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From Montauk to Cape May: The State of the Beaches

From Montauk to Cape May: The State of the Beaches MONTAUK PT LIGHTHOUSE Endangered species Construction that might interfere with the piping plover, an endangered shore bird found along the 83-mile stretch from Fire Island to Montauk Point, could be delayed until June 30. the end of the bird's nesting season. MILES This winter's storms, though not the most devastating of the decade, caused significant beach erosion and damage to houses and businesses along parts of the Long Island and New Jersey coasts. In the past, the Army Corps of Engineers and some beach towns might have tried to prevent further damage by building sea walls or rocky groins or their longer sister structures, jetties. But those structures have proved to be, at best, ineffective, or even harmful. Montauk Fire Island The Corps of Engineers has drafted a $60 million sand- pumping plan for 12 miles of beach. Status: delayed by environmental concerns and cost-sharing disputes. The Corps now favors softer solutions, like pumping sand from the ocean bottom onto eroded beaches. But some towns have tried other approaches to protecting their oceanfront. Sea Isle City, for instance, is installing a tube filled with sand along 12 blocks of dunes. In Margate. a school class planted a wall of Christmas trees. Southampton Property owners are pressing for the right to construct bulkheads or other hard structures to protect their own beachfront land. Long Beach Island Sand-pumping projects planned for a 9-mile stretch of beach that includes Lido Beach. Point Lookout. and the City of Long Beach. Status: financing uncertain. West Hampton Dunes FIRE ISLAND LONG BEACH JONES BEACH Atlantic Oc e an TOTAL $94.8 MILLION Moriches Inlet Sandy Hook What it costs to save a beach... - CURRENT SAND GROINS The cost of sand pumping and groin construction by the Corps of Engineers from 1994 to the present, from Sandy Hook, N.j., to Barnegat Inlet (area within bracket at right). Sea Bright SITE OF BREACH Monmouth Beach TOTAL COST TO REPAIR THE BREACH SEA WALL The breach at West Hampton Dunes In the 1970's the Corps installed 15 groins from east to west-backward, as it turned out - from West Hampton to Moriches Inlet. Ocan currents run predominantly east to west along Long Island's south shore. As each new groin was added, sand carried by the current was prevented from reaching beaches to the west. Those beaches gradually ... and who pays for it State and local governments have paid 35 percent of the total: Asbury Park Belmar $32 MILLION Erosion occurs on adjacent beach State and local share: $11 million FILLED AREA The trouble with sea walls In the long run, sea walls, like the one at Sea Bright, can do more harm than good. Wave energy is deflected, not absorbed, when it strikes a hard surface, so the force is simply redirected – energy deflected downward can scour away sand under a wall. And storm waves that wash around seawalls erode property at either end. $33.2 million SHORTENED GROINS - The Federal Government has paid 65 percent: $61.6 million THE REPAIR Sand was pumped onto the beach to fill and widen the breached area, and the groins nearest the inlet were shortened, so more sand could flow past and reach the eroded beach. Federal share: $21 million Island Beach State Park narrowed until a storm in JETTIES BARNEGAT LIGHT 1992 cut through the island. BARNEGAT- INLET LONG BEACH ISLAND Barnegat Inlet CURRENT SAND TRAPPED BY JETTY * Long Beach Island 3/4 mile walk to water's edge Jetties keep an inlet clear ... ... but for the town below, it means a long hike to the beach. There are two jetties at Barnegat Inlet, which are intended to keep the channel free of sand. The southern one, at Christmas trees OAtlantic City Margate A fourth-grade class in Margate has planted discarded Christmas trees along the beach as an experiment in * erosion control. the top of Long Beach Island, has trapped so much sand that the beach there has widened to about three-fourths of a mile. Strathmere Sea Isle City OCEAN HIGHWAY = == = = = == == = === ১ GEOTUBE Avalon ...*...* A sand dune in a tube> Stone Harbor A 12-block stretch of beach along Sea Isle City's main highway was severely eroded last winter, eliminating the dune beside the only north evacuation route off the island. A "geotube," a huge fabric tube pumped full of wet sand, was installed on the beach along Ocean Highway from First to 12th Streets, creating a temporary barrier. The tube, which cost $500,000, was paid for with city funds. Cape May Sources: Army Corps of Engineers, Stevens Institute of Technology Sea Isle City Megan JaepermanThe New York Times

From Montauk to Cape May: The State of the Beaches

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This winter storms, though not the most devastating of the decade, caused significant beach erosions and damage to houses and businesses along part of the Long Island and New Jersey coasts.

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