The Army Corps of Engineers will handle the dune replenishment project for South Seaside Park, at no cost to Berkeley taxpayers, Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.
"We will continue to install dune grass and install additional snow fencing to keep fortifying our dunes," Amato said. "It's critical, now more than ever, we keep our dune protection system maintained until the Army Corps of Engineers will begin their project."
Amato met recently with state Department of Environmental Protection representatives to discuss the South Seaside Park dune replenishment project.
"Since the damage from Superstorm Sandy and the two Nor’easter storms that have occurred since, Berkeley Township has been advised that the project will be 100 percent funded by state and federal resources," the townships website states. "The beach replenishment program will fall under the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) program."
Residents who own oceanfront property will be asked to sign dedication deeds and "perpetual storm damage reduction easements," so the dune project can begin without delay, Amato said.
"The USACE project, once completed, will provide long-term stability and peace of mind to all of the residents on the barrier island," he said. "The time has long since past when property owners can ignore the ongoing threat from storms. The entire barrier island and bay front properties are at risk until this work is completed."
The township will continue to press state officials to build up dunes in certain sections of Island Beach State Park, especially in the northern end where a large breach occurred.
"If a dune system was in place in those areas, it could have prevented the flooding that occurred in the bay and lagoon sections of Bayville," Amato said.
Amato, Township Council President James J. Byrnes, employees from the township's parks and recreation department and the O.C.E.A.N. Club from Central Regional High School spent a day earlier in the week planting over 5,000 dune grass plants in South Seaside Park.
"This is part of our ongoing dune replenishment program," Amato said "To date, we have picked up the sand along the roadways in South Seaside Park, sifted it and reinstalled it on the dunes. We have installed over a 1,000 feet of snow fencing."
To view the Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment proposal, click here: .Army Corps of Engineers Project Proposal