A new Rutgers University study says the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor ecosystem is getting worse and will continue to decline unless development and storm water runoff into the bay are reduced.

The study by the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences finds Barnegat Bay to be highly stressed due to decades of nitrogen and phosphorus entering the waterway from lawns, parking lots and driveways, and sewer system overflows.

Michael Kennish, the study's lead investigator, calls the situation "bleak."

He says many things need to be done including improving storm water control systems, preserving open space, limiting fertilizer runoff and planning development so it has less impact on the waterways.

New Jersey has taken steps to limit pollutants in the bay, but environmentalists say they fall far short of what is needed.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)