Federal support for NJ beach replenishment erodes

    Fighting beach erosion at the Jersey shore is an ongoing battle. Now New Jersey’s beach towns are fighting to keep state and federal dollars to pay for beach replenishment. New Jersey Governor Corzine has proposed funding cuts and, so far, they are left off the list of stimulus projects.

    Fighting beach erosion at the Jersey shore is an ongoing battle. Now New Jersey’s beach towns are fighting to keep state and federal dollars to pay for beach replenishment. New Jersey Governor Corzine has proposed funding cuts and, so far, they are left off the list of stimulus projects.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090415spbeach.mp3]

    The borough of Avalon started pumping more sand onto the north side of the island yesterday. The $2.5 million project is primarily funded by the Army Corps of Engineers, and is part of a longstanding tradition at the shore. Scott Wahl is a spokesman for Avalon. He says tourism in Ocean County is a $5 billion industry that needs protecting.

    Wahl: Beaches and tourism affect every single job in this area, from lawyers, doctors, construction workers and those involved in the immediate tourist trade. If beaches are allowed to wash away, so will jobs and so will the economy.

    Wahl says Avalon officials will be traveling to Washington, D.C. next week to meet with the New Jersey delegation and push for funding.

    But environmentalists lobby against the projects. Jeff Tittle is the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

    Tittle: Twenty-five million dollars fixing a beach and six years later the beach is gone. We’re shoveling sand against the tide.

    Tittle says the money should be used to buy up shorefront property and ban further building.

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