New Jersey Tide Network

Science Center Objects

USGS monitors data for estuary and back-bay areas all along the New Jersey coast and links to related projects with more information about coastal flood hazards, water quality, and other topics.

The USGS operates the most extensive satellite network of tide-gaging stations in the region, many of which form the backbone of flood-warning systems. The USGS provides current ("real-time") water-level/flow, water-quality, and meteorological data for these and other coastal sites along the New Jersey shoreline.

The National Ocean Service (NOS) adequately covers tidal data collection on the ocean and large bays, but in New Jersey little to no data was available for the back-bay areas. The back bays behave quite differently than the ocean due to the complex interaction between the winds and the geometry of the inlets and bays. A slow moving Nor’easter can keep tide levels in back bays several feet higher than the ocean by not allowing tides to recede resulting in flooding of bridges and causeways that link the barrier islands to the mainland.

Graphic map of New Jersey Rivers

Quick overview map depicting the major rivers of New Jersey

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New Jersey’s back-bay communities annually face the risk of catastrophic flooding from hurricanes and coastal storms. Weather forecasters, along with emergency management and transportation officials, require comprehensive and timely tide-level and meteorological data to make accurate flood forecasts and to plan and execute coastal hazard mitigation strategies. These strategies include coastal evacuation, multi-agency coordination, contingency plans and drills, zoning and building code recommendations, and proper design of physical structures, roads, and bridges.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), designed and installed the New Jersey Tide Telemetry System (NJTTS) with assistance from NOS. This system is part of a statewide network of tide gages, weather stations, and stream gages collecting invaluable data in real time. The NJTTS supplies real-time tide-level and meteorological data for flood-prone areas along the New Jersey shore and back bays to critical decision-making centers and the publically-available world wide web.

The USGS New Jersey Water Science Center is responsible for overall project coordination along with operation and maintenance of all instrumentation and remote data-collection platforms.