To all those critics out there, all of those "Negative Nancy's," all those who believe the Barnegat Bay is totally doomed - you're wrong.

Home being removed from Barnegat Bay
Home being removed from Barnegat Bay (Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

The Barnegat Bay is NOT dead after Superstorm Sandy.

In fact, during the almost eight months since she hit the state, the bay has seen some positive improvements. Experts who have made it their life's work to study the estuary are hard at work, looking at the short and long-term effects and seeing what can be done to help the recovery continue along a positive path.

While most of the debris is out of the water, it could take years to determine the full impact on marine life, plant life, other vegetation and the wetlands. A full assessment is now underway in order to determine what the heavy rain, wind, flooding and shattered pieces of homes, businesses, cars and boats really did to the waterway.

Dr. Stan Hales heads the Barnegat Bay Partnership. He says the shore rebuild needs to be throughout carefully and not rushed.

"We can't make those same mistakes again. Rebuilding the exact same way in the same place is not going to work. We are setting ourselves up for additional disaster. We need to remain pro-active."

The future health of the bay depends on a number of factors. One of them - what happens this summer at the shore. Is it a wet one? Dry? Do we have another drought?

Dr. Hales urges everyone to conserve water as much as possible. When you don't need to water your lawn, don't do it.

"Little things around your home and property can make a difference."

The State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) continues to monitor the storm debris removal process and the Ocean County Health Department conducts water quality testing for bacteria.

For more information on the Barnegat Bay Partnership, visit their website.