ORTLEY BEACH, NJ – Ortley Beach was ground zero for Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and six years, later, in 2018, the New Jersey Army Corps of Engineers engaged in a months-long beach sand replenishment project.
That project that started in Mantoloking and went south to Seaside Park took nearly two full years to complete.
It represented a $128,000,000 project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a protective dune system and to replenish hundreds of feet of beach.
That replenishment is now washed out to sea after several nor’easters pushed through the Jersey Shore in February, leaving just the dunes and a sheer cliff as high as 10 feet tall in some areas.
Shore towns that experienced severe erosion during last month’s storms include the Ortley Beach section of Toms River; Brick; Bay Head; numerous towns on Long Beach Island, and Atlantic Cityhttps://t.co/lBlRz60sFM
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) March 10, 2021
This week, Toms River Township Mayor Maurice Hill said town officials reached out to the Army Corps of Engineers to ask them to help fix the beaches and they said no.
Ortley Beach received approximately 267,000 cubic yards of sand to build the 125-foot wide beach. Now in some areas, the beach is no wider than ten or fifteen feet at low tide. High tide often reaches the dunes themselves.
All of the town’s access points to the beach have been damaged and will also need repair. The dune system served its purpose to protect homes from ocean surges, but once again, Mother Nature reigned supreme.
It is now up to the township to pay the bill for repairs and replenishment. The town and county just spent $8,000,00 to purchase the now destroyed Joey Harrison’s Surf Club.
Hill estimated over $600,000 in damages were done and now Hill is seeking the help of Democrat Governor Phil Murphy to find a way to pay for it. FEMA has issued preliminary approval to the township to bring back the lost dune fence, replace access points and perform mat repairs.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is also offering assistance to help with the most damaged areas of the beach.