what got published in the Sandpaper:
and what I actually sent them (note what got cut out in blue):

To The Editor:

For proponents of the Army Corps of Engineers fine beachfill projects, I advise you to go take a stroll on their latest, man-made dunes in Harvey Cedars. What you’ll see is a sheer cliff right at the end of those post and rail fences.

As is common during most winters, that sheer cliff was the way to access the beach in Harvey Cedars before the $25-million, 50-year project (err “period of analysis” as the ACOE calls it) began in the borough. And the Corps already needed to do repairs this past spring to repair damages made by winter storms (despite the project’s plan for “periodic nourishment every 7 years”). Following that re-fill, 3 bodysurfers were injured this summer by the dangerous shorebreak that was eventually created from the shifting of sand by the Atlantic.

Harvey Cedars Mayor Jonathan Oldham joked about sand moving in and out of the area due to natural processes during the different seasons of the year (also known as typical ocean patterns for the New Jersey coastal areas). Let us not forget about the ongoing saga of the $6 million Surf City project either, that was originally done in 2006, required military munitions removal, then needed emergency work done within the last year that closed beaches early this summer and still looks the same now as it did before the emergency beachfill was even done. Hurricanes and nor’easters are also a part of the Atlantic’s cycles. After years of beachfill projects on the Island, and beaches always returning to their normal states, it’s obvious that they are an ineffective method for each of their intended goals.

The Army Corps of Engineers beachfill plan requires constant usage of a technique that buries sea life, digs up long-forgotten munitions, wastes taxpayer’s money year after year over a 50 year “period of analysis”, and tries to fight nature by using a cookie-cutter plan for every ecosystem along the Eastern Seaboard where erosion occurs (which is everywhere, by the way, because erosion is one of those natural processes).

Long Beach Township, Brant Beach specifically, will be the next victim at the hand of large pipes carrying sand, water, and whatever ocean floor debris/crustaceans/fish the pipes can suck up. This project (with an estimated cost of $16.7 million) is currently waiting for 7 remaining oceanfront property owners who have yet to sign the easements before it can begin. The Township obviously wants to get moving though, as $7.6 million of federal dollars are at stake. So they have posted the names of the yet-to-sign property owners on their website (yet the SandPaper last week made no mention of this and stated the reason for the LBT beachfill being delayed until 2012 was solely because the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. [who is performing the project] is involved with another project at the moment). There have even been grisly whispers of a beachfill project in the Holgate area and part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

Yes, that’s right, a National Wildlife Refuge. Something that is preserved by law. And we want to bring a project in that is typical of disrupting ecosystems? How have we gotten to the point that we are considering that there are no other ways to safeguard against the fury of the Atlantic other than disrupting a refuge for wildlife set forth by law?

Throughout my years of being in and interacting with the ocean-dependent community (business owners, fishermen, surfers, boaters, and all people of the area that rely on the ocean/bay/river/creek/lake/et. al) I have heard and discussed many viable other options that involve less extensive work and could have longer lasting effects than just one summer, fall, and winter. But hey, at least Harvey Cedars will be just like it used to be in winters passed with a sheer drop to get down to the beach (minus all that marine life and those millions of dollars of course).

Ryan Brower
Cedar Run

Advertisements