As a courtesy to our SHPOA Members, we’re bringing you this summary of a Special Council Meeting. Intended as a summary, this intentionally doesn’t have a lot of details and is not a substitute for the official Borough minutes.
Special Council Meeting
This session was held for the single purpose of providing time for Doug Gaffney, of Mott McDonald, to make a presentation to Borough Council on Stone Harbor’s Oceanfront Feasibility Study. It endeavors to evaluate options for long-term beach maintenance and minimizing disequilibrium in between beach fills, stabilizing the dunes, and improving our beaches’ resilience. He pointed out that beach fills would still be needed every three years.
Our eight groins were built in 1950. They have not been maintained well and do not work as designed. Gaffney does not recommend rebuilding them with the possible exception of the groin at 127th Street which would need to be both lengthened and widened. Doing so could potentially help the beaches northward.
It is unclear whether the federal or state government would be responsible for maintaining the jetty.
Scraping is a method of sand collecting. At low tide, workers scrape about a foot of wet sand from the built-up sandbar just offshore and deposit it above the high-water line. Scrapes typically fill in in about two weeks. The initial beach scrape would be a pilot project.
Another method of sand harvesting is installing fencing on the dunes to “catch” blowing sand which could be used in needed areas. The fencing would be reinstalled seasonally.
The last method would be buying a used dredge and doing the dredging ourselves or in cooperation with other towns. Such an operation would require a captain, two helpers, and a support vessel. There is a sensitivity to competing with commercial dredging companies as well as to taking on these expenses.
Gaffney recommended completing the needed modeling and doing preliminary designs on the most promising options. In general, both the Council and attendees were pleased to see a data-driven approach in this report.
To view this meeting, please click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQcsgf-UoA.
Slides from the presentation can be found at http://stoneharbornj.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Stone-Harbor-Feasibility-Study-2022-12.pdf.
Subscribers to the Cape May County Herald can read a report on this special meeting at https://www.capemaycountyherald.com/news/environment/stone-harbor-hears-report-on-maintaining-beaches/article_1b5dcae4-7ca8-11ed-92d0-5f50213dfd5d.html.
To read past Stone Harbor Council Meeting summaries, please click here: https://www.stoneharborpoa.org/category/borough-meeting-summaries/
To watch recordings of past meetings, please click here: https://stoneharbornj.org/agendameetings/watch-mayor-and-council-meetings-online/