Margate residents hoping to stop the dunes get bad news

 This pond developed after a rainy weekend in Margate. (Bill Barlow/for WHYY)

This pond developed after a rainy weekend in Margate. (Bill Barlow/for WHYY)

A federal appeals court has refused to halt a beach replenishment project in New Jersey that led to ponds of bacteria-laden water after a storm.

Judge Thomas Vanaskie, writing for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, denied Margate’s request to block a lower court ruling that allowed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue.

The lower court also had ordered the Army Corps to fence off any areas that had accumulated 2 or more inches of water, along with other conditions.

The ponds of standing water are exactly what Margate residents had warned of in previous, unsuccessful litigation against the government’s plan to build the protective sand dunes at the coastal town south of Atlantic City.

A lower court on Aug. 10 overturned a state judge’s ruling and granted the request by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to let the project in Margate continue.

The work is part of a statewide effort to protect New Jersey’s 127-mile coastline following the devastation that Superstorm Sandy caused in 2012. But Margate has opposed it as unnecessary and harmful to its shoreline, and now a public health hazard.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.