Beach repair to begin along 14 miles of N.J.’s northern coastline

 File photo showing crews building up a dune in Ortley ahead of a Nor'Easter. (Wayne Parry/AP Photo)

File photo showing crews building up a dune in Ortley ahead of a Nor'Easter. (Wayne Parry/AP Photo)

A $128 million dollar beach protection project along 14 miles of northern New Jersey coastline will begin after the Memorial Day holiday.

State Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said extending the beach farther out into the ocean will begin in Ortley Beach because water is lapping up against homes on that narrow section of shoreline.

“So any storm we have, any nor’easter we have, clearly those homes are in danger. We’ve had to help get them put more sand on that beach on a constant basis just to provide some basic protection over the last few years.”

Dunes also are planned to reduce potential flooding damage from future storms.

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Martin said he’s hoping legal proceedings to obtain easements from some homeowners will be completed by the end of the year, allowing work on the project to be done all the way from Point Pleasant to Long Beach Island.

Jon Miller is a coastal researcher at Stevens Institute of Technology. He said most beach nourishment projects provide adequate protection for an estimated two to seven years.

“There’s a whole lot of factors that control the movement of the sediment. So once it’s placed it’s a dynamic system. It’s not a seawall. It’s not intended to stay in place. It’s intended to shift around and move around. Part of that is it provides some habitat value and it is sort of the ecologically responsible way to protect coastlines.”

The Ocean County portion of the coastal protection system is expected to be completed by June of next year.

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