Jersey Shore Towns Restoring The Dunes
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Sea Girt. February 6, 2013
As many New Jersey towns rebuild the dunes washed away by Hurricane Sandy, there are concerns about a storm later this week.
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says it poses the threat of moderate coastal erosion.
“We’re now currently talking to all the towns along the coast who don’t have dunes or berms. We’re talking to all those towns and trying to get them emergency sand if they need it. Either through us or through FEMA or through the Army Corps or Engineers we’re going to get the towns additional sand if they need it to protect their beaches in this very short time frame.”
A section of the boardwalk in the Monmouth County town of Sea Girt was ripped up by Hurricane Sandy, but Mayor Ken Farrell says a strong dune system there prevented major devastation.
“While the dunes on the east side of the boardwalk were destroyed, they caught up and they absorbed the energy. So therefore little damage happened beyond the boardwalk. There’s no damage to our street. You don’t see a lot of damage to any of our infrastructure.”
Farrell says Sea Girt is using existing sand supplies to build even larger dunes.
Governor Chris Christie says there will be no state-imposed standards for dune reconstruction.
“It will vary from town to town depending upon the infrastructure that it’s protecting, how close things are to the beach, are there homes right on the beach, are the homes a block off or two blocks off the beach. You don’t want it to get into a one size fits all thing. I think that will make people very nervous in this state because they know each of these communities has a different character to it.”
Christie expects shore visitors will adjust to the sight of bigger dunes. He says tourism would suffer without the dunes to prevent future storm damage.