Should school districts, small towns be forced to consolidate?

Those in the running for two 11th Legislative District Assembly seats, covering 18 municipalities in Monmouth County, all agree something needs to be done to alleviate spiraling property taxes that are burdening families and driving residents out of the state.

But ask them who is to blame for the inaction and opinions diverge.

Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande, both R-Monmouth, say they’re frustrated by a Democratic-controlled Legislature and its ties to special-interest groups that prevent reform. Democratic challengers Joann Downey, an attorney, and Eric Houghtaling, a Neptune Township committeeman, blame Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

The candidates spoke Monday with the Asbury Park Press editorial board. The discussion centered on hot-button issues such as school funding, gun control and consolidating town and school services.

Sharing services and costs

How to save costs and relieve taxpayers dominated a large part of the discussion Monday.

When asked if the candidates would mandate the consolidation of K-6 districts into K-12 districts or the consolidation of towns with fewer than 5,000 residents into larger municipalities if there is at least a 10 percent cost saving, candidates were split.

Houghtaling and Downey said they favored consolidation, answering yes to both questions.

“These are things that we as municipal leaders can’t do,” said Houghtaling, a five-year member of the Neptune Township Committee and a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 400. “These things would have to come down from the state; there has to be pressure applied.”

Casagrande, who has served in the Assembly since 2008, said she favored combining school districts, because “we have too many,” but not merging small towns. Angelini, also in the Assembly since 2008, answered no to both questions.

School funding

One of the biggest issues in District 11 is school funding in Freehold Borough. The district’s classrooms are overcrowded, and residents say they can’t shoulder the burden of paying for the student spike alone.

Houghtaling said Freehold was the third-most underfunded district in the state, but the Legislature had failed to offer any relief. “There’s not enough room (in these schools), and nobody’s doing anything about it,” he said.

School funding has been held flat in recent years.

Casagrande said there was no political will in the Legislature to rewrite the school-funding formula and equitably distribute dollars among the neediest districts such as Freehold.

“The children (in Freehold) are grossly under adequacy,” said Casagrande. She called it “maddening” that 31 urban districts, formerly known as Abbott districts, absorb 60 percent of all school funding. “Our school dollars are still fully locked up in who was impoverished in 1986; leadership in both the Senate and Assembly have blocked reforms to redistribute those funds. It’s such an injustice.”

Downey,a former deputy state attorney general  and Freehold Township resident, said that the Legislature should properly fund schools but that districts should also look for ways to share services and save costs.

Gun control

Houghtaling and Downey said more needed to be done to keep weapons out of the hands of those with mental illness or those who mean to do harm.

Angelini, too, supported drawing a strong link between mental health and gun ownership. She expressed frustration that one of her bills to give priority in firearm applications  to those who are victims of domestic abuse had gone nowhere.

“This is good policy, good legislation, and we can’t get any traction,” she said.

Reposted from

The sand will come back, one way or another


North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello can’t wait for natural accretion. Overlooking a 15-foot cliff at Fifth Avenue on Monday, and praising the sand for “doing what it was supposed to do,” he still wondered how he would replace it.

“It’s all gone. It’s a huge amount of sand. Our dunes have almost been chopped in half. The dunes were out another 20 feet and there was sand in front of them,” said Rosenello.

The town will get a quick fix as the state Department of Transportation is dredging the Beach Creek channel in the coming weeks and will put this sand on the beaches. It won’t replace what was lost, but Rosenello said it will help.

The state Department of Environmental Protection already took measurements, and said the damage varies by town. Cape May County and Atlantic City got hit particularly hard, said DEP spokesman Larry Hajna, while different degrees of erosion ran the length of Long Beach Island.

Some towns are lucky, as beach replenishment projects were already scheduled and will replace the lost sand right away.

Richard Pearsall, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, said dredging is set this fall for Ocean City, Long Beach Island and in Monmouth County. The Army Corps could take emergency action for other areas, but that process takes months.

Pearsall noted that towns are allowed to move existing sand around.

“That’s allowed, even encouraged, to level scarping and move sand to eroded spots,” said Pearsall.

New sand eventually will come. The Army Corps has long-term beach replenishment commitments for every developed town from Cape May Point to Sandy Hook, except the Wildwoods.

Pearsall said that project, which will involve using pumps to move sand from large beaches in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest to eroded beaches in North Wildwood, called “back-passing,” is still in the planning and design phases.

North Wildwood has done this before, moving 100,000 cubic yards of sand by truck from Wildwood Crest after Hurricane Irene and this past spring taking 37,000 cubic yards from Wildwood.

“Back-passing works,” said Farrell.

Reposted from Press of Atlantic City

Two arrested for jet ski theft

Two men were arrested on Oct. 1 for the theft of a Jet Ski and trailer from a residence in Long Beach Township. Dilso M. Vasquez-Arias and Pablo R. Rodriguez-Coronado, both of Camden, N.J., were placed in custody following an investigation by members of the township and Ship Bottom police departments.

Vasquez-Arias and Rodriguez-Coronado are charged with theft, receiving stolen property, possession of burglar tools and conspiracy. They were lodged in Ocean County Jail, with bail set at $10,000 and $7,500, respectively.

Investigating officers were as follows: from Long Beach Township, Patrolmen Angelo Fiorentino and Mark Stanish, Sgt. Gerard Traynor and Detective Patrick Mazzella, and from Ship Bottom, Patrolmen Kyle Jones, James Gesicki and Jon Potter.

As the township police reported, this information was forwarded to the Surf City Police Department to help with an ongoing Jet Ski theft investigation within that borough’s jurisdiction.

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Bill to cut boat tax gains steam

A revised bill now sailing through the state Legislature would cut sales tax on all noncommercial boats sold in New Jersey in what supporters say will boost sales and marine businesses.

Earlier this year, Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would cap the state’s 7 percent sales tax on boats at $20,000, no matter how expensive the boat.

The revised bill would keep that cap and lower the sales tax to 3.5 percent for all boats.

The Senate in September revised the bill to include Christie’s concerns and is scheduled to vote on it late this month.

But the latest incarnation of the boat tax continues to face head winds from those who say it unfairly benefits the rich.

