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Bulls Island State Park DISGRACEFUL

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
This is how the "new" NJDEP operates. mad.gif

A dotcom site so I am unable to post the link.....

Go to wolfenotes ....... scroll down to March 10.

The pics are disturbing to say the least.
post #2 of 89
Bulls Island was trashed by all the rain at the end of last summer. My guess is that debris being bulldozed is what was left behind by the high water, not solid waste mixed in fill that was trucked in like the blog author speculates.
post #3 of 89
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Apollo's Boss View Post

Bulls Island was trashed by all the rain at the end of last summer. My guess is that debris being bulldozed is what was left behind by the high water, not solid waste mixed in fill that was trucked in like the blog author speculates.

You can "guess" all you want. I live nearby and witnessed the damage there first hand.

It doesn't really matter how this "waste" got there.

What is IMPORTANT is how NJDEP is handling this operation with a total disregard to environmental regulations that they are entrusted to enforce.
post #4 of 89
I was there in late August or early September and saw the damage too. And I agree that it should've been removed. The blog author's assertion that the debris was mixed in with dirt trucked in to use as fill is what prompted my response. But I know to never say never and that's why I said, "I guess."
post #5 of 89
I read the article, the guy sounds like a nut case. And looking at his photos, all I saw were a few tires, which litter the banks of the river already.

End camping to save a few tree's. IMHO, this guy can go eff himself.
They claim the buildup of soil is killing the trees - that's from an environmental person. If they're dying anyway, cut the damned trees down already. Hell, I could use the firewood next time I camp there.

It is worth someone checking out though. If the contractor is taking advantage by slipping waste in with fill then he should be hammered hard.
post #6 of 89

Ah feetinsand, you always bring us such exciting information!  I think it is a travesty that this is how the "new" NJDEP operates.  mad.gif 


I agree with both Apollo’s Boss and with you.  The piles of “fill” may not have been trucked in.  It seems to me to have been most likely just scraped up with the frontend loader (pictured) and dumped in piles—perhaps to be trucked out at some time before the end of this project.  The waste debris should be removed, whether it was deposited by flow or some part by illegal dumping, or both.


Sudsy! You've disappointed me.  frown.gif  I understand what you are thinking (I think):  “Tree Hugger,” but this guy was with us who opposed the DEP proposed amendments to change beach access.


The trees will die as roots become buried.  I guess there might be two schools of thought about whether this should be allowed to happen:  it happens by the same process that naturally creates levees; and, it is now happening at an increased unnatural rate.


Dead trees create habitat.  They should not be considered liabilities or eyesores in an environmental park.  I will not bother to research exactly what, but Bull’s Island is a special place, not for pheasants but for warblers which build nests in the cavities previously made by woodpeckers, for their nests.  


I guess I’m just afraid if too many trees are removed, maybe campers will be afforded an enhancement of concessions and canoe rental and, what the heck, perhaps even a carousel (if the right stakeholder wants to jump onboard).  


What does DEP believe the EP portion of this means?  kooky.gif

post #7 of 89
Bulls Island has been trashed by flooding numerous times in the past 10 years. Perhaps budget restraints or an attempt to try something different has them reinventing the wheel? Just a thought. confused.gifconfused.gifconfused.gif
post #8 of 89
Remember The Herring!!!

Thats right, once NJ figured out you can stop sportsmen by simply not funding programs and fishery science, as evidenced by the closing of the Herring fishery, the writing is on the wall. My guess is shad gets shut down next year and neither them or herring ever comes back. As for actual destinations, like camp sites and boat ramps etc, we will see them continue to be underfunded, unstaffed, and uncared for.

Who needs Magnusen-Stevens? Who need NMFS or PEW or NOAA. Just give more money to Fat Tony the councilman in some northern town so he can employ his cousin and these nasty pesky sportsmen that kill sea kittens and teddy bears are gone. Poof! No money no fishery no camping no hunting.

