Tuckerton Waterways Commission Considers New Shoreline Restoration

Nov 29, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson An area in need of replenishment is along South Green Street past the Panini Bay Restaurant.

The Tuckerton Waterways Commission seems to be suffering from bureaucratic fatigue as it again heard from Councilman John Schwartz, in Florida, about an upcoming meeting between the state, T&M Engineering, BRS Inc., Mayor Sue Marshall and Little Egg Harbor Mayor Ray Gormley to discuss thin layer deposition of dredge material on the marsh in the Great Bay Wildlife Management Area.

Schwartz said the meeting should be either the second or third week of December. “We’ll know more after that,” said Schwartz.

Commission member Mark Salaga said he had again been delayed in his boat coming in from the bay by the low tides that kept him outside his lagoon. He asked if the delay in getting permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would jeopardize the National Fish and Wildlife Federation $2.1 million grant, due to expire Dec. 31, for the shoreline restoration project.

Schwartz said there was no reason to think the grant was in jeopardy. He also noted that it was time to repair the Iowa Court marsh in Little Egg Harbor before winter storms further erode that land. “That should be moving forward.”

Another meeting planned for this week or next, between Tuckerton attorney Chris Connors, Richard Zito’s attorney Richard Kitrick, the DEP and Tuckerton officials, should result in signing an easement so the DEP can access the spit of land at the end of Little Egg Harbor Boulevard in Tuckerton Beach. According to Schwartz, Zito wants a fence built around his land to protect it during the shoreline restoration there. Tuckerton already has a $600,000 grant for that project.

“If he doesn’t sign, then we’ll just have to work around him,” said Schwartz.

New to the commission’s ears was a proposal by the council to apply for shoreline restoration funds to place geotubes (material-filled fabric bags) in front of the bulkhead on Lanyard lagoon. Lanyard lagoon was used as a dredge material dump site in the 1990s when some lagoons were last dredged. The problem is the mud seeped around the edges of the bulkhead and silted in the mouth of Kingfisher lagoon. The geotubes could be filled with dredge material, but Schwartz was not hopeful the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge would allow the town to utilize Lanyard lagoon again for a dump site.

Better news is held out for lagoons being dredged on the west side of South Green Street by utilizing dredge disposal site “E” at the mouth of Tuckerton Creek. That site was last used when Tuckerton Creek was dredged 15 years ago for access to Tuckerton Seaport.

Schwartz said that to clear all Tuckerton Beach lagoons will mean dredging 77,500 cubic yards of material. An additional 43,000 cubic yards of material could come out of Thompson’s Creek to add to uplands, but the site being considered means getting permission to bring dredge pipes across Forsythe Refuge land.

“There are three areas near Paradise Cove that could take that,” said Schwartz.

Another area of concern for Tuckerton officials is along South Green Street starting on the west side beyond Panini Bay Restaurant. There are two areas that could use replenishment or shoreline restoration: land next to the restaurant, where wave action has undermined two houses and bulkheads; and a beach area that is within yards of the street. Schwartz said geotubes, oyster castles (concrete bricks suitable for oyster spat) and coconut matting might be the answer for these areas.

“Some kind of revetments; it all has to be engineered,” he said.

The project to restore shorelines with dredge materials and other ways still has a million-dollar shortfall, noted Schwartz, and the town will be reapplying for DEP and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants. He also said the attorney is working on a bonding ordinance that might include language for a special assessment for properties in the lagoon communities.

Pat Johnson


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