By Wally Bishop, Chair SHPOA Beach & Bay Committee
Borough Officials have confirmed that the necessary contracts have been executed with the state, federal government and contractor for this year’s beach replenishment project. Storms last winter reduced the Stone Harbor beaches by over 590,000 cubic yards of sand. As a comparison point, when Sandy hit Stone Harbor several years ago it took 600,000 cubic yards from our beaches.
The Corps of Engineers moved forward in August and opened bids for a SH beach replenishment contract. Unfortunately, another Federal Agency cited a seldom used and obscure regulation they believed applied to Hereford Inlet, the source of our beach sand, and halted the Corp from moving forward. The winning contractor agreed to hold the bid price till December 15th if Stone Harbor could come up with an alternative to the Corps.
The NJ Department of Environmental Protection stepped in for the Corp and authorized $1,646,000 for the beach replenishment. Stone Harbor was required to match this by paying $797,980. This funding will place 210,000 cubic yards of sand on our beaches. The Borough is also paying an additional $670,000 to fund placing another 180,000 cubic yards of sand for a total of 390,000 cubic yards. The Federal Government is funding $1,780,000 for beach restoration work unrelated to sand dredging. The actual start date has not been announced but should take place sometime this winter or early spring.