New Jersey Coastal Scheme Kicks Off

As part of President Obama’s continuing commitment to help coastal communities recover from Hurricane Sandy and promote resilient coastal systems, beachfill construction to complete the remaining sections of the Storm Damage Reduction Project on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, began this week.

Sand dredged from federal offshore waters is being placed along 11.5 miles of shoreline between Barnegat Inlet and Little Egg Inlet in the previously unconstructed portions of the project.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which oversees access to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) resources, is making available up to seven million cubic yards of sand from federal waters under an agreement announced last July between BOEM, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

This is the largest amount of OCS sand conveyed by BOEM along the Atlantic coast for a single project to date. The project will require up to three dredge vessels to excavate material from state and federal waters, and is expected to extend through April 2016. It will build upon previous beachfill operations that used more than four million cubic yards of sand from New Jersey state waters.

The New Jersey Geological and Water Survey (a part of the NJDEP) in cooperation with BOEM, identified, characterized and quantified the resource site, handing off these findings to the U.S. Army Corps, which further evaluated the site for use in the Long Beach Island beach construction project.

This project was authorized for construction by the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 and was partially constructed before Hurricane Sandy affected the New Jersey shoreline. Under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, Congress authorized the Corps to complete the construction of the project and appropriated the additional funding.

The beachfill construction is designed to reduce storm damages to property and infrastructure that is vulnerable to the impacts of hurricanes, nor’easters, and long term erosion. In addition, the project will help to maintain recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat along the Long Beach Island beach areas.

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