Christie said the new bill would benefit more middle-class boat buyers.

Earl Schock, general manager of Waterfront Marine in Somers Point, said the sales tax break has been a long time coming.

“Let’s face it, the marine industry is a big industry and has far-reaching consequences,” Schock said. “There are a lot of people who boat in Jersey, and a lot of those people buy out of state because of the taxes here. With a 3.5 percent net savings for a purchaser, that’s a huge deal.”

In April, New York capped its boat tax at about $19,000.

Sen. Shirley Turner, who opposes the boat tax breaks, believes the bill is only helping one income class.

“My concern is that the governor vetoed the bill conditionally and then he more or less made it even more generous by reducing sales tax by 50 percent. I had a difficult time coming to grips with the governor reducing the sales tax by 50 percent for people that can afford luxury yachts and boats,” Turner said.

Turner believes New Jersey, a state lagging behind in job creation and employment, should focus more on the middle class.

The bill is supposed to make New Jersey competitive with other states with similar approaches, such as New York and Florida, but Turner pointed out New Jersey’s struggles.

“We can’t keep up with the Joneses if we can’t pay our bills,” she said.

Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, said the bill will encourage the industry to expand and provide jobs in the field for boat mechanics, workers who maintain boats and people who sell boating products.

There are 70 boat dealers in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties, according to the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns from 2013.

“I think that by moving that legislation forward, which we have, and now complying with the governor’s conditional veto, we are on track to get this thing done. I think it will be a real positive for the shore and for the industry itself,” Van Drew said.

Reposted from Press of Atlantic City

Nor’Easter packed punch while Joaquin stayed away

f-October Storm 3

At this time last week, officials throughout the state were hoping for some significant rainfall as parts of New Jersey were under a drought watch. Levels of reservoirs, groundwater and streams were at the point that if precipitation did not improve, a drought watch would be upgraded into a warning, resulting perhaps in water restrictions.

Those hoping for rain got their wish, as a northeast storm system rolled into the area and started dropping rain on Wednesday, intensifying later Thursday and didn’t let up until early Sunday morning.

David Robertson, state climatologist from Rutgers University,  said Southern Ocean County got squeezed between two major developments – a high-pressure system and a complex upper-level low.

“The upper-level low brought bands and bands of precipitation up from the South,” said Robertson. “It was relentless. The rain was coming off the ocean, which is why areas on the east side of the state were hit the hardest.

Robertson said Lacey Township recorded the greatest amount of rain in Ocean County with 8.05 inches. Next was Stafford Township, which received 6.7 inches. The rainfall total was 4 inches in Harvey Cedars.

He said a wind measuring devices located in Harvey Cedars picked up wind gusts of at least 30 mph for 100 consecutive hours, or slightly more than four days.

For 60 hours, the gusts were more than 40 mph, he said. “The highest wind gust measured was 53 miles an hour.”

While this system was dropping copious amounts of precipitation, forecasters were also keeping an eye on Hurricane Joaquin. There were early computer models that indicated Joaquin would affect New Jersey, resulting in Gov. Christie declaring a State of Emergency on Thursday.

“None of our rainy weather had anything to with Joaquin,” said Robertson. “It stayed well out to sea so it was a non-factor.”

The National Weather Service reported 3.30 inches of rain at its climate center at the Atlantic City Airport from Wednesday through Saturday. Inland areas such as McGuire Air Force Base and the South Jersey Airport in Burlington County had readings of 2.47 and 2.20 inches, respectively.

In Long Beach Township, Mayor Joseph Mancini said, “The flat beaches were all out, but the dunes actually looked like they got larger.”

He added that sand migration onto oceanfront properties may be problematic to some homeowners.

Township Police Chief Michael Bradley said the department’s focus during the storm was keeping the public informed through emergency notification systems such as Nixle.

“We appreciate the public heeding our warnings and avoiding safety concerns,” he said, adding that the department’s Humvees “were a great asset to respond through flood waters to calls for service.”

Stafford Township Administrator James Moran said his town did not sustain any significant damage.

“The high winds did result in some excessive leaf and other similar debris in roadways and storm drains,” said Moran. “We did experience some street flooding in low-lying areas of Beach Haven West and Mallard Island, but those areas fared well, considering what could have been.”

In Beach Haven, Public Works Superintendent George Gilbert said there were a few beach entrances filled with storm-swept sand that needed to be cleared. Five feet of sand along the dunes at Fifth Street was the worst of it.

The only erosion was by the geotubes near Merivale and Nelson Avenue.

“That’s about the extent of our damage, other than a little bit of debris in the roads that we have to clear up,” Gilbert said. “Around town there was very minimal damage compared to what it could have been.”

In Harvey Cedars, Mayor Jonathan Oldham said beaches between Essex Avenue and Salem Avenue sustained erosion.

“In some spots, we lost some dunes,” he said. “Some of the beach entrances had 5-foot drops. We’re going to be pushing up some sand to get the beaches back in shape. The beaches on the north end held up well.”

Harvey Cedars Det. Robert Burnaford, deputy emergency management coordinator, said a majority of dune fencing was lost along beaches at the south end.

“We had some back bay flooding, but nothing too serious,” he said. “The strong winds were constant. That’s why some of our beaches took a hit.”

Beach erosion was a non-issue in Surf City, according to Councilman Peter Hartney. “We’re looking great,” he said.

Checking out the beach on Monday morning with Surf City Police Chief William Collins, the pair drove up and down the borough’s beaches twice. They concluded that the condition of the beach was “solid,” though the beach entrances were blocked.

Preparation was key regarding the weekend’s weather. “You really just have to keep an eye on it because you never know what it’s going to do,” Hartney said.

Thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers’ replenishment and a sandbar building up due to littoral drift from Harvey Cedars, the councilman said there was a lot of sand in front of the dunes. Punches the waves tossed were absorbed in this sort of buffer.

“Thank you, Harvey Cedars,” Hartney said.

Todd MacLennan, Ship Bottom fire chief, said the borough experienced flooding between the Ship Bottom Wawa and the municipal building on Central Avenue.

“That’s always a trouble spot during these types of storms,” he said. “There were no reports of water getting into any homes. We’re just very thankful that the hurricane stayed well out to sea and did not affect us.”

