Ocean City Council resolution supports beach fill in south end

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Ocean City Council will consider a resolution supporting a south end beach replenishment at its Nov. 29 meeting. Ocean City Council will consider a resolution supporting a south end beach replenishment at its Nov. 29 meeting.

(UPDATE 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29) Ocean City Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting a beach replenishment project in the city’s south end (see below) at its Nov. 29 meeting in the Ocean City Library. In addition, Councilman Scott Ping said he wanted to extend an invitation to local congressman to assess the damage done in the area from 36th to 59th streets.

“We haven’t had much a beach down there for quite a while,” Ping said. “We’ve lost our final line of defense and that was the dune structure that was there in front of the houses.

“With any kind of a nor’easter, these properties are very vulnerable to be taken out completely because there’s nothing there to protect them.”

Ping noted that the amount of money that it would cost to replenish the area was insignificant to the millions of dollars in damage done if the properties in the area were taken out due to a storm.


 

OCEAN CITY – City Council will be asked to pass a resolution asking for more sand in the city’s south end at its Nov. 29 meeting 7 p.m. in the Ocean City Library.

Resolution 18 supports a beach replenishment project from 36th to 59th streets in Ocean City.

Currently, the city is awaiting a beach replenishment project in the north end up to 12th Street. This area, all the way to 36th Street, is part of a 50-year agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers for beach replenishment. This year, federal and state funding was approved for the project, which is being grouped with a project in Brigantine scheduled to begin at the end of this year. The federal government pays for 75 percent of the project and remainder is split between the state and local governments.

“The beach and dune systems created by these projects served to successfully protect public and private properties from serious damage during the recent storm,” the resolution states.

Residents in Ocean City’s south end have most recently come before council on Nov. 15 begging to be added to the north end project after they saw their dunes washed away during Hurricane Sandy.

The resolution acknowledges that the south end beaches have suffered serious erosion in recent years, and during Sandy, the area suffered serious damage to both public and private properties.

“This area is on a list of authorized projects and is known as ‘New Jersey Shore Protection Great Egg Harbor Inlet to Townsends Inlet,’” the resolution states. “A project partnership agreement for this area is under review by the Army Corps of Engineers.”

According to Richard Pearsall, spokesman for the US Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District, the agreement is still in the planning stages.

“The state and the Army Corps are still working out the partnership agreement,” Pearsall said last week.

Once the agreement is finalized, the project would be eligible for federal funding through an act of Congress.

“That’s a ways off,” he said.

Pearsall said that the recent hurricane could advance or modify some replenishment projects.

“Who knows, there could be modifications to these things as we figure out if more sand is needed and so forth,” he said.

As far as the north end project, that is still on track, he said.

“The Ocean City project is really still … it hasn’t changed,” Pearsall said. “They will begin the project this fall, sometime, sometime before the end of the year.”

Last week, several New Jersey members of the House of Representatives joined together to ask for federal funding for the US Army Corps of Engineers to complete “necessary repairs and preventative measure on projects authorized by Congress” across New Jersey.

Reps. Frank LoBiondo, Jon Runyan, Chris Smith, Frank Pallone, Rush Holt and Albio Sires sent two letters regarding beach replenishment and flood protection projects to President Barack Obama and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers requesting federal resources. Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. and Steve Rothman selectively signed the letters.

The letter to Obama states, “As you are well aware, Hurricane Sandy had an unprecedented devastating impact on the New Jersey coast. Our coastline sustained billions in damages that will take, in some cases, years to rebuild. 

“After assessing the damages, it appears that areas lucky enough to be protected by completed Army Corps flood control and beach replenishment projects fared significantly better than those areas still waiting for funding to complete their beach and flood control projects. This storm clearly illustrates that we need to finish these beach and flood control projects as soon as possible.”

Noting the local tourism industry’s reliance on New Jersey’s 127 miles of coastline, the letter acknowledges the long recovery process ahead.

“While the industry is in the process of recovery, we need to do our part to ensure future disasters will not deal nearly as damaging a blow by completing our beach and flood control projects,” it states.


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