Some of the federally funded beach restoration work along the Jersey Shore was eroded by the recent nor’easter.
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said Friday that he’s contacted the Army Corps of Engineers to determine if they can repair the damage.
“Several areas where we’re in midproject, like LBI, we have a better chance of getting a little more sand put on other parts of the beach that may have washed away a little bit because they haven’t finished it and they’re going to be there,” Martin said. “So we have a better chance of getting them to put some of that sand back. Other areas were they may have moved away from, they’re going to have to go back to Washington to see if there are funds available to work on that.”
New Jersey is aggressively pursuing eminent domain actions to obtain easements needed to complete the dune system to protect coastal communities from future storm damage.
Martin says flooding in back-bay areas is also a persistent problem.
“Right now we’re focusing on the beach side, the coast side right now, with the surge and the waves and dealing with that issue first,” he said. “We’re also talking with all the towns and looking at a plan … to build back the bulkheads on the back side of a lot these areas to start dealing with the flooding on the other side too.”
Residents in many back-bay areas don’t want to participate in the Blue Acres Program that provides money for the state to acquire homes where flooding repeatedly occurs, Martin said.
“We did offer it out there to the towns. We offered it up to a lot of different people. Most of the towns and virtually all the people said no they not want to sell their homes,” he said. “Even if we did, the amount of money it would cost us is significant.”