Borough Administrator Brian Geoghegan said public works crews have been clearing wind-blown sand from beach entrances.

“Overall, I think we did OK,” he said. “The roads that flooded do that whenever we have a nor’easter.”

Barnegat Light reported no problems.

“There was some minor beach erosion on the south end,” said Ed Sulecki, public works superintendent. “Our beaches are quite large. It would take a very powerful storm to damage them.”

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Evelynn Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Ryan Morrill)

(Photo by: Jack Reynolds)

(Photo by: Jack Reynolds)

(Photo by: Jack Reynolds)

(Photo by: Jack Reynolds)

(Photo by: Jack Reynolds)

(Photo by: Jack Reynolds)

(Photo by: Jack Reynolds)

Reposted from The Sandpaper

Causeway Bridge update at Southern Ocean Chamber Meeting October 13

A firsthand update on the Causeway Bridge construction and repair progress will be given by a project engineer at the Oct. 13 membership meeting of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce. The topic is timely, as many people have questions now that they can see the southern span rising to eye level as it is built, and road work in progress where the trestle bridges will connect with the larger bridges.

Speaking to the chamber will be Pankesh Patel, project manager of the N.J. Department of Transportation Route 72 Bridge Project.

“He will be speaking to the importance and emphasis the NJDOT has put on this crucial Route 72 bridge project. Mr. Patel will give latest progress, local impact, next phases and estimated completion schedule,” said Lori Pepenella, destination marketing and communications director for the chamber.

All local businesses are invited to make a reservation to attend the luncheon meeting, held at the Holiday Inn Manahawkin, on Route 72. The meeting begins with networking at 11:30 a.m., with the buffet lunch and program starting at noon.

RSVP to hold your seat by calling the chamber office at 609-494-7211. Cost is $20 in advance, or $25 at the door.

Stafford Chamber — Hosts Police Chief

A recent meeting of the Stafford Chamber of Commerce featured guest speaker Stafford Township Police Chief Joseph Giberson, who discussed the strong relationship of drugs to other crimes.

“Chief Giberson pointed out that drugs are the leading cause (90 percent) of calls received by the Stafford Police Department involving theft, robbery or auto break-ins,” reported Steve Rizzo, chamber vice president and owner of Room Service Home Improvement.

Ocean County ranks third in the state’s 21 counties for drug-related incidents, Giberson added.

The chief recommended that members of the community take advantage of the medicine drop boxes that are available at various locations to dispose of unused medicine. He also advised members that the Stafford police page on Facebook is a good source of information.

The Stafford Chamber of Commerce has just reached the milestone of having 100 members. That announcement was another highlight of the meeting.

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month. The next meeting is Oct. 13 at Element Restaurant & Bar in Manahawkin. Networking begins at 5:15 p.m. and a buffet dinner follows. The cost is $25.

For more information on upcoming events and the chamber’s incentives for “Creating Growth … Taking Action … Getting Connected,” see the website or call 609-410-2525.


Reposted from the Sandpaper

Free ‘Super Surf Casting Seminar’ October 10

With the arrival of fall and the start of the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic, it’s the perfect time to fine-tune angling skills. Register now for the free “Super Surf Casting Seminar” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, in Ship Bottom.

Participants meet at 10 a.m. for refreshments and door prizes at the Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Station, on 21st Street and Central Avenue, and listen in as members of the Team Mullet fishing club share their knowledge of equipment, casting, bait, driving a 4-by-4 vehicle on the beach and much more.

A prize drawing will be held at the end of this segment of the seminar. Winners must be present to collect their prize.

Weather and beach conditions permitting, the clinic continues on the Ninth Street beach in Ship Bottom for hands-on instruction. Organizers suggest bringing a folding chair for comfort on the beach.

Pre-registration is required. Call the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce at 609-494-7211 or 800-292-6372, or email

Reposted from the Sandpaper

School year off to a good start with consolidation questions

Long Beach Island Consolidated School District Superintendent and LBI Grade School Principal Peter Kopack succinctly recapped the start of the school year at last week’s board of education meeting, noting “We are well underway. We had a great opening.”

Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School Principal Frank Birney echoed Kopack’s sentiments, and then spoke about the grade levels’ various projects, including monarch butterflies and the celebration of individual gifts and talents. Birney also mentioned that the gardens at the E.J. School, in Surf City, are in “full effect,” and he thanked the residents who helped tend to them over the summer.

The board announced that a project to temporarily bolster floor joists under the LBI School, in Ship Bottom, is complete. In August, a contract award in the amount of $287,000 was approved for Shore Connection Inc. of West Creek for “the shoring up of the LBI School as specified in the plans prepared by Harrison-Hamnett, PC, of Pennington, N.J.,” as the agenda for that month’s meeting stated.

The work was recommended in a report compiled by Frank Little, the engineer for all the Island municipalities, following a study of the two schools. That report estimated the temporary repairs at $75,000. Shore Connection, though, was the only bidder through two bid periods.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Steve Moser of Ship Bottom asked if the Little report could be posted on the district website, similar to a 2011 feasibility study available online. Board President Jennifer Bott said the board would look into the matter, and would likely have to pull out certain parts of the report for security reasons – as was also done with the earlier study, by LAN Associates – prior to posting.

Both studies were conducted to facilitate deliberation on the possible consolidation of the LBI and E.J. Schools into one building, a discussion that began in 2010. That year, the board voted to sell the LBI School and expand E.J., and the LBI School has remained for sale since then.

Board members have pointed out that they are contending with two undersized, aging facilities and decreasing enrollment as reasoning for a “single site solution.” However, at this point the board has not firmly decided whether it will move ahead with the sale of one of the schools, or if it will instead keep and renovate both schools.

Both Ship Bottom borough and Long Beach Township oppose selling the LBI School, and have passed resolutions supporting the continued operation of that facility.

On Monday, Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck said “it would be a tremendous burden” on the borough’s infrastructure and taxes should the board sell the LBI School to a developer who would construct dozens of houses in its place.

“I have continuously talked to them,” Huelsenbeck said of the board members. “They know our situation and have ignored it all along. … They don’t work with us at all. They’re very secretive.

