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Letter: Homeowners and Township Must Discuss Beach Replenishment

A letter to the editor submitted on behalf of the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association members

Dear Editor: 

In reading various comments about beach replenishment and easement issues, it is evident there is a need for more dialogue between the Township of Toms River and beachfront homeowners. The Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association hopes the Township will open the lines of communications so that questions can be addressed. We hope the beachfront homeowners will be open to learn more. The playing field has changed post-Sandy and unless both sides work to resolve this issue quickly, there will be no beach and a much smaller barrier island to discuss. 

Ortley Beach has lost so much sand into the streets and the bay that the natural process of beach replenishment could take centuries and may not be possible at all. Even if the Township builds dunes on the public beaches and the private beach owners build dunes on their property, this will not be enough to protect us. According to a presentation by Professor Jon Miller of Stevens Institute of Technology that was hosted by Toms River Township, an elevated and wider beach in front of the dunes is critical to reduce our vulnerability to future storms.  

The Army Corps of Engineers has completed a study for beach replenishment from Manasquan Inlet/Point Pleasant to Seaside Park/Barnegat Inlet. Before Sandy the Ortley Beach dunes were less than half the size recommended by the Army Corp of Engineers and the beach was at a much lower level then the recommended 8-10 feet above sea level. We need easements from the private beach owners to make the Army Corp project happen. Once the Army Corp completes replenishment, they are committed to maintaining the beach for 50 years, returning every 4 to 5 years to replenish, which is why they require an easement in perpetuity. 

New Jersey has the country’s attention and in light of the destruction the barrier island suffered, it is likely this project would be funded by the federal government. We hope Sandy was a once in a lifetime storm. But what if it wasn’t?

Our shore community and the preservation of the entire barrier coastline are at stake. We urge both sides to work together so that we can all have the confidence and peace of mind to rebuild our lives and invest in our community.  

Kathy Barisciano, President
Joan Strathern, Director
On behalf of the 300-plus member families of the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association

I want my beach back February 22, 2013 at 07:36 PM
I have said it before and I will say it again, it is not the owners' responsibility to protect our shores, it is the responsibility of the United States of America to protect our shores. Although I have much regard for our governor, it is time he stops talking and starts taking action. Take the private beaches away from the private beach owners and protect our barrier island. The owners cannot afford to pay for raising homes and that isn't going to solve the problem anyway. It is amazing how the US always has money to help other countries, but the US can't help and protect us and where are those countries now, now that we could use some help. Thank you to all the hundreds/thousands of volunteers that have given their time and effort, but we need the government to give us some support and help, REBUILD OUR DUNES - NOW!!!!!!!!!!!
Disgusted February 22, 2013 at 08:22 PM
This is insane...NJ and Gov Christi should take over ALL 195 miles of what should be PUBLIC BEACH and let's stop this private beach discussion. For those private beach clubs with their noses in the air..not to worry since you have parking regulations which make it impossible for anyone other than yourselves to park anywhere near a beach anyway. GOV CHRISTY....NO MORE DEBATE...JUST CALL ALL BEACHES PUBLIC PROPERTY AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT TO KEEP OUR BARRIER ISLANDs.
letsgetreal February 26, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Pat Actually I thought the same thing. The Colonel did say that Congress already approved 280 million for beach replenishment on the studies conducted and signed off on. But now new studies have to be made they will need Congress to again vote and provide new monies for any new replenishment..Good Luck right
Marina February 26, 2013 at 05:26 PM
The Army Corp of Engineers, Toms River and the Governors office already made it quite clear that EASEMENTS are a nessessity. Why should the mainland flood again because of the selfish people on the barrier island ? I suggest EMINENT DOMAIN and a BF Bulldozier. Why should the rest of the town suffer because of a few elistists and the selfish?
TomsBoy March 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM
I have written at lest four blogs that were posted on the Patch, addressing this issue. I have addressed many of the same topics, you mentioned in your letter. The more we inform the public the better the chances of getting the easements signed and the Dunes built. I would like to personally thank the Ortley Beach Voters & Taxs payers Association for joining the fight. The Dune issue, the most important issue on the table right now we all have to get more involved. I would like to offer what ever help I can to your Association. Thanks again for getting involved- TomsBoy If you want to read my posted Blogs you can search them out on the Patch. I feel you my find them helpful.

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