On March 1, the Stone Harbor Council approved an extension of the dredge period to April 30, with demobilization by May 14 in order to allow the separated sand to be placed on the beach. Stone Harbor recently received permits to place recovered dredge sand on the beaches from both the Army Corp of Engineers and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection agency.

Dredging will be completed in Shelter Haven Basin within a week. Dredging will then move to the Access Channel and Stone Harbor Hole, both areas have a high sand content.

The recovered sand will be placed on the beaches between the eroded dune toe and mean high water between 83rd and 122nd streets. This effort is a start to protect and rebuild the beaches, but will provide only a fraction of sand lost from Jonas and the winter flooding.

The first step of the dredge material recovery process is separation of sand from the dredge silt, mud and organic material. Currently, the recovered sand is trucked to the mainland for land fill or reuse. The remaining dredge material is dewatered, condensed and trucked to the mainland for disposal. The recovered sand was tested to confirm that the quality requirements of grain size and composition are suitable for beach placement, prior to receiving the permits.

Returning the sand to our island beaches is a big step in conserving our natural resources. Using recovered sand on the beaches reduces the amount of recovered dredge material that will be trucked offshore.