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NJ - Dredging, beach replenishment moves ahead in Monmouth County

Work has been needed with increasing frequency with the effects of climate change

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th) joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local leaders down the Jersey shore on Tuesday morning to tout two infrastructure projects aimed at protecting the economy of Monmouth County and its beaches.

The first project is the ongoing dredging of the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers, a $26 million endeavor that will make it easier for boats to navigate the popular waterways. The long awaited dredging is fully-funded by the federal government.

“If you don’t dredge the rivers, people can’t boat anymore or fish,” Pallone said. “Over the last few years, we’ve had a lot of complaints about shoaling and people not being able to get their boats in and out.”

Some of the sand dredged up in that work will be piped to Monmouth Beach for the second project: replenishment of beaches in the borough and neighboring Long Branch. The goal there is to keep the beach available to public access and to maintain the beach as a storm barrier to protect the businesses on the other side of the dunes.

Beach replenishment has become a staple of the Army Corps’ work in New Jersey, and elected officials like Pallone have long touted it as necessary to protecting the state’s tourism economy. But it’s expensive work, and it has been needed with increasing frequency as climate change drives sea levels higher and fuels more intense coastal storms.

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