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  Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring



AONorth extends along 11.25 nautical miles of the Atlantic Ocean from Monmouth Beach in the south, then north, following the coastline, then northwestward beyond Sandy Hook. This shellfish growing area then extends eastward from the above description into the Atlantic Ocean for three nautical miles.

AONorth is bordered to the west by a peninsula type land formation. The New York Bight and the shipping lanes associated with ingress and egress into New York and northern New Jersey are close by to the northeast. AONorth ocean waters mix readily with inputs from Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays to the west and Lower New York Bay to the north.

Several rivers feed into the bays that eventually mix with the waters of AONorth. The largest of these would include the Shrewsbury, Navesink, Raritan, and Hudson rivers.

About 50 percent of the land adjacent to AONorth consists of a number of urban towns along the shore. This would be the sector from Monmouth Beach in the south to the base of Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook comprises the central to northerly sector and it is primarily a national recreation area. As a result, the central to northern section is less populated and contains fewer building structures.

There is a direct source input into this shellfish growing area, which comes from the outfall for the Monmouth County Bayshore Outfall Authority discharge pipe. Buffer areas or Prohibited waters are in place regarding this discharge, satisfying National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) requirements.

AONorth Shellfish Classification

Click map to enlarge


Stormwater outfall inputs are absent along the ocean shoreline of AONorth. Any waters having been impacted by such sources are primarily directed to the bayside. Storm water runoff eventually enters the waters of AONorth after being substantially diluted by the waters of the Shrewsbury, Navesink, Raritan, and Hudson rivers along with Sandy Hook, Raritan, and Lower New York Bays.


Status: In total, AONorth is currently comprised of 27,781 shellfish growing waters acres. This acreage is comprised of 3,695 acres of Approved waters or 13.30 % is Approved for shellfishing and 24,086 acres or 86.70 % are designated as Prohibited (no shellfishing allowed).

Most recent Reappraisal Report

Most recent Sanitary Survey Report


AONorth Photo AONorth Photo AONorth Photo AONorth Photo

Photo Credit: NJDEP

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Last Updated: November 17, 2017