Last week, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted unanimously to pass a resolution supporting an increase in the New Jersey Shore Protection Fund.
“Healthy beaches, coastal oceanfront and bayside shorelines fuel our state’s economy, bringing in $19 billion in tourism, which is half of the state’s total tourism revenue,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone. “Maintaining our coastlines is essential for our County and our state’s economy.”
For the past two decades, the New Jersey Legislature has allocated $25 million annually for the New Jersey Protection Fund, 65 percent of which is matched by federal dollars, for important coastal projects.
“Some of Monmouth County’s shore communities still continue to recover and rebuild from Superstorm Sandy,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry. “It was only the beginning of this month that Ocean Grove completed rebuilding its boardwalk and other towns and businesses still struggle to find funding to rebuild. This is the time to increase the Shore Protection Fund, not decrease it.”
The Shore Protection Fund was created to guard public and private infrastructure and property against coastal storm damage, sea-level rise and erosion. Protection projects include beach replenishment and maintenance of bulkheads, jetties and seawalls.
“The 2015 proposed federal budget for beach replenishment projects is the lowest it has been in the past decade,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. “The need for these funds is rising as we face rising sea levels, climate change and coastal development. Immediate action must be taken to ensure that Shore Protection Fund is increased or at the minimum, maintained at its current $25 million level of funding that has been in place for decades.”
Press Release, August 1, 2014