Sea Bright and a number of other towns will be subject to a $3.2 million study to determine if the state needs to re-assess how to protect about 21 miles of beach.Andre Malok | NJ Advance Media for

NJ - $3.2M study will reevaluate how to protect this stretch of Jersey Shore beaches

A $3.2 million study will help re-assess how federal engineers protect 21 miles worth of beaches at the Jersey Shore, federal officials said this week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering reinforced dunes, berm modifications, submerged artificial reefs, groins, flood walls, sand back passing and other measures for the project area.

The same slice of coast — which stretches from Sea Bright to Manasquan — received an estimated 8 million cubic yards of sand in an emergency replenishment following Hurricane Sandy.

It’s unclear why the study — which considers some alternatives to a heavy reliance on sand replenishment which has faced criticism — is happening now, but a federal spokesperson said the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection initiated the reassessment.

“This study aims to reassess the original project from the late 1980s, focusing on addressing erosion issues and possibly incorporating new features like dunes, especially considering the damages from Hurricane Sandy,” Michael Embrich, a spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers’ New York District, said Friday.

Despite some disapproval that it’s become too costly and will not be sustainable over time, federal officials say New Jersey beaches benefit from beach nourishment (usually done every two years) and undergo periodic studies to better understand how the work can be more effective.


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Dropping millions of cubic yards of sand as part of the nourishment, or sand replenishment, is on pace to surpass $3 billion in New Jersey. It’s covered by state and federal taxpayers and takes place for flood protection as shore towns and nearby power infrastructure face higher risks due to sea level rise and worsening erosion due to climate change, according to the NJDEP.

Replenishment is also done to ensure beaches remain bountiful for the busy summer when they are an economic driver for Jersey Shore towns, several local mayors have highlighted.

“New Jersey’s coastal infrastructure is its first line of defense in protecting people, property, ecosystems, and the state’s $20 billion annual tourism economy from the impacts of devastating storms,” said Grace Hanlon, executive director of the Jersey Shore Partnership, a not-for-profit organization which supports the replenishment and notes aquatic habitats and bird species benefit from it as well.

The latest analysis will be fully funded by the federal 2022 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act. A public discussion for the study — efforts for which began in October 2022 — was held Nov. 20.

Army Corps officials are still evaluating next steps and gathering more feedback, a spokesman for the agency said.

Jersey Shore study
Several Jersey Shore towns will be subject to a new $3.2 million study to determine if the state needs to re-asses how to protect about 21 miles of beach. Pictured is the project area, including two erosion "hot spots."Image courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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