“We’re hoping that the school board reconsiders” the plan to sell the LBI School, he added.

The mayor also pointed out that the borough has had to hire an attorney to try to circumvent “builder’s remedy,” which allows development at a higher density than typically permitted if a certain portion of a construction project is dedicated to affordable housing. (See related story this issue.)

At past meetings, some residents have expressed concerns about the loss of green space should the board sell one of the schools. Others have stated that there seems to be no hurry to sell. This year, in fact, school taxes decreased for homeowners in the district’s sending municipalities.

Residents and parents have also continually requested more details from the board on items such as the modular classrooms that would likely be necessary during a construction phase.

Bill Kunz of Brant Beach asked at last week’s meeting if the board had any updates on two recent bids on the LBI School, to which Bott responded no.

As Board Attorney Anthony P. Sciarrillo pointed out, there is currently no timeline for a sale of either school.

“I feel like we’re wasting a lot of money and going nowhere,” Moser remarked.

The next regular meeting of the board will be Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. A special meeting is scheduled for Oct. 6.

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Beachfill operations suspended pending weather

Beachfill operations were scheduled to resume Tuesday morning on Long Beach Island after a suspension of activity, including dismantling of all shore-based pipeline, for a few days due to rough seas. However, with stormy weather forecasted for the remainder of this week as Tropical Storm Joaquin moves up the coast, the project is still temporarily on hold.

“The (dredge) Dodge Island is currently on standby,” Ed Voigt, public and legislative affairs chief for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia, said Tuesday. Dodge Island left safe harbor in the New York Bay Anchorage Channel early this morning, and is now offshore.

“Once we are able to resume,” Voigt added, “(Dodge Island) should be joined in short order by the Liberty Island, which completed beachfill operations in southern Ocean City at 11:45 this morning.”

When the weather improves, contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. will recommence beachfill operations near Burwell Avenue (71st Street) in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township, moving south. Work on this segment of the project – from the previously constructed beaches at Selfridge Avenue (57th Street) in Brant Beach to Nebraska Avenue in Beach Haven Park – is expected to be complete in approximately mid-November.

Operations are, as of now, scheduled to then move to either Loveladies or North Beach. Beach Haven and Holgate, meanwhile, are slated for beachfill to begin around January.

The federal beach replenishment project, a joint effort between the Army Corps and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection designed to reduce future storm damage, was only partially completed when Superstorm Sandy struck in fall 2012. As noted on the USACE’s project website,, “The Army Corps completed the initial construction of the project at Surf City in 2006; Harvey Cedars in 2010; and Brant Beach between 31st and 57th Streets in Long Beach Township in 2012. The Army Corps repaired beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars in 2012 after Hurricane Irene, and fully restored the beaches within all three communities after Hurricane Sandy in 2013. The restoration and repair work was funded 100 percent through the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program.

“On December 5, 2014 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract to the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company for $128 million to complete initial construction of the Long Beach Island project.”

The recent beachfill efforts began in Ship Bottom in early May, then moved to Long Beach Township. All work under the base contract is required to be complete by April 12, 2016, though there are options on the contract for additional time due to weather and/or mechanical delays.

The project schedule is updated regularly at

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Proposed school sale means affordable housing in Ship Bottom

The proposed sale of the LBI Grade School by the Long Beach Island Board of Education has resulted in Ship Bottom officials becoming concerned about setting aside units for affordable housing as mandated by the Mount Laurel decisions. At last week’s meeting, the borough council hired Jeffrey Surenian as a special counsel to help resolve the issue. Borough Attorney Christopher J. Connors said Surenian represents approximately 20 towns dealing with Mount Laurel matters.

“If the sale goes through, there will be more than four acres of property where a developer could put up a lot of homes,” said Mayor William Huelsenbeck. “We need to know what our options are.”

The board put the building up for sale in 2011, at the time announcing that proceeds would be used to construct an addition to its other building, the Ethel A. Jacobsen School in Surf City. Earlier this year, the council passed a resolution opposing the sale due to the grade school’s “unique and important role in the borough.”

“We still believe that the best way to go would be to put a smaller addition on the LBI Grade School rather than spend $8 million to $10 million for a larger EJ building,” said Huelsenbeck.

Connors said Ship Bottom did not have to be concerned about any Mount Laurel obligations because there was not enough available space to put up any housing developments.

“We really don’t know how many affordable units we are mandated to set aside,” said Connors. “There were new numbers when Mount Laurel Round 3 was adopted (in 2006), but that is still in the courts, so right now everything is up in the air.”

Connors said what the borough needed to guard itself against was a builder’s remedy lawsuit, in which a developer could force the municipality to permit construction of a multi-housing development of which some units could be occupied by low- or moderate-income families.

“He could build more units than your zoning ordinance allows,” he said. “That’s why you need an affordable housing plan because that would protect you from such a lawsuit. And it looks like Mr. Surenian will be able to give you expert advice.”

Huelsenbeck said he feared how the issue would affect taxpayers.

“We’re spending $50,000 for the initial phase,” he said. “But it is possible down the line we might have to spend $100,000 or $150,000, and that can raise the municipal tax rate. There are a lot of uncertainties right now, but we have to prepare ourself for what’s coming down the road.”

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Lack of rain results in DEP’s drought watch

Scant rainfall during the second half of the summer has resulted in the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection’s issuing a drought watch for several parts of the state, including northern Ocean County. Should the dry conditions continue, the watch would extend into the southern part of the county, said David Robinson, state climatologist from Rutgers University. Relief is possible with a cold front moving into Southern Ocean County in the middle of the week.

“We have to start seeing more significant rainfall within the next two weeks,” Robinson said. “The watch is a heads-up by the DEP that the components of our hydrological systems are showing signs of stress.”

In issuing the watch, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said rainfall deficits have decreased reservoir, groundwater and stream flow levels. He said its purpose is to raise public awareness, to formally alert all water suppliers of the situation and to seek voluntary cooperation to preserve existing supplies.

