USA: Officials Urge Beach and Dune Construction Projects
Responding to the Christie Administration’s announcement of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ schedule for critical beach and dune construction projects, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove (all R-9) called the large-scale effort absolutely imperative to safeguard residents and property in coastal communities.
Projects that include 9th Legislative District constituent municipalities would proceed on the following schedule:
-Beach Haven, Long Beach Township and Ship Bottom on the Long Beach Island portion of the Little Egg Inlet project area: Project agreement: January 2014; Projected construction start: April 2014.
-Bay Head, Berkeley, Brick, Lavallette, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach, Toms River, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park within the Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet project area: Project agreement: March 2014; Projected construction start: June 2014.
The 9th District delegation made the following remarks following the announced schedule for dune replenishment projects:
“After months of uncertainty created, in part, by the controversial issue of property easements, coastal residents can take comfort in the knowledge that the state will be moving forward aggressively with dune construction projects. Public safety and a commitment to a long-term rebuilding strategy are at the heart of the state’s efforts to protect our coastal communities.
“In assessing the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, it is imperative to not lose sight of the fact that those municipalities where beach replenishment projects were more recently completed were more resilient against the Superstorm than those municipalities in need of beach replenishment. Effectively, this is a testament to the overall success of the state’s beach replenishment program.
“Aside from protecting local residents and property in coastal communities, the dune replenishment projects represent a sound investment in one of New Jersey’s leading economic industries. Tourism is among the leading economic engines in our state and the Jersey Shore remains a major attraction for vacationers. Without proper maintenance of our beaches and effective protections for our beachfront communities, the state’s tourism industry and overall economy will see a decline in revenues. Dune replenishment projects are thus in the state’s best economic interests as we proceed forward with rebuilding and recovery efforts.”
As coastal legislators, Connors, Rumpf and Gove have a longstanding record of supporting dune replenishment projects.
To protect local recovery efforts the delegation has lead the effort against a legislative attempt to withhold beach replenishment funds from municipalities that charge beach fees that are used, largely in part, for beach maintenance.
Additionally, the delegation supported Governor Christie’s Executive Order that directed the State Acting Attorney General to immediately coordinate legal action to acquire the necessary easements to build dunes as well as created the Office of Flood Hazard Risk Reduction to coordinate acquisition efforts.
Press Release, October 24, 2013