Weather impacting New Jersey beaches as erosion worsens
Towns on the Jersey shore are already preparing for the summer by working to protect the beaches’ greatest assets. FOX 29’s Chris O’Connell has the latest.
OCEAN CITY, N.J. – Memorial Day is more than 100 days away, but down the shore, summer is always top of mind.
Anytime wind gusts are forecasted to be up to 50 miles per hour, it is another small battle to protect the most valuable asset on the Jersey Shore.
In North Wildwood, the summer begins Friday with the annual convoy of trucks hauling sand north where the beaches are closed after another winter storm stole hundreds of feet of the precious beachfront.
Red lines show where the sand was last summer and the area is identified as one of the worst eroding beaches in New Jersey. The state is expected to spend another $3.5 million this year to get the beach ready for summer.
The same is happening in Ocean City, where beachgoers are navigating six-foot sand cliffs. “The storms that we are most concerned about move south to north. The nor’easters, the hurricanes that produced the Northeast winds and those are the ones that are devastating to the beaches,” said Scott Wahl, the business administrator for the Borough of Avalon.
In Avalon, the city will spend the springtime pumping in 60,000 yards of sand on the north beach for the summer season in an effort to protects its most valuable assets.
“The state, the town and the federal government all make generous revenue off the fact that we are able to have homes along the beaches,” Wahl said. “They are very valuable. It’s all about the protection of lives and property before we talk about enjoying a day at the beach in the summer.”
While the goal is to protect beaches, the long-term outlook isn’t welcome news. In a new report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said U.S. shorelines face a profound increase in coastal flooding brought on by human-caused climate change.
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