Update on the Shoreline Protection Projects in Tuckerton, Little Egg Harbor

Nov 01, 2017

A conference call on the National Fish and Wildlife Federation’s $2.1 million grant funded marsh restoration project on Thursday, Oct. 26, brought together representatives from grant managers BRS, New Jersey Future, and T&M Associates to provide an update on the project, including the status of the permit applications

Matt Brenner of BRS said that on Oct. 18, he and David Kutner from New Jersey Futures and Jen Taylor of BRS met with Dave Golden, assistant director of the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife, and his colleague Metthea Yepsen. Also in the meeting were Jason Worth and colleagues from T&M Associates, the engineering firm for the grant’s projects. The Division of Fish and Wildlife manages the Great Bay Boulevard Wildlife Management Area and must sign the permit applications for the marsh restoration project, which includes thin layer desposition on 23 acres of marsh.

Brenner said the DFW has not signed the applications, but the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers have started processing the permit applications since DFW is part of the DEP.

They also discussed the public comments and other information provided to Golden in July and September.

Brenner said despite Golden’s support of the project in theory, he was clear that work still needs to be done to make sure the right locations for this type of work are selected and that precautions be taken to make the project a success.

“In my opinion, all of the agencies involved, including DFW, have expressed genuine interest in arriving at an approvable project. My observation is that there is a clear and specific recognition within the agencies that developing good methods to reuse locally dredged sediments for marsh restoration, resiliency and habitat preservation is important and should be pursued – and that this project is seen as an important part of that process,” said Brenner in a statement.

BRS and T&M engineers will reconvene a meeting in a month with the DEP, DFW and ACOE to discuss the last issues that still must be addressed before the permit applications could be signed by DFW and then approved by the state and ACOE.

In September, the DEP awarded $400,000 for construction and three years of post-construction monitoring for the living shoreline project at Iowa Court in Little Egg Harbor Township. An additional grant received from the N.J. Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership will help cover the expense of building and monitoring the living shoreline.

T&M has prepared a new permit application for the living shoreline, and BRS is currently working with the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust, owner of the existing marsh, to have it sign the new application to submit to the DEP. Brenner was confident the living shoreline project would be approved by the DEP and the Army Corps of Engineers.

“I am hopeful that we can have permit approvals for the living shoreline by early 2018, and then prepare construction documents to put out to bid soon after.”

Copies of the permit applications, including maps of the proposed dredge and marsh restoration areas, may be viewed at both the Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton municipal clerks’ offices.

— Pat Johnson


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