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Lacey Calls for Dune Restoration at Island Beach State Park

A resolution approved Thursday calls on the state and Army Corps to replenish the dunes at the state park to protect Forked River from future storms

The Lacey Township Committee called on the state and Army Corps of Engineers to include Island Beach State Park in its dune restoration project in an effort to help protect Forked River from future storms.

Various dune restoration projects are being pursued on the barrier island, including Island Beach State Park, which is adjoined between Forked River and Berkeley Township, Township Administrator and Municipal Clerk Veronica Laureigh said as the Committee approved a resolution Thursday.

“It acts as a barrier to us, and if they put additional dunes at Island Beach State Park, it may help protect us from future storms,” she said.

Lacey and Berkeley Townships are soliciting support to have the dunes restored at the state park. The Berkeley Township Council passed a resolution earlier in April.

"This is big," Berkeley Township Council President James J. Byrnes said. "There are sections that are missing dunes that would impact the Bayville section."

Portions of South Seaside Park, Glen Cove, Good Luck Point, Toms River Shores and the Forked River Beach were swamped by Sandy's storm surge on Oct. 29.

Homes along the Forked River Beach area of Lacey are still uninhabitable and the beach has been compromised.

Some of the damage could have been avoided if dunes had been in place in certain areas of Island Beach, especially along Two-Bit Road in the northern section of the park, officials have said.

"...various Township officials and residents have witnessed the destruction caused to the Township due to the lack of dunes at Island Beach State Park," Lacey and Berkeley’s resolutions state.

The state has partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers in a storm damage reduction project from the Manasquan Inlet to the Barnegat Inlet. But Island Beach has been excluded from the plan, Berkeley Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.

Berkeley Council members also unanimously approved the introduction of an ordinance that grants easements to the state for all township-owned beaches in South Seaside Park for the dune project.

"The state is really pushing to get these easements approved and that's why we are pushing this tonight," Amato said.

Berkeley Township has been advised that the project will be 100 percent funded by state and federal resources.

Berkeley residents who own oceanfront property will be asked to sign dedication deeds and "perpetual storm damage reduction easements," so the dune project can begin without delay, Amato has said.

"The USACE project, once completed, will provide long-term stability and peace of mind to all of the residents on the barrier island," he said on the township website. "The time has long since past when property owners can ignore the ongoing threat from storms. The entire barrier island and bay front properties are at risk until this work is completed."

Dave Sleeper April 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM
What am I missing? If we built a dune out there, several miles away, how would that stop any wind that would come to Forked River? And no more water could be stopped by a dune. The water comes in through the inlet. Is there another reason I'm missing?
impeach1 April 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Yup. You are missing the boat. No pun intended. As a resident of South Seaside Park, we witnessed the breach of the dunes at Island Beach in 4 places. Not only were they breached, they widened and pumped ocean water repeatedly in the bay for over a 12 hour period. Subsequently, the water levels in the bay created a storm surge resulting in a 4 to 6 feet or more of water about the current land elevation levels. In SSP, the water from Island Beach traveled north up Central Avenue and met the storm surge water as the storm passed us by in a counter clockwise direction, hence west to east. We were not affected by the ocean water in SSP, because the dunes were high and intact, all the way to the Heights. Hence, no ocean structure damage, including Midway, which to this day is pristine.
proud April 17, 2013 at 01:45 PM
@dave Sleeper, this article that originally ran in the Star Ledger is an excellent overview of dune protection: Dune size determined extent of storm damage on NJ beaches entertainment.topnewstoday.org/tv/article/3814143/ There is much, much more information available if you're interested in doing some research.
proud April 24, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Lacey Township Committee : Brick's FEMA Map Appeal Gets Double Boost Patch.com ‎- by Daniel Nee ‎- 3 hours ago FEMA willing to share data, township readying contract with oceanographic engineer.

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