STAFFORD - On Thursday, Stafford Township issued a warning about potential hazards in a number of lagoons in Beach Haven West and the reports of the death of ducks in the area.

TAPinto Stafford-LBI conducted a phone interview early Friday afternoon with Larry Hajna from the NJ Department of Environment Protection. Mr. Hajna reported that the Department and their Division of Fish and Wildlife have been hard at work on the situation in Beach Haven Water.

The DEP has completed water samples and results revealed that there are no chemical or hazardous substances in the water.  The tests were conducted in the affected lagoons of Beach Haven West. 

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Mr. Hajna did report that testing revealed that the water quality is degraded from storm water runoff.  The water after storms and the lack of flow of water in the lagoons often contribute to low oxygen conditions.

The dead ducks are suspected to have died due to the low oxygen conditions.  Mr. Hajna shared that the ducks appear to have been affected by the various types of natural pathogens which can increase when oxygen levels go down.

The Department is specifically investigating the pathogen that cause botulism.  The ducks are currently undergoing a necropsy report to reveal the exact cause of the deaths.  The officers believe botulism and other natural occurrences are responsible for the situation.

“We have only found the wildlife affected in one small area in the back of a large canal.  There is a lack of natural flushing and that combined with the heavy rains can cause the pathogens to increase,” Mr. Hajna said.

 “Our personnel observed many healthy ducks in the area.  We did not see dead fish or crabs.  If these are observed by residents it would only be due to the low oxygen levels that are in in the water,” he continued.   

“No toxic algae species have been identified and our analysis is continuing.”

TAPinto Stafford-LBI will keep the residents updated as we receive further information.