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Barnegat Bay cleanup target: Storm-tossed boats

For boaters who have not yet brought home their wayward vessels lost in Hurricane Sandy, now would be a good time.

New Jersey State Police and the state Department of Environmental Protection have dramatically stepped up the pace of collecting unclaimed boats scattered by the Oct. 29 storm surge, as the state aims to clear Barnegat Bay and other major waterways in time for the summer boating season.

DEP officials say those operations will include dredging the bay of sand that Sandy stripped off ocean beaches, at the very least clearing major channels.

The full extent of dredging needs — from lower New York Harbor south to Cape May and up to the Delaware Memorial Bridge — is not clear yet.

“These are uncharted waters. The state has never undertaken this kind of effort,” DEP spokesman Larry Ragonese said.

Click here for the full report by the Asbury Park Press, which includes a link to videos of the storm damage.