New Jersey has completed a project that has rebuilt storm-battered beaches and dunes in southern Long Beach Island while simultaneously ensuring a safe navigation channel in the notoriously dangerous Little Egg Inlet.
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Oak Brook, Illinois dredged 700,000 cubic yards of sand from the inlet that was pumped along beaches and on dunes from Ocean Street in Beach Haven south to Holgate, focusing on areas that sustained erosion since the completion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ replenishment project.
The Little Egg Inlet is a major thoroughfare for boat traffic between southern Long Beach Island in Ocean County and Brigantine in Atlantic County that has experienced serious shoaling.
The inlet dredging, a first for the waterway that features constantly shifting sands, will create a navigable boat channel a mile long and 24-feet below mean sea level.
In 2017, conditions became so treacherous that the U.S. Coast Guard pulled buoys marking the channel due to concerns that buildup of sand in the channel had become too severe for safe passage of boats. The Coast Guard warned boaters that use of the inlet would be at their own risk.
The state will now place a request with the U.S. Coast Guard to mark the boating channel for the inlet
“We are very pleased that the project has been completed in time for the upcoming shore tourism and boating season,” said David Rosenblatt, Department of Environmental Protection Assistant Commissioner for Engineering and Construction. “This is an important project that served the two-fold purpose of repairing beaches and dunes to better protect communities on southern Long Beach Island from storms while clearing shoals that forced the Coast Guard last year to declare Little Egg Inlet unsafe for boating traffic.”