North Wildwood searching for sand solution

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NORTH WILDWOOD- In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, North Wildwood’s beaches are again in need of replenishment to prepare for the summer.

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution awarding a $7,500 engineering contract to Van Note-Harvey Associates to determine the specifications needed for the replenishment, write the bid project, and oversee the project’s completion.

Stewart Farrell of Richard Stockton College's Coastal Research Center was already enlisted by the city to examine and survey the city’s beaches. According to city administrator Lou Belasco, Farrell’s last survey said the beaches had lost about 150,000 cubic yards after Sandy, and an additional 75,000 cubic yards from beach erosion prior to the storm.

“We really have to get sand up at the beach for the summer, and we will have to get it done one way or another” said Mayor Bill Henfey.

The first option for replenishment, Henfey said, is a dredge project that will piggy back off of Stone Harbor’s beach replenishment later this year. According to Henfey, Stone Harbor will already have a dredge in Hereford Inlet pumping sand onto its shores. He added that normally, mobilization is the most expensive part of replenishment project, so if the two municipalities can share services, it will significantly cut costs.

While it is too early to tell what the total price tag will be on the project, Belasco did say that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reimburse the city for 75 percent of the costs in replenishing the 150,000 cubic yards of sand lost during Sandy. Replenishing the additional 75,000 cubic yards lost will be paid for by the city.

The other option, which Henfey said he would prefer not to go forward with, would be to take sand from the waterline with bulldozers during low tide and push that sand up onto the dry beach. The incoming tide would then fill in some of the sand.

Either option will add enough sand to the city’s beaches to bring their square footage back to where it was last summer, Henfey said. Last year, the city entered into an agreement with Wildwood Crest that allowed it to bring sand from that borough’s beaches onto those in North Wildwood.

“The goal is to get the beaches to the where we were last summer,” Henfey said. “If we can just get back to that point, we should be set for the upcoming summer.”

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at 

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