Mark my words, its already coming true...
post #9 of 89
Thread Starter 
HappyWave.gif Sudsy

Bill Wolfe is a nut case.

The focus of my post was not the trees or the campground but the "fill" on the riverbank (floodplain) and how the operation was being conducted.

The park has an office openly daily M-F and I am sure that they have observed and are aware of the situation.

This section of the Delaware River has Wild, Scenic, and Recreation status. It is owned by the State and therefore US the general public.

The "fill" I am sure was not trucked in but accumulated on site. There was ALOT more solid waste than a few tires mixed in. There appeared to be no attempt to remove the solid waste prior to spreading the fill including directly into the river. There were no soil erosion or sediment controls in place.

The failure of NJDEP to follow their own rules and regulations is what I found disgraceful and unacceptable. They should be held accountable.

If this was a private campground on the river NJDEP would be there in a heartbeat with their violation book in hand.
post #10 of 89
A little background: I know Bulls Island well, extremely well, spend a lot of time out there. And everyone that knows me knows that I would never give the new DEP the benefit of the doubt without a very strong reason.

First, there was a lot of trash washed up on the banks, there always is - quite a bit of it large items.
The buildup around the trees is truth. I hiked the woods and saw where they dug around many of them to measure the buildup of sediment over the root crown. There is a lot of buildup and it is a legitimate concern.
As for wanting more room for campers and concessions, no - if they wanted that they would just reopen all the perfectly good areas they closed after the ice flow storms of 4 or 5 years ago, the ones that closed the island for two years. They never reopened quite a few prime spots right along the river that can bring in a good amount of money (and no one has a solid reason why)

This Wolf whatever guy has a major problem with the removal of the trees, to the point where he's rather see an end to the recreational use of the property. I've had more then enough of dealing with this kind of crap, what with the damned plovers, and do not want to lose one more spot because of a few trees that are legitimately compromised.
post #11 of 89
Bill, you posted that as I was typing mine - I completely 100% agree with what you wrote (as i usually do icon14.gif)
post #12 of 89
I am very familiar with this area, fish it regularly from the NJ and PA side. Question: Would we be having this discussion if the wingdam wasn't there? Not saying to bust up the wingdam, but, geographically the campground is in the flood plain caused by the presence of the wingdam. Due to the campground's height off of the river, that is on the outside bend on the river and the heights of the historic floods, it is going to get ravaged by any serious flood. It is natural for all the debris that gets stired up to get deposited in areas like this. There is so much garbage that gets buried, uncovered, reburied every time there are floods. This cycle will be persist until all the trash that's been dumped into the river is finally removed...and stops getting thrown in there in the first place.
We float and fish the river upstream of Bulls Is. on a regular basis. All those islands upstream are littered with everything from car parts/tires to golfballs. There is so much historic trash in the delaware river, quite a testiment to how much crap has been dumped/gets dumped in there.
I also wish they (NJ DEP) got off of their butts and did something productive in that campground for the park users. Seems they were very interested in fixing the boat ramp(though they should of enlarged the parking area)...eventhough there is a perfectly useable boat ramp less than a mile upriver. As for the wildlife, the critters have more than enough places to play with all dead trees in this area, just take a hike up and down the rivers edge, dead uprooted, rotting trees are everywhere, not a concern to me.... On a side note, nice to see the bald eagles flying over the river year after year.
post #13 of 89

Bull’s Island spin-off:  The D&R Canal


The reason RobG wanted to make it clear that he was not suggesting the removal of the wing dam at Bull’s Island was probably to avoid debating the impact of these old dams but, more so, because of the continued purpose or this particular one.   The following few tidbits may all be news to some but perhaps provide some details unknown to others.  Bull’s Island is the only camp ground in the D&R Canal State Park.


The law creating the park also established the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission,* which is charged with four main tasks:

  • To review and approval any state project planned or state permits issued in the park;
  • To prepare and adopt a master plan for the physical development of the park;
  • To produce and administer a plan for the regulation of land use (400-square-mile watershed); and,
  • To encourage and support local initiatives to compliment the park master plan.


