US Army Corp of Engineers removes sand from Sandy Hook channel
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is working to remove sand from the Sandy Hook channel before it threatens to clog the area used for shipping.
Earlier this month, contractors for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers were at Monmouth Beach pumping massive piles of sand onto the shore from a spot off Sea Bright, part of the latest $52 million round of beach replenishment in northern Monmouth County.
Now, just a few miles north at the tip of the Sandy Hook peninsula, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is removing sand that has drifted north. Much of it, scientists say, is probably the same sand that contractors have been pumping onto the beach a few miles south.
Over the past two decades, the state and federal government have done round after round of beach replenishment in towns like Long Branch, Deal and Sea Bright. They have done it even more frequently in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Wider beaches have provided security for developers engaged in a development boom.
The more sand they pump to the south, the more it flows along natural currents to the north where the beaches of Sandy Hook get bigger and bigger.
Once a project that was undertaken every few years, the Army Corp now must dredge the Sandy Hook channel every year because it keeps filling up with sand. Scientists believe it's partly because of all the replenishment being done to the south.
This year's dredging will cost $6.7 million and take about three months.
A spokesman for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers said the sand dredged from the channel will be taken offshore, but some of it may be taken upland by the contractor Weeks Marine of Cranford.