Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sand from Wildwood and Wildwood Crest to be used in island-wide dune project

According to Shore News Today, as much as 500 feet of beach from Wildwood and Wildwood Crest will be used to replenish the storm-worn beaches of North Wildwood, while creating a dune system for the entire island.

The Army Corps of Engineers hopes to have the project completed by 2019.

The piece notes that North Wildwood once had the largest beach in New Jersey, but has lost an estimated 1,000 feet over the past decade after being battered by storm after storm.

North Wildwood's geographic situation has left it particularly vulnerable to nor'easters, as the now-seemingly persistent erosion at and around the 2nd Avenue jetty attests.

The seawall that begins at 2nd Avenue and wraps northwest along the contour of Hereford Inlet - officially named The AngleSea Walk - has provided protection over the past decade. Still, streets and property are now more susceptible to damage due to the diminishing beachfront.

North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello noted that the city will spend $2 million to extend the seawall from 2nd Avenue to a few blocks south, where erosion left the dunes in ruin (creating "cliffs" as high as 20 feet).

A two-block stretch of beach - between 3rd & 5th Avenues was closed for two days back in early August for maintenance.

The Army Corps' plan, as it stands, is to create and reinforce dunes in North Wildwood, create dunes in Wildwood, and reinforce and bring up to code existing dunes in the Crest.

The project is of concern to some officials in Wildwood, including Mayor Ernie Troiano, who successfully altered initial plans to take 900 to 1,000 feet away from the city's beaches. The project now calls for 400 to 500 feet of sand to be taken away, still a very significant amount.

The dunes in Wildwood will be 200 feet from the Boardwalk, with approximately 1,1000 feet of beach between the dunes and the ocean.

Troiano noted that the city may explore raising the beach behind the dunes to avoid pooling water after storms.

Wildwood generally does not face tidal flooding concerns, as flooding comes from the bay during major storms.

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