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Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Sandy #njsandy. Asbury Park. Oceanport.’

Generating much discussion over the last couple of days is this pair of articles from the New York Times on the efficacy of dune protection during Sandy.

Resisted for Blocking the View, Dunes Prove They Blunt Storm

Sand Dunes Alone Will Not Save the Day

Much talk is centering around Bradley Beach’s 15 year old dune protection and rebuilding project and their use of tiled stone for the “boardwalk” rather than the traditional boards we all know and love.

When I moved back to New Jersey, I was amazed at how much the Bradley Beach dunes had grown in the decade or so I was away. My kids took Karate lessons with a school that held lessons on the beach there in warm weather. I remember walking through these little mounds of sand with tufts of grass sticking up in them. When I came back, they were almost twice as high as I am. And the cost of the project was about $10,000 in 1996 according to Bradley Beach’s DPW director.

Bradley Beach was also protected because they don’t have a back bay or a tidal river bounding them like many New Jersey coastal towns do.

But the experience of Bradley Beach and the experience of hard hit NJ Shore communities should increase our awareness of the need for ecosystem integrity and maintenance as as we rebuild in hazardous locales. Dunes play a critical role in ecosystem integrity in coastal areas.

As we begin rebuilding we should also begin revisiting the idea of watershed planning in New Jersey. This was a concept advocated by the NJDEP under Governor Whitman and would enable us to take a more balanced approach to issues like agriculture, flood plain management, water quality, natural resource protection and residential and commercial development both in the hazardous coastal areas and across the state, especially in sensitive areas like the NJ Highlands and the NJ Pinelands

In the rush to rebuild, let’s not reinvent the wheel. We need to learn from what happened and rebuild our communities so they are both more resilient and better integrated with the coastal processes surrounding us.

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From the Asbury Park Boardwalk.

Always love walking past this quote & reading it. We are safe & fine. Still limited communications, we were lucky enough to get power back Thursday afternoon.

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