STORM WATCH: Stormy conditions eat away at dunes, cause beach erosion along the Jersey Shore
Beaches along the Jersey Shore, including Bay Head, are taking a beating from conditions after days of strong winds and waves. In some towns, erosion is a big concern.
“It's a heck of a storm,” says Bay Head Mayor Bill Curtis. “We are getting hammered on the beach, we have lost a lot of sand at certain entrances. There's been about a 4-foot drop, and we are concerned if we have another storm, this is going to go for two more days.”
Three to four years ago, the entire area was replenished by the Army Corps of Engineers, but they noticed problem spots where erosion kept happening during coastal storms.
Ortley Beach, parts of Brick Township and in Bay Head, crews are scheduled to come back this winter to pump more sand and construct more dunes, but that comes with a cost – about $1.5 million for Bay Head. Just last week, they learned Ocean County will cover half that cost. Curtis questions how long the new round of replenishment will last.
“I think it is throwing it away because the Army Corps is going to put the sand in the exact same footprint that they did the first time, and we lost a lot of beach within 11 months after they put sand on it - plus they've taken away our beach with the dune,” says Curtis. “So the blanket space is going to be the same whenever this is finished, and I don't think it's going to work.”
Rep. Frank Pallone says it is a lot cheaper to continue to fund beach replenishment and dune development rather than rebuilding infrastructure.