Feds, state and towns will kick in $37M to replenish these 3 Jersey beaches
A $37 million beach replenishment project will begin in December at three New Jersey spots that badly need it: Long Branch, Sea Bright, and Monmouth Beach.
Rep. Frank Pallone, D-6th Dist., announced the project along with members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state officials and his brother, Long Branch Mayor John Pallone, from Long Branch’s boardwalk Friday.
“Every time I talk about beach replenishment, I constantly have to stress that it saves money,” said Pallone. He said preventative work like this mitigates the effects of major storms, protecting the boardwalk, roadways and utilities from damage.
The federal government will cover 65 percent of the total cost, or $24.5 million. The state will pitch in just around $10 million, while the towns and Monmouth County will contribute the remaining $3 million.
Officials predict the project will wrap up in March of next year.
Beach replenishment projects are common along the Jersey Shore, with beaches needing new sand about every six years on average, Pallone said. Following large hurricanes, like superstorm Sandy, officials replenished around 21 miles of beach in the area between 2013 and 2015.
As of 2015, more than $1 billion had been spent on beach replenishment over three decades.
Officials announced another project at the southern portion of the shore earlier this month. It will focus on beaches in Ocean City and Sea Isle City, and is predicted to cost as much as $41 million.
At the start of the 2019 summer season, most beaches were in better than usual shape, following years of intense replenishment projects and a mild winter.
The Army Corps will stage the Monmouth County project next month and plan to begin pumping sand in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach in December, while work in Long Branch will start in February. The targeted areas are as follow:
- In Long Branch from West End Beach south to Sycamore Avenue in Elberon
- In Monmouth Beach from the Monmouth Beach Bathing Pavilion near Valentine Street north to Cottage Road
- In Sea Bright from Island View Way north to Tradewinds Lane
Pallone said he will continue to fight for the beaches of the three shore towns, but acknowledged the state’s role, as well. He said if the state does not provide the additional funding needed, the Army Corps may focus on projects in other states where the funds are available.
“This is an incredible, wonderful thing that’s happening for Long Branch, Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey, D-Monmouth, who stressed New Jersey must “make sure we are continuing to make the environment safe for the future.”