How to ease island flooding? Some Jersey shore towns are using bayside islets

At Thursday's high tide, a tiny tugboat named Bonnie pulled a red barge through the Great Egg Harbor Bay. It headed to Beesley's Point two miles away to be filled with up to 300 tons of rock before returning to Shooting Island, an eroding wetland within eyesight of Ocean City's back bay.

As shore towns grapple with how to mitigate flooding, some are turning their attention away from building hard, concrete structures, such as seawalls, and toward restoring more natural barriers.

One option: The small, bayside islands, or islets, that dot larger barrier islands across Atlantic and Cape May counties. Officials say some have been slowly disappearing for years, but can be rebuilt as a buffer against storm surges.

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