BELMAR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – It’s prime vacation time in our area.
CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke to people visiting the Jersey Shore noticing how clear the water is.
“Oh, the water is beautiful is crystal clear. Has a bluish tint to it. Absolutely beautiful,” said Belmar visitor Linda Brennan.
You can see right down to the sandy bottom, Baker reported.
“It’s really clean, very clean,” said Belmar resident Matthew Barrett.
“It’s very cold,” said Manalapan resident Julianna Benedict.
Experts say the clear water is being blown in from 10 or so miles out.
“Is it unusual for this time period, or is it just the cycle,” Baker asked.
“What’s happened is the winds have been such a way, blowing onto shore very clear waters,” said Robert Chant, a professor with Marine and Coastal Science at Rutgers University.
“This lack of phytoplankton, lack of algae, is resulting in exceptionally clear water,” said Bruce Friedman of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Phytoplankton is a microscopic organism, one of the lowest in the food chain, that algae feeds on.
The commissioner of the NJ DEP says just because the water cloudy on other days does not mean the water quality is lower. Both are natural occurrences.
“The exceptionally clear water we are seeing in recent days a function, really, of the lack of recent upwelling events,” said NJ DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette.
Meaning the bottom of the ocean hasn’t been disrupted by strong waves. The NJ DEP monitors coastal conditions conducting aerial surveillance six days a week, looking for algae, floatables, and anything potentially harmful to bathers. The state also has 216 monitoring areas.
So what might be easier to see out there right now?
“Flight observers now reporting sighting of pods of dolphins, schools of menhaden, whales,” LaTourette said.
“A lot of shells. So nice and clear you can find them all,” Brennan said.
Right on the shore line, salps, small harmless gelatinous blobs that feed on phytoplankton. Have no fear, these are not jelly fish.
To check the quality of your favorite beach in New Jersey, CLICK HERE.
Meg Baker contibuted to this report.