Extreme Erosion Causes Sand Shortages on Popular NJ Beaches: Beaches Unable to Open

Bridget Mulroy

Wave erosion on a popular New Jersey beach.(Jose Ramon Polo/iStock)

This year, one of the biggest considerations of New Jersey’s beach towns has been the lack of sand on their beaches.

Due to a storm along the east coast about two weeks ago, some beaches weren't open in time for Memorial Day last weekend since the storm had displaced so much sand.

Over a stretch of nearly one hundred and fifty miles, erosion is always a concern for beach towns. Violent weather and other natural forces are constantly reshaping the shoreline.

According to Accuweather, “While the erosion on Ortley Beach is not a new problem, the recent Mother's Day coastal storm that washed away homes in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and exposed "ghost tracks" on a beach in Cape May, New Jersey, also wiped out a massive amount of sand along the 4,000 foot-long beach and left cliffs as tall as 6 feet.”

Robert Chanklain, a Tom’s River town engineer said, “After the Army Corps [of Engineers] came out, they had built us a nice, flat beach, and that's very good for energy dissipation,” he continued, “The waves roll gently up a beach; their energy is dissipated. As the storm erodes the sand and ends up with these vertical surfaces, the waves, instead of giving up the beach, [they] pound into this and create more erosion.”

With the new cliffs and destruction of the old dunes, beach towns will have to rebuild the dunes before they can reopen for the summer.

Summer tourism is a large portion of revenue in New Jersey. The restoration of the shore is imperative – yet again.

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