Surf City Beach Replenishment to Start This Month

Jun 20, 2018

The much anticipated, if ill-timed, beach replenishment project for Surf City is slated to begin within the next week, according to borough officials. Councilman Peter Hartney, who also serves as chairman of the beach committee, said all but two pieces of equipment are either currently in place or being put into place. When work begins, the pipe landing will be made at 11th Street, and work will first move north, then flip to proceed south toward the border of Ship Bottom.

“The dredge is expected to be back on the Island between June 20 and June 23,” Hartney told the borough council at its monthly meeting June 13, adding the project is expected to last 30 days. “Fifteen days north and then 15 days south, maybe less.”

March nor’easters naturally replenished some of the beaches in the southern section of the borough, he said.

“They are aware that the timing isn’t ideal and are moving along as quickly as they can,” Hartney said of the U.S. Army Corps, noting the rainy spring weather significantly affected the beach replenishment project on the Island.

Initially, Surf City’s project was slated to be done after Harvey Cedars, which began earlier this month. Both Harvey Cedars and Surf City projects are expected to conclude late next month.

During construction, crews close 1,000 feet of beach as work progresses. If beachgoers don’t comply, they will be issued a federal summons, Hartney said. The councilman attended a weekly internal progress meeting with the contractor; the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, the non-federal project sponsor; and representatives of each community undergoing beachfill to clarify and disseminate the latest information, June 12.

“The beaches along LBI that USACE have constructed that needed storm damage reduction have performed exceptionally well since we first started the project in 2007,” Keith Watson, USACE Philadelphia District project manager, has said. “As a whole, the beaches and dunes are in good shape. As with all coastal SDR projects there will be a few small areas that have more erosion and others that experience accretion and everything in between. But as a whole, the project has performed really well.”

The project is slated for periodic nourishment on a seven-year cycle, he said, noting the initial construction was done in FY2014 under the last large contract following Superstorm Sandy.

The USACE and DEP also analyze the project on an annual basis, “and look for ways to optimize performance within the authorization of the project,” Watson explained. “The actual beachfill method of using dredges to obtain material from offshore or inlet borrow areas to build the beaches remains the most efficient and economical way to nourish the beaches and maintain the storm damage reduction mission of the project. The most resilient and renewable sources of sand remain the large coastal inlets, such as Little Egg Inlet at the southern end of LBI.”

This inlet was utilized earlier this year for a state project with a twofold purpose: to clear dangerous shoals from the waterway and then to use the sand to repair storm-damaged beaches on southernmost LBI.

The Army Corps monitors the beaches on an annual basis, and the DEP “is also required to operate and maintain the project and report to USACE on the state of the beaches and all features of the project, including the crossovers, sand fencing, dune grass, etc.,” according to Watson.

Visit the project website, nap.usace.army.mil/lbi, for beachfill updates.

— Gina G. Scala

ggscala@thesandpaper.net

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