Almost all of the water that flows in the D&R Canal enters here at the beginning of the feeder canal which is about 22 miles long, down into Trenton where it feeds the 44 miles of main canal from Bordentown (Crosswick’s Creek) to New Brunswick.  Seven locks were used to raise 58 feet from the Delaware to highest point in Trenton.


The canal was almost too small right from its inception.  The flow begins in Raven Rock, at Bull’s Island, but the first shovelful of earth was turned near Kinston (construction 1830-1834).  The canal was dug and lined with slabs of clay almost entirely by hand, to be 6 feet deep and 60 feet wide, at the surface of the water.  


The main canal was widened to 75 feet and deepened to 8 feet beginning in the 1850s.  Also, the walls were lined with riprap to prevent erosion from the wakes of steam canal boats and tugs, and locks were lengthened from 110 to 220 feet.


Speaking about erosion, I’m drawn to think about the photos in this thread that show loose soil plowed so as to allow it to spill down the bank of the canal.  It seems to me to be a no-brainer that it will erode into, and become deposited on the bottom of, the canal.  The feeder canal was just dredged in recent years to refurbish it and restore flow.  The main canal is the source of some municipal water.


*Meeting Notice Announcement
The Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission monthly meeting will take place on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM.

The meeting will be held at the Commission’s office in Stockton, New Jersey.


33 Risler Street Stockton, New Jersey 08559
(609) 397-6000



Ref.  Linda J. Barth, The Delaware and Raritan Canal (Arcadia Publishing, 2002)

post #14 of 89
Originally Posted by inthered View Post

Bull’s Island spin-off:  The D&R Canal

The reason RobG wanted to make it clear that he was not suggesting the removal of the wing dam at Bull’s Island was probably to avoid debating the impact of these old dams but, more so, because of the continued purpose or this particular one.   

Yes, you are correct. Thanks for the info too, D&R history is always interesting to me.

On a side note...anyone notice the blue/green stones in the river near the old mill on the PA side (about 3 or so miles upstream of BI)?? I'd love to know what they are.
post #15 of 89
Thread Starter 
March 15, 2012

CONTACT: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994


(12/P26) TRENTON * The Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Parks and Forestry has decided to permanently close the upper river campground at Bull's Island Recreational Area along the Delaware River in Hunterdon County. The division will remove weakened trees in restoring the campground to a natural state.

A tree health assessment found that the upper campground is susceptible to silt buildup from repeated floods that weakened roots of trees in this area.

"Based on this examination and more frequent flooding, we determined that the prudent course is to permanently close the upper river campground area and restore it to a natural state," said Amy Cradic, DEP's Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources

Parks and Forestry will ultimately reopen this area for passive recreation only, when deemed safe for public access.

The down river campground will be closed this season to allow for further tree risk assessment. Day use activities in the lower river section of the recreation area, including the boat ramp and picnic area, will remain open.

The Division of Parks and Forestry may reopen the down river campground next season, if deemed appropriate to do so. Meantime, the division is evaluating acquisition of land away from the river for a new campground to replace the sites lost by the permanent closure of the upper campground.

The DEP conducted a tree health assessment after a Somerset County man died when a sycamore tree fell on his tent in the upper river portion of the campground in June 2011. A DEP contractor found that repeated flooding caused an accumulation of soil around the bases of the trees, which may have stressed the trees' root systems.

Significant amounts of storm debris remain in the area following the passage of Hurricane Irene last August. After removing this debris, standing trees, and other vegetation, the Division of Parks and Forestry will replant the area with tree species adapted to areas that are frequently flooded and which grow slowly.

Campground access roads will not be rebuilt and the bath house and other campground features will be removed. Public access will be restored for passive recreation only. DEP also will contact universities in the state about partnering on a long-term landscape restoration plan.
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