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State's Failure To Include Island Beach State Park In Dune Project 'Defies Logic,' Mayor Says

State DEP Commissioner Bob Martin commissions study to review township reports of Superstorm Sandy damage

Decimated dunes at Island Beach State Park, January 2013
Decimated dunes at Island Beach State Park, January 2013
by Patricia A. Miller

The state Department of Environmental Protection will review Berkeley Township's request to have Island Beach State Park's dunes included in the Army Corps of Engineers' dune project, Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.

The mayor said he recently received a call from state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin to discuss the Township Council's two resolutions and the township Waterways Advisory Commission report.

Martin told Amato he has commissioned a study through Stockton State College to review the data and advise the township within the next 60 to 90 days, the mayor said on the township website at http://www.twp.berkeley.nj.us/index.aspx.

"This is encouraging news," the mayor said. "We look forward to meeting with Commissioner Martin and review their findings in the months to come."

Township officials have long contended that the park breaches during Superstorm Sandy caused much of the devastation in the Glen Cove, Good Luck Point, Pelican Island, South Seaside Park and Toms River Shores section of the township.

"The failure of the Corps to include the park seems to defy logic, considering it was the only breach our municipality experienced at the beachfront areas..." Amato said in the statement on the website.

Township Council members previously adopted two resolutions asking that the park be included in the dune replenishment project.

"Some sections in South Seaside Park, Berkeley Shores and Sandpiper Beach also sustained major damage as well," Amato said. "In all, our community lost nearly $50 million in ratables."

The Army Corps’ project - the shore protection and replenishment project - seeks to fortify dunes in target areas along the peninsula.

"Island Beach State Park does not have the dune system identified along the project length," Amato said.

The township Waterways Advisory Commission report holds the four breaches in the dunes at Island Beach accountable for the damage in the waterfront sections of Berkeley.

"During Superstorm Sandy Berkeley Township was subjected to storm surge levels in Barnegat Bay that were over 3 feet higher than the previous highest record level of all time," Commission Chairman William McGrath wrote in the report.

"We attribute this to the various breaches in the Island Beach Starte Park dune system that allowed the Atlantic Ocean to invade Barnegat Bay with a fury never before witnessed," the report states.



Jackthebear April 15, 2014 at 09:56 AM
I think if water infiltration was limited to the inlets, the flooding would not have been as severe. It's akin to filling up a bath tub with multiple spigots. If you turn off some of them, the bath tub will not fill up as fast, leaving time for the storm to pass and tides to recede. IMHO
Paul Harris April 15, 2014 at 11:43 AM
where is the mayor coming from. from bay shore of Isl. Beach to the shore of Berkeley on the bay is about 2 miles across the storm hit at high tide in the bay and there where 100 mile an HR. winds from the east creating a surge pushing the water across the bay on to the shores along Berkeley twp. on a normal day the shore line is only 3 ft. above the high tide the storm had being pushing water through the inlet for 2 days before it hit making the tide in the bay higher then normal by about 5 ft. there are streets on good luck point Berkeley twp. that flood with a little east wind now can he blame that on the dunes at IBSP has he ever being on the beach at IBSP and looked at the dunes that are there and how high they are and they have being that way for over a 100 years if it wasn't for the dunes at IBSP stopping the ocean it would have being over RT9 so the dunes did there job. We have being working on the dunes at IBSP since right after the storm putting Christmas trees in along the dunes and putting up snow fence with in 2 mounth the sand has built up over 4 ft. so nature and our help will build the beach and dunes and no replenishment is needed
Beachlover April 15, 2014 at 01:33 PM
Yeah 4 breaches in 10 miles of IBSP lead to all that flooding. Not the miles of breaches in SSH, Ortley, Lavallette and up the coast to Bay Head. The new inlet also had nothing to do with the flooding or for that matter the wind driving the water across the bay and flooding Bayview Ave at 11 AM that Monday long before any surge broke through. At one point in the afternoon, the bay looked almost dry on the east side from the wind driving the water across the bay.
Anthony Tarracino April 15, 2014 at 06:10 PM
I seems to me that people need to learn about life by the sea before they move to the coast and expect to live out a fantasy life. Living on the coast has its risks some life threatening, Sandy which really wasn’t a hurricane when it made landfall is one of them. Mother Ocean is one of the most powerful forces on the earth if you think you are going to beat her you are fools. It seem most people living on the coast now don’t know anything about it. They pretend to have an understanding of the Ocean and the coast but only know your cushy life style and property values. They should stop thinking they are going to control what nature is going to inflict on us. Every time some drastic concept is tried on the coast it seems to fail and we end up worse off. The Ocean is in control stop thinking we can control her she will eventual win every time.
FIMF the ll April 15, 2014 at 07:13 PM
Your right Anthony, let it go.

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