The sand to be soon dredged from the Little Egg Inlet will find a new home along Long Beach Island’s beaches, state officials announced.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has awarded an $18.4 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Oak Brook, Illinois to dredge 700,000 cubic yards of sand, with an option to dredge an additional 300,000 cubic yards, from the inlet, according to a state release.
The Little Egg Inlet is a major thoroughfare for boat traffic between southern Long Beach Island and Brigantine that has experienced serious shoaling. The 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.
The dredged sand will then be placed on beaches and dunes from Ocean Street in Beach Haven south to Holgate, focusing on areas that sustained erosion since the completion of the Army Corps’ replenishment project.
The contractor is beginning to mobilize and aims to complete the project by March 1, 2018.
“This important project will provide additional protections to the southern LBI area by replenishing beaches and dunes that have lost sand due to erosion from storms since completion of a major U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach fill project last year,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. “At the same time, it will greatly improve boating safety in the heavily used Little Egg Inlet, which has become virtually impassable for most boating traffic due to shoaling.”