“We have been carefully tracking precipitation, stream flows, groundwater and reservoir levels since the spring and over the course of the very dry summer,” said Martin. “While it is not uncommon to see reduced stream flows and ground water levels by the end of the summer season, we are beginning to observe signs of stress in our water supply indicators, and this warrants closer scrutiny and public cooperation. We are asking residents to be aware of the situation and use water more carefully and deliberatively, especially when it comes to lawn watering and non-essential uses. The goal is to moderate water demand through voluntary conservation.”

He said should drought conditions persist, the state could declare a drought warning, where the DEP could order water purveyors to develop alternative sources of water or enact mandatory restrictions.

Robinson said the rainfall shortage has been mostly caused by no tropical moisture systems reaching New Jersey.

“Also, at the end of the summer season, there usually is a pattern of thunderstorms, but we did not get them,” he said. “We’ve also been teased a few times, when forecasters indicated we would get some rain in parts of New Jersey, but it didn’t happen.”

Robinson said that since late August, New Jersey on the average has received 1.1 inches of rain, or 2.6 inches below normal.

“We were fortunate that prior to the summer, we had some fairly wet months, or we definitely would be in worse shape,” he said. “But the last times we had a decent amount of rainfall was on Aug. 11 and Sept. 9.”

Lance Franck, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, said readings from its climate station in Atlantic City showed 1.25 inches fell in August, with the normal amount being 4.11 inches. He said that in September, the station recorded 1.72 inches, approximately .60 inches below normal.

Franck said the National Drought Mitigation Center has five stages of drought conditions, with the lowest being “abnormally dry” and the most severe classified as “exceptional drought.”

“Right now, South Jersey is at the abnormally dry stage,” he said. “But we might get into the second stage, which is moderate drought, if we don’t start seeing some above-average precipitation in the next eight to 14 days.”

Some relief could be on the way, according to Mount Holly NWS meteorologist Mitch Gaines.

“We’re forecasting a cold front to move through the area, and right now it looks like the best chance for some moderate rain will be on Wednesday,” he said. “There could be some more rain by the end of the week and on the weekend, but right now there’s a little uncertainty about how that will track.”

Reposted from the Sandpaper

LBTPD investigation leads to arrest of building owners

An investigation conducted by the Long Beach Township Police Department led recently to the arrest of Jeffrey Colmyer and Tiffany Cimino, owners of the building company Rayne Construction Management Systems. This past August, the police department was contacted to look into a suspected act of theft by by the company.

“It was alleged that, in January 2014, the victims signed a contract with Rayne Construction Management Systems for work to be done to their home, which is located within Long Beach Township,” the LBTPD explained. “A $40,000 deposit was given, but the work was never started.”

The subsequent police investigation established probable cause to arrest the company owners for theft by failure to make required disposition and conspiracy. Colmyer and Cimino were later released after posting bail in the amount of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

The individuals operate out of Little Egg Harbor under two different company names, Rayne Construction Management Systems and Colmyer and Sons Construction.

Anyone with additional information about incidents involving these companies within Long Beach Township or Barnegat Light are asked to call investigating officer Detective Patrick Mazzella at 609-361-2073.

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Mystic Whaler has unscheduled stay at Lighthouse Marina

f-Mystic Whaler 2

When the Mystic Whaler made an unscheduled stop in Barnegat Light for fuel line repairs, it presented a majestic sight at Lighthouse Marina for almost a week. The 110-foot-tall ship came in under its 3,000 square feet of sail when a reported oil leak required the sideline here between Connecticut and its destination of Baltimore.

Crew members Sarah Armour, Carolyn Corbin and First Mate Tony Buendo described a “tense, but fun” journey through Barnegat Inlet Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 23, into the dock at Lighthouse Marina.

“The captain (boat owner John Eginton) has been a part of this vessel for 25 or 30 years and knows the boat so well; we did what we had to do,” Armour said.

At the dock, Beth Mears Schofield said mechanic George Daniels, who turned 78 years old the same day, was contacted to tend to the diesel engine.

Built in 1967 and rebuilt in 1993, the Mystic Whaler is a reproduction of a late-19th-century coastal cargo schooner that was built to carry passengers.

Educational “Sailing Adventures” are its mission as it welcomes folks who want to haul a line, take a turn at the wheel and plot the course of multi-day vacations or take one-day classes in marine environmental education and tall ship history. The Mystic Whaler Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports its ventures.

The captains and crew were aboard this trip bound for Baltimore, which is its fall base for sails in Chesapeake Bay waters. New London is the home port for sails in southern New England.

On deck Thursday as they were waiting for repairs, co-Capt. Pat Beck said they were “delighted” with the friendliness of the people in Barnegat Light.

“We came in here without a reservation,” quipped Eginton. “People here have taken very good care of us, and we appreciate it.

“It’s a minor mechanical problem, but it’s beyond our means,” he said. The repair would require “fabricating a new fuel line,” Eginton said.

At that time, they weren’t sure what day the weather would be favorable enough for them to head south, as the northeast storm was hitting harder south of New Jersey, where they needed to go.

The ideal wind for the vessel to travel southward along the coast would have been northwest, Eginton said. “Northwest flattens the seas, but northeast blows the waves, and it was rough.”

Marina owners said this week the schooner was scheduled to leave the dock Tuesday morning, Sept. 29.

On Oct. 14-18, the Mystic Whaler is scheduled to take part in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, a fundraising event for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. For more information, see

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Chowderfest canceled due to possible hurricane

f-Empty Chowderfest

For the first time in its 27-year history, Chowderfest weekend has been canceled due to the possible impacts of Hurricane Joaquin at the Jersey Shore. Early Thursday afternoon, the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce released the following statement: “In accordance to the State of Emergency issued by Governor Christie regarding the uncertainty of pending storm and for the safety of our Chowderfest guests, volunteers and first responders we cannot hold Chowderfest this weekend. Any decisions on next steps will not be made until all threats of this hurricane have been removed from our community. We wish everyone a safe week.”

As of Thursday morning, the chamber’s web page indicated the event was still happening. But Lori Pepenella, chamber marketing director, said Christie’s actions gave them no choice.

“It wouldn’t have been fair to bring in so many people into Beach Haven in this situation,” she said. “What’s most important this weekend is that emergency management and first responders do what they have to do to keep Beach Haven safe.”

