The completion of a 600 foot-long concrete culvert on Wreck Pond, Spring Lake will ease flooding and beach closures in towns adjacent to the Pond. Residents have for years been subject to flooding and the bacteria–ridden water seeping from the Pond. The culvert will act as an inlet that can be managed by the opening and closing of a gate during severe weather events. It will help restore tidal flows between the ocean and the Pond, making it easier for fish to flow back and forth and improving water quality. It will also allow water to release from the pond quickly ad to control ocean water from coming in.
The Jersey Shore Partnership co-chaired the National Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA)
recent conference in Long Branch with Stevens Institute of Technology and Mott MacDonald.
Congressman Frank Pallone was keynote speaker. More than 350 participants focused on innovative ideas and solutions to building more sustainable coastlines.
The Co-Chairs presented an award to Lynn Bocamazo, NY District Army Corps of Engineers, and Dave
Rosenblatt, NJ DEP for the Monmouth County Coastal Storm Risk Management and Erosion
Control Project, initiated in 1994 to the present. The Project is the largest beach erosion control project
ever undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Senate Bill S311 sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Bill A2954 sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew would increase the Shore Protection Fund from $25 million to $50 million, the amount that is credited each year to the Shore Protection Fund from realty transfer fees. The Jersey Shore Partnership initiated the legislation and gave testimony before the joint Committee meeting.
We are delighted to report that the bills were heard on August 18 at the joint Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee and passed on to the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees.
This was the critical first step in moving the legislation along. Our testimony provides extensive detail on the funding required to meet authorized and planned beach protection projects over the next ten years. We look forward to presenting our testimony before the Appropriations Committees.
The Shore Protection Fund is an investment in the State. The Jersey Shore is an iconic brand for New Jersey as a recreation destination. The shore communities return $20 billion in tourism revenue annually to the state, and provide jobs and business opportunities for thousands.
The Jersey Shore Partnership respects New Jersey’s commitment to preserving its beaches and ensuring that all of us have the opportunity to access the shore for the beauty and recreation it offers.
Margot Walsh of the Jersey Shore Partnership recently had the opportunity to witness the dredging for beach replenishment first hand.
“On Monday, I went out on a Great Lakes Dredging Company dredger off LBI to learn how sand actually gets to our beaches. It is a very interesting science and, I must say, requires very experienced and resilient crew that our on duty 24/7. Included in our group were representatives from the Coastal States Organization, Philly Army Corps of Engineers, NJ Fish and Wildlife, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) and our hosts (way in the back of photo) Bill Hanson from Great Lakes and a reporter from NBC. I had an on-air news moment but most important the interviewer noted the Partnership’s efforts to increase funding for shore protection.”
There was hopeful news coming out of Congress for shore protection funding. The Senate Energy and Water appropriations bill called for $50 million for Shore Protection (Construction) funding in the 2017 budget, $10 million more than 2016. It was projected that the bill would sail through the full Senate with bi-partisan support. It was not to happen. An unrelated amendment jeopardized passage and the bill failed. If the appropriation bills don’t pass, we could be looking to a lame duck omnibus bill (like last year) or continuing resolution, which would keep last year’s funding level.
Update: S2848, the Water Resources Development Act 2016 has been placed on he Senate Legislative Calendar and will be taken up in the sequence in which it was added to the calendar.
On a good news note, the Army Corps of Engineers under Title VI Water Resources Infrastructure authorized the final feasibility studies for water resources development and conservation. Cape May County from the Hereford Inlet to Cape May Inlet was approved for a project under hurricane and storm damage risk reduction projects.