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State, Federal Officials Launch Effort to Identify Offshore Sand for Replenishment

Studies will identify donor areas available for future replenishment projects

Beach replenishment in Surf City during summer 2013. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Beach replenishment in Surf City during summer 2013. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
New Jersey will partner with the federal government in an effort to identify offshore sand resources that can be used in future beach replenishment and Shore protection projects.

The state Department of Environmental Protection on Monday announced that it would partner with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for a $400,000 federally funded study to identify sand resources offshore that can be tapped for future beach restoration and resiliency projects.

The plan, officials said, is to "analyze the state's existing data to identify sand resources in federal waters in the Outer Continental Shelf that can be used for coastal restoration projects in New Jersey," including projects that are slated to begin over the course of the next two years.

The locations where sand is sucked from the ocean bottom and pumped ashore for beach replenishment projects are known as donor sites, and are selected based on surveys that have been conducted dating back to the 1990s. Project specifications for replenishment projects normally call for the sand from the donor sites to match the grain size and quality of the sand that naturally occurs on beaches in order to maintain a stable beachfront.

The latest effort will be aimed at confirming previously identified resources and locating new potential areas of sand resources, the DEP said. The federal government will help New Jersey develop tools to more readily share sand resource data with other agencies involved in coastal resiliency planning.

The New Jersey Geological and Water Survey will specifically work on assessing sand resources offshore of Monmouth and northern Ocean counties.

The New Jersey project is being funded through a portion of the $13.6 million allocated to BOEM through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.

The federal government, by way of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is planning on beginning a massive beach and dune replenishment project this fall along Ocean County's northern barrier island. A few towns on Long Beach Island, including Surf City, Brant Beach and Harvey Cedars, received replenishment last summer following Superstorm Sandy.
Ken May 13, 2014 at 07:02 PM
Bay Head and into Mantoloking have built a sand dune that looks to be at least 25 feet high. This wall was built with jetty stone covered in sand. Just goes to show how private enterprise beats our out dated over grown out of touch Government
Jeff 6th Ave Ortley May 13, 2014 at 07:20 PM
Ken, Those folks in Bay Head have it all wrong and actually have wasted their money. Fact is that beach WIDTH is by far the most significant factor in protecting from storms. Not dune height or construction. Even IF the rocks hold (a big if, because during a storm the waves can toss those rocks like pebbles) they willl end up with no beach. And because a lot of NJ's waterfront property deeds are historically to the "high tide line", it creates a problem for beach widening. Like it or not, shoring up our shore can only be dealt with by large scale civil engineering that widens the entire island's beach.
Mark May 13, 2014 at 09:16 PM
The State can save a ton of money by following the lead of Toms River's elected officials. Our brilliant Council used contaminated sand dug up from under Rt 35 S and North to build up the dunes in Ortley.
A Resident May 13, 2014 at 10:28 PM
and every time the beach in Manasquan has been "replenished" and "widened"....a couple years later it is back exactly as before. Mother Nature creates the beach the way she wants it.
Paul Harris May 15, 2014 at 04:18 PM
Lets look back about25/30 years how many times has there being sand pumped up in those years and here we go again how much has being spent now take a look at seaside park never had sand pumped on it they put up snow fence planted dune grass and did it every year and let Mother nature build the Dunes and the dunes saved the town same as for Midway beach and Isl. Beach State Park. There is no sense being dumb unless you prove quit wasting tax payers money and do it the right way because the towns that get sand pumped up with tax payers money will not provide public access to the public that pay their tax's

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