Whether Chowderfest is rescheduled later in the month remains to be seen.

“We’ll have to get through this weekend first,” said Pepenella.

At the time of the chamber’s announcement, the track of the storm was uncertain. Some forecast models had it going inland into the Carolinas while others placed it well out to sea. But by the time Joaquin might get to the Jersey Shore, the area would have already been inundated by a stalled frontal boundary expected to drop several inches of rain Friday and Saturday. Flood watches were posted for the area from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon.

Nineteen establishments were set to compete in the main event – the Chowder Cook-Off planned on Sunday.

“This is terrible not to have Chowderfest,” said Beach Haven Mayor Nancy Taggart-Davis. “It’s a big weekend because besides the Cook-Off, there’s the Merchants Mart, and the fire company was going to house their new truck.”

She said a major concern was whether the numerous tents could withstand winds.

“There could be gusts around 45 mph,” Taggart-Davis said. “Those tents aren’t built to withstand winds more than 40. The chamber made the right move. You don’t want to put people in a potentially dangerous situation; safety is of utmost importance.”

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Powerball ticket worth $30,000 sold at Manahawkin ShopRite

It is lucky Southern Ocean County residents have to shop for food. Because the area’s supermarkets have proven to be a bonanza for shoppers, and we’re not talking free turkeys for $200 worth of shopping prior to Thanksgiving.

Sixteen Ocean County Department of Vehicle Services employees, several of whom called the southern part of the county home, were quickly dubbed the “Ocean’s 16” after each famously won $3.8 million after taxes in August 2013 when splitting a third of a $448 million Powerball jackpot. Their winning ticket was sold at the Acme supermarket in Little Egg Harbor Township.

Now Lotto lightning has once again hit Southern Ocean County.

A shopper at the Manahawkin Super ShopRite last week hit pay dirt on Saturday when the latest Powerball drawing was held. He or she was a third-place winner, holding a ticket that matched four white balls and the Powerball. A third-place Powerball payout would normally be $10,000, but the Manahawkin shopper had purchased the Powerplay option so the ticket was worth $30,000.

There was no grand prizewinner on Saturday so the Powerball jackpot will be a stunning $301 million when the next winning numbers are drawn at 10:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Hmm, will you be food shopping before then?

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Gearing up for an extended Nor’easter and more


And just like that, the hammer fell on summer.

Today (Wednesday) is the first official day of fall. Yes, I know for some, the great season of fun ended when they reeled in that half-chewed piece of spearing or caught that last wave to the beach on Labor Day weekend, but both the calendar and the weather have been screaming summer since then.

If you wanted summer conditions without summer crowds, this month nailed it. The beaches (aside from Beach Haven, which has been doing its hippest impression of Miami or Cannes lately) have been almost empty and the ocean in the 70s.

That is, until this week, when a grumpy Autumnal Equinox and ol’ Mother Nature came downstairs, pulled the plug on the whole party and yelled, “That’s it! Fun’s over!”

On Monday morning, the north winds brought a distinctive chill to the air. Wind chills on the beach were probably in the 50s, the coolest it’s been since June. But so what? It felt good to throw on that flannel. We can take one cool day in September, right?

Well, here’s the deal. It’s not just one day … or two days. We’re looking at this heavy flow for another week. One day of chilly onshores is welcome. Ten days could be a drag, man. This isn’t just a passing front but a series of low-pressure systems, one tight storm well offshore and another blobby one off the Outer Banks. Normally, either of these would be welcome by surfers, but the fact that they are both here means we won’t see that intense northeast build and northwest cleanup, but just a variety of onshore gales and chop for the whole extended period.

First and foremost, the swell from this blow isn’t cleaning up anytime soon. And unfortunately, these winds look to be a lot more east than north, which could mean that trying to find something on the South End might be futile, and even strike missions to Cape May or Long Island won’t be terribly good. This could change, but as of now, the situation is not looking ideal for the south-facing shores either, with tons of current and sideshore winds.

The second bum-out of this pattern is that by the time things turn around, it will be October, which means that consistent 80-degree plus days will be history. Outdoor activity will be limited, especially if the rain materializes, and it will be a different season by the time this wind dies. Now, don’t get me wrong, any local worth his or her weight in scallops (that’s after they’re shelled, by the way) loves that crisp October weather, but losing out on that last week of September kind of hurts. The ocean temps hit 77 at the end of summer and have been in those comfy 70s all month. But while easterly winds tend to keep our water all bathtubby, hard blows like this invariably force water temps down. Earlier this week they dropped to the mid-60s – not cold by any means, but our tropical lounging season is over. And in another six weeks, we’ll be searching for booties and gloves. Again, none of this would be a problem if we were getting a clean surf sesh eventually.

On a third point, the honkin’ winds will put a major damper on all the fun September stuff we like to do when the surf’s down. Mini-grom surf sessions are over. In fact, simply sitting on the beach isn’t going to be too fun this week. You can read Jay Mann’s The Fish Story for a better take on this, but most boating and fishing are going to be pretty limited for the time being as well.

It’s always nice to seek out a silver lining, so yes, there could be some good to come of this. There’s always the odd chance that the wind cleans up. Even a day of north/northwest could bring us a rideable window. But the more obvious benefit of a storm like this is the sand redistribution that’s going to happen at a rapid rate going into October. Normally storms like this are a death knell to the sandbars that form in summer.

But this year is an exception. With the current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beachfill project that is pumping those millions of cubic yards, we will see sand in places where we’ve never seen it before. Does this make up for the buried jetties? Not a chance, but as sand disappears from the toe of the beach, it will start showing up on sandbars and other places it hasn’t been. If you’re growing weary of the marathon walk from the street to the water in Ship Bottom, I predict that walk will be 20 yards shorter by next week, possibly more.

A lot of folks will scream about the sand being gone, but it’s not “gone;” we just can’t see it anymore. It will be out on the system, likely protecting our Island in the form of a sandbar, which causes wave energy to dissipate before it takes chunks out of our beach, something surfers have known forever. I suspect the Army Corps of Engineers knows this, too, but it’s like pulling teeth to get them to admit it.

