio Valley, into Canada and New England.
(I) Center picture: Barnegat Lighthouse on Barnegat Inlet is located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Originally lit in 1859, it was regarded as one of the most crucial “change of course” points for coastal vessels. Vessels bound to and from New York along the New Jersey coastline depended on Barnegat Lighthouse to avoid the shoals extending from the shoreline. It was restored in 2009 and is now a state park. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/barnlig.html