Congressman Chris Smith announced this afternoon that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has completed a $25 million Southern Monmouth County beach replenishment project in Belmar. The five mile stretch of beach including Manasquan, Spring Lake, Sea Girt and Belmar was severely eroded by Superstorm Sandy. The project, which started in November 7, 2013 nourished the beaches to better conditions than existed pre-Sandy.
“I stood on what was left of the beaches in the days after Superstorm Sandy and the immense scope of the damage was a hard to take in,” said Smith, who worked to obtain Sandy recovery funding and hosted a groundbreaking in Manasquan Nov. 7. “The beaches and dunes which offered protection to the shore communities were washed away—leaving the towns vulnerable to future storms. Thankfully, the Army Corps of Engineers has now rebuilt the beaches in Belmar, Sea Girt, Spring Lake and Manasquan to continue the protections they provide for homes and lives.”
The project is funded 100 percent by the federal government through the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (FCCE) account. The project pumped an estimated 1.3 million cubic yards of sand onto the shoreline.
Smith said that the Asbury Park through Avon by the Sea replenishment project is in its final stages. Dredging and beachfill operations are complete and de-mobilization activities underway. Poor weather continues to prevent retrieval of some equipment but that could be completed tomorrow. More than 1 million cubic yards of sand has been put back on the beaches.
“The completion of this project will provide our shore communities and the families who reside along the shore with critical storm, surge and flood protection in the event of future storms,” Smith said. “In most areas at the Jersey Shore where the Army Corps of Engineers successfully completed beach re-nourishment projects, there was less damage than those where they did not. Where the Corps was able to build higher berms, the water was held back. Where there were low dunes, the water flooded in. The damage to houses, businesses and other infrastructure was significantly less that in towns where similar re-nourishment efforts have not yet begun.
“Preventing flooded homes and businesses is cheaper and more efficient that repairing them after a water breach. It is necessary, cost-effective and justified for the federal government to fund beach replenishment and flood protection projects.”