The best news is that for the areas of Long Beach Township that have been pumped lately, leaving behind large swaths of beach where the water depth drops off just beyond the sand, killing all the swimming and surfing fun, we could see rapid transformation. Some of the sand may show up in Beach Haven, which has been in a state of littoral flux for weeks now. Incidentally, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. had to take off five days of work because of the conditions.

Of course, there’s always the outside possibility that this sand will form our own Jersey version of a Superbank, but the chances are just as good that it could leave us with weird sand formation and amazing closeouts. Just have to wait and see.

Between the long flat spells and the extended blow (take that however you want), this was a terrible September for surf. We had a little wave on Labor Day, virtually zero hurricane swell and that one decent Sunday. So much for the magic month …

MAKERS MADE IT: We had to park a pretty good distance from the Makers Festival at Beach View Farms and bike the rest of the way in on Saturday, but it was well worth the effort to see the vision of the Makers Fest come to life in Manahawkin. The surf was flat, which likely helped the waverider attendance, as I saw droves of folks from the surf community either working or attending this first-time event. And all the handmade surfcraft there was jaw dropping.

The weather was stellar, even if maybe a bit on the sultry side. The bands all fit the bill for a day outside, and while there may have been a cover or two, it was overwhelmingly original artists. It’s a perfect venue. The food was fantastic and my first-ever fried avocado taco from El Swell was delicious. There were cool hands-on activities for the kids without that generic bouncy castle feel. And then there were the vendors – hundreds and hundreds of creatives showing off handmade wares. If ever there was a place to find original items to wear, ride, hang on your wall, or a combination of any of those, this was the place. There were folks I saw who I didn’t even know were artists, who had beautiful items.

Moreover, everything fit the esthetic and theme of the day, and the enthusiasm was infectious. Some festivals you get the idea that it’s just a handful of vendors who travel around, set up for the day, sell some stuff and hit the road. This was more a collection of engaged artisans, mostly from our area, who had a real stake in the day, a result of what happens when innovative people put a lot of time into curating something. It was great to see, not to mention that they all reported a profitable day and a testament that younger area businesses were able to bring out so many people. The folks at Volatile Media, School of Vintage, Rustic Drift, Bunkerfish, Swing Graphics and the Wandering Gypsea deserve a huge pat on the back.

BEACH HAVEN’S FUTURE BEACHES: The Queen City held its regular borough meeting last Monday, Sept. 17, that included an open Q&A with members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the N.J. DEP attended by about 120 people. You can find Kelley Anne Essinger’s informative report on the meeting in last week’s SandPaper.

For the first time, there was a real presentation given to answer questions about the beachfill project coming to a town. The USACE does not have a great track record on public relations. But they have already agreed to try a different slope from 12th Street to Taylor Avenue and from Iroquois to Jefferies avenues.

As you may well know, there are a lot of watermen and women who are concerned about the fate of Beach Haven’s sandbars for swimming and surfing. The DEP, which works as a sort of middleman between the towns, the stakeholders, and the USACE, felt the meeting went well, as these things have gotten heated in the past. There were an awful lot of questions asked that were answered in the presentation and before the meeting, which gets frustrating, but it remained mostly civil.

The group of citizens who have been campaigning for modified slopes asked for larger areas of modified slopes. The USACE feels this will cost more time and money, so they don’t plan to do it at this time. However, in the case of Ship Bottom, when the survey was completed right before the project started, there was more beach than the USACE thought and so they had more sand to work with. With all that sand filtering down from projects in Long Beach Township, that could possibly happen again. Interestingly enough, the USACE has begun collecting some data now that we are 10 years into the project, and it seems that all pumped beaches, whether they were 1:20 or 1:10, are actually less steep than they were before the projects, which is good news. The other hopeful note is that the project is slated to begin in Beach Haven in January and run right down to Holgate. If that holds true, there will be plenty of winter storms to redistribute sand before summer.

The sad thing is that there never will be a plan to extend the jetties. Beach Haven thrives on those jetties and they are going to get buried without a doubt.

MICROBEAD MICROCOSM: In the best email of the week category, local photographer LeAnna Gerety wrote to let me know that New Jersey will be the second state to ban microbeads, the little bits of plastic balls in cosmetics that are running from bathroom sinks to the ocean and being ingested by wildlife.

Last week, I wrote about a bill to ban products with microbeads in the state of California. But before California Gov. Jerry Brown could sign it into law, Chris Christie beat him to the punch.

Hey, credit where credit is due. Chris Christie has allowed the DEP to grant questionable permits to businesses, won’t admit that human actions may be causing our climate to change, vetoed three bills to help the recovery of Barnegat Bay that contradict his own “10-point plan” to save it, let Exxon off with a minor fine for mucking up acres of wetlands and is about as popular among working class families at the Jersey Shore as syphilis. But he signed the microbead ban. Perhaps the big cosmetic companies are backing his adversaries, or maybe he has a soft spot for fresh Jersey seafood.

COMING UP: Friday, Oct. 2 is the team selection party for the Jetty Clam Jam. This is where, by tradition, names are written on clamshells and picked out of a hat, pairing younger and older surfers into the two-person teams that will compete in the event. The first potential weekend for the Clam Jam is Oct. 10 or 11. This could potentially put it on the same day as the 18-Mile Run. But since the Clam Jam is in Harvey Cedars, it shouldn’t be a huge issue as far as logistics. The following weekend is blocked out, but it would resume on Oct. 24-25. Some folks call it the waiting period. Most mothers/wives/kids simply call it “jerk season” because they can’t make a weekend plan through November.

Other than that, good luck finding a clean wave this week. Early forecasts have it getting huge by early next week, but still no cleanup in sight.

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Free LBI shuttle running weekends through Chowderfest

f-LBT Buses

The free Long Beach Island shuttle bus service is now running Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and will continue through Chowderfest, on Oct. 4. Hours are as follows: Friday, from 3 to 11 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

As Long Beach Township Commissioner Joseph Lattanzi mentioned at a board of commissioners meeting earlier this month, the service has continued to be a great asset to the Island, with ridership close to 70,000 this year. “We were in the 30,000 range last year,” he explained.

“A lot of hard work went into that, and it’s a program that really blossomed well beyond our expectations,” he added.

