The DEP has announced that beach replenishment and shore protection are nearing reality, as the state has obtained more than 80 percent of the 2,850 easements necessary for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete its shore protection projects that include dune construction. Beach front homeowners, most notably in Bay Head, maintain that its seawall currently under construction will provide more safety than dunes and are withholding easement agreements.
Gov. Christie issued an Executive Order in September that directs the Attorney General’s Office and DEP to take whatever action is required to obtain property easements. State officials reported that “vigorous efforts are continuing to acquire the remaining 400 easements as expeditiously as possible without paying a king’s ransom for compensation.”
The Army Corps is scheduled to begin a $158 million beach widening and dune construction project next year in northern Ocean County at which time all the easements will need to be obtained.