Little Egg Harbor Awards Shoreline Restoration Contract for Iowa Court and South Green Street

Aug 29, 2018
Photo by: file photo Pat Johnson A shoreline in Tuckerton Beach being considered for restoration.

Little Egg Harbor held a special meeting Aug. 21 to award the contract for the Iowa Court and South Green Street living shorelines projects. Albert Marine Construction of Waretown won the contract with the lowest responsible bid of $1,507,067. The cost for the two projects will come from two grants: what is left of a $2.1 million National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant awarded in May 2015 and a $400,000 state Department of Environmental Protection resiliency grant.

The living shoreline on Iowa Court in Little Egg Harbor includes shoring up an eroded cul de sac and creating a “hybrid living shoreline,” so-called because it contains a hard structure. Hybrid living shorelines are preferred for projects that face open water.

The hybrid living shoreline will contain a 20-foot-wide “shoreline sill” of a ton of rocks to mitigate wave action on the salt marsh. The sill will contain a buried wooden bulkhead along the historic 1977 tide line. It will then be filled in with “quality” dredge material having just the right sand-to-mud consistency, and planted with salt marsh and cedar trees. This project will require 50 dump trucks of fill to enlarge the marsh to almost an acre. The marsh is owned by the New Jersey Land Trust.

Little Egg Harbor is the lead agency for the disbursal of the NFWF grant, shared by Tuckerton borough, and therefore awarded the South Green Street living shoreline $421,036 of the total $1.5 million.

Barnegat Bay Partnership will monitor the success of both the Iowa Court and South Green Street living shorelines for two of the required five years of monitoring, through a $47,000 grant it received from the New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.

Tuckerton Borough

Has More Projects

On Monday night, Aug. 27, the Tuckerton Waterways Commission met and heard from their liaison to the borough, Councilman John Schwartz, about the South Green Street living shoreline and four other living shoreline projects being considered for Tuckerton Beach.

The shoreline restoration along South Green Street contains two separate sections. The first section along the cove that has eroded to within feet of South Green Street has all the permits to fill with 560 cubic yards of clean beach sand, graded from an area of 3 to 4 feet of stone rip rap along South Green Street to under the high tide mark about 200 feet. About 100 feet from shore will be constructed a 224-foot-long breakwater of stone and timber piling with three marine warning signs on the timber. There are 30-foot inlets on both sides of the breakwater to allow for fish, horseshoe crabs and kayaks to pass through.

Now that the contract has been awarded, these projects could start any day.

The second part of the South Green Street living shoreline would continue from a point of land jutting out into the cove to the bulkhead at South Green Street Park. The borough only recently learned from the DEP that this could be a possibility.

“We had a meeting with the NJDEP on Thursday and they said, ‘You have the material, why not use it?’” said Schwartz. Borough engineers Owens and Little are at work on the shore stabilization plan for that area. It once was a beach in the 1960s.

Other news from this meeting is “cause for celebration,” said Schwartz. The DEP is opening its confined disposal facility, or mud dump, on Story Island. Story Island is currently covered in phragmites (reeds) and offers little refuge to wildlife. The DEP would like to restore it to something more of an upland maritime forest and salt marsh. There would be a cost to use the CDF, but it would be much cheaper to pump dredge material from lagoons to Story Island than truck it to an upland CDF site, noted Schwartz. The timeline for this is up in the air at this point as the DEP would have to do some remediation on the site first and permits would have to be applied for.

Schwartz was also hopeful that residents of Paradise Cove might have something to look forward to as well. The borough is negotiating with a landowner near the cove to lease land for a dewatering site for dredge material from Thompson Cove. Also, Schwartz said the DEP agrees that Thompson Creek has been dredged in the past, even though the department has no record of it, so it would be considered for a maintenance-dredging permit. “That way we don’t have to start from page 1,” said Schwartz.

If the site is procured and dredging is approved and paid for (possibly through a special assessment) the dewatering process could take as little as a few days to be able to truck the material to another site for disposal. The contractor could use corncobs to help in the process, said Schwartz. The borough would have to find a customer for the clean fill, said Schwartz.

Two other projects in Tuckerton Beach include shoring up the peninsula at the end of Little Egg Harbor Boulevard. The borough has a grant to pay for a stone revetment (essentially a jetty backed up to the land) along the land facing the bay and all the permits but has been stymied in its efforts to do the work by one property owner. The borough is now considering eminent domain proceedings for the small piece of property abutting the land that is needed to anchor the project.

The second project is shoring up the bulkhead at the end of Lanyard lagoon. The borough would like to add a stone revetment there and put back the dredge material that has leaked out over the years from a botched dredging job in the 1990s. This material has made the mouth of Kingfisher lagoon too shallow for boat traffic during low tide. This area is owned by the Edwin B. Forsythe Refuge, and Schwartz was happy to report a meeting with the refuge manager Virginia Rettig “was very positive.”

“She would be looking for engineering plans, but as long as it doesn’t affect tidal flow and the birds, it would not be a problem,” said Schwartz. “She also offered to help us look for grants.”

The Waterways Commission also warned boaters now that they are their own worst enemy by going too fast in no-wake zones. “When the tide is high, that’s the worse time to speed through the lagoon. That’s when the water rises up over the marsh and causes it to break off,” said Commission Chairwoman Nadine Maddox.

— Pat Johnson






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