Island residents and visitors can take advantage of a free app to track the buses, cutting down on wait time. Visit for the apps and more information.

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Contract awarded to demo Beach Haven’s Borough Hall

f-Beach Haven Borough Hall 1

The Beach Haven Borough Council has awarded a $237,000 contract to Yannuzzi Group Inc. for the demolition of its Superstorm Sandy-damaged borough hall. The Hillsborough Township company submitted the second lowest bid after MECO Demolition of Bensalem, Pa., which proposed $189,000. By law, the borough must accept the lowest bidder, as long as it complies.

“MECO had an error in their bid document that could not be waived,” said Sherry Mason, municipal clerk. “The surety paperwork that they put in for the performance bond was not for the correct amount.”

The municipal building is set to be demolished this week, on Thursday, Sept. 24, but the date is not definite.

“We have to set some type of plan, so that’s the plan,” said Mason.

Officials are still working on the final revisions of the preliminary design. A variety of aesthetic alterations from roofing and windows to shingles and ramps are being considered in view of recommendations offered by members of the Beach Haven Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.

The council has yet to decide whether it is willing to spend more for some of the changes, Mason said.

Reposted from the Sandpaper

Replenishment in Beach Haven, Holgate begins in January

f-Centre St BHThe Long Beach Island Historical Museum was packed Monday evening, Sept. 14, with local residents of Beach Haven and surrounding towns who were eagerly seeking information about the upcoming beach replenishment that the borough has been awaiting. As part of the town council’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, officials from the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Coastal Engineering and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District provided a detailed overview of the Long Beach Island New Jersey Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project, designed to reduce storm damages to infrastructure.

Replenishment in Beach Haven as well as in the Holgate section of Long Beach Township will begin in January and continue for approximately 100 days, officials announced, answering a question that had many residents waiting on the edge of their seats. It will be a 24-hour operation, seven days a week, with beach closings at approximately 1,000-foot sections. Closed sections are rolling and will advance as beachfill continues. Construction is anticipated to progress approximately 100 feet per day. Project features include sand fencing, dune grass plantings and dune grass crossovers.

The project, conducted by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. through a $128 million contract, began in Ship Bottom in early May. Construction then moved to Long Beach Township, and work is ongoing in the Brant Beach section of the municipality. The timeline for replenishment in the remaining sections of the township is still pending, said Chris Constantino, NJDEP project manager.

All work is required to be completed by April 12, 2016. Weather and/or mechanical delays may change the schedule and completion date. Despite possible delays, all parts of the project will be fulfilled, Keith Watson, the Army Corps’ project engineer, noted.

Once the project is complete, approximately 63,000 linear feet of beach and dune will have been constructed across the Island, including 9,940 feet in Beach Haven. To meet the profile, more than 8 million cubic yards of sand will have been pumped onto the beaches of LBI from an approved borrow area approximately 3 miles offshore. Around 2.5 million cubic yards will be in Beach Haven and Holgate.

The state is in the process of consulting with the necessary groups involved with receiving authorization to utilize a portion of the Little Egg Inlet as a borrow area, officials said. A final decision, which could potentially allow the procedure to be included in the current Army Corps project, has not yet been made. If sand were to be obtained, it would be used to fill the whole beach profile, not just as a top layer, said Watson.

The storm damage reduction project was only partly finished when Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. The Army Corps completed construction in Surf City in 2006, Harvey Cedars in 2010 and Brant Beach between 31st and 57th streets in Long Beach Township in 2012. It restored beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars following Hurricane Irene in 2012, and entirely refurbished the beaches within all three municipalities in 2013 after Sandy. The work was financed fully by the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program.

The current contract will complete the initial construction of the dune and berm system. It is entirely funded by the federal government through the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (PL113-2), generally acknowledged as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill. Following the conclusion of initial construction, the project is eligible for continued periodic nourishment.

Residents and visitors in Beach Haven can expect to see offshore dredges outfitted with an intake screen, a pipeline in the water from the dredge connection point to the beach, a pipeline on the beach in different locations and land-based screens for debris collection as well as heavy machinery used to spread sand and move equipment.

Some existing vegetation may be covered and disturbed during the development. However, officials said they have been doing well in reducing the disturbance where the beach and/or dune meets or surpasses the design criteria. To begin the establishment of plants on the new dune areas, the contract includes planting American beach grass and saltmeadow cordgrass, Watson mentioned. Once that planting is completed, the borough can introduce more plant species.

A group of citizens has created a petition for a slope modification at various locations within the borough because of concern over the potential for increased risks to swimmers with the current slope formula utilized throughout most of the project area.

Modified slope areas will in fact be constructed from 12th Street to Taylor Avenue and from Iroquois to Jefferies avenues, at 1:20 from the edge of the berm to the mean high water and 1:10 from the mean high water to the tie-in that will meet the existing bottom.

Many residents, including those behind the petition, have also requested a gentler slope at the busy Centre Street beach, but officials said they “cannot accommodate any further additional modified slope areas” due to practical mechanical restrictions and budget limits.

The standard slope design is intended to allow erosion for the beach to return to its more natural profile. This process should take only one winter season, officials said. However, residents worry this will not be the case in Beach Haven because replenishment is just starting in January. Officials reminded the public that the winter season continues through March.

Based on the contract, crossovers – made of a compressed sand, clay and gravel composite mix – are required at every street end. Three handicap-accessible beaches, at Centre, Fifth and Pearl streets, will have ramps with side rails and wheelchair-accessible mats down to the water.

Although some people have complained about the variability in sand laid during the different sections of the project, officials noted the grain size and quality of the sand obtained from offshore borrow zones are pretty consistent throughout the entire project. However, there may be slight differences based upon the location of the cuts in the borrow area.

Back-passing, an idea introduced by Surfrider Foundation member John Weber at last month’s council meeting, which would require moving the town’s “sugar sand” aside and putting it back on top of the sand laid down for the project, was also ruled out by officials because there is not enough sand in the arrangement to meet the design and construction requirements. The dynamics do not allow for creation of the template in full, they said. There is also not enough room on or adjacent to the beach to accommodate the logistics, and the costs would be “exorbitant.”

For ongoing updates on the project status, visit

Reposted from the Sandpaper