"Notching" is cutting out the rocks of the jetty along the beach..it allows water to flow N/S along the beach between the jetty and beach, but eventually after more erosion(if not immediately after notching) cuts off fishing access to the jetty. It creates a rock pile island (see Belmar/Spring Lake) . They then pump millions of tons of coarse, shell framented, green sticky sand to cover most of the water along the jetty. It's disgusting.
The middle to end of the jetty which might have been 15 feet deep in places is now either dry sand or just a few feet deep. It destroys good fishing, surfing, and diving areas.
Deal/Elberon doesn't need replenishment. The area is heavily armoured ("Jerseyfication" as it's called nationwide in coastal engineering/geology) with groins, jetties and sea walls. Those houses aren't going anywhere. You can't stop wind damage with beach replenishment, which is wear most of the destruction from serious storms would come from in this area. There is no boardwalk or Ocean Avenue infrastructure in jeopardy....it is one big A.C.O.E. SCAM.
Here is a good article on Sand Pumping:
Sand pumping goes against the grain
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Last week I wrote about my dislike of the bennies, the hordes of rude and rowdy tourists who descend on the Jersey Shore every summer.
I got two reactions from people who visit the Shore. One was from aesthetically discriminating types who assured me that, unlike the summer people, they appreciate the natural beauty of the ocean environment all 12 months of the year.
The other reaction was more typical. Many residents of North Jersey think that we Shore residents are dependent on their largesse and therefore should not object to their behavior. Here is an excerpt from a letter from one of these characters that ran on the adjacent page last week:
"I'll offer this deal to your resident laissez-faire populist: If he and all Shore residents will return the public dollars we have 'invested' in beach restoration over the decades, they can have the overcrowded Jersey Shore for their exclusive use."
All I can say is that's the best deal I've been offered since I bumped into that group of nursing students drinking Foster's in that bar in Sydney back in '79.
Into that we need not go. But as for beach restoration, it bears further examination. Sand-pumping is just the latest in a long line of wacky schemes that only the bureaucrats of Washington and Trenton could dream up.
Everyone I know is opposed to it. Take Art Nelson, for example. Art is a diver who grew up in Long Branch and has dived all over the world. To him and his fellow members of the Shore Aquatic Club, Long Branch was once a divers' paradise because of all of the ocean life that sprang up around the town's dozens of rock jetties.
"I like to call them New Jersey's coral reefs," said Nelson. "They got covered with growth. They were full of bait and full of fish: big striped bass."
No more. Four years ago the geniuses at the Army Corps of Engineers systematically destroyed that underwater environment by pumping in a Sahara of sand. And like the Sahara, that new environment is a desert, Art says.
"I put together a before-and- after video that shows the difference. Before, it was full of bait and full of fish, big striped bass and even lobsters. Now it's just sand and water."
That same stretch of beach used to be the surfing center for northern Monmouth County since the early 1960s. But no one has surfed there in years. The beach drops off into deep water. The waves pound on the sand. Thousands of surfers lost their favorite break. Four surf shops went out of business.
The beach is ruined for swimming as well. Other beaches have shallows where little kids can frolic. But how does a 5-year-old frolic when he steps off the beach into water that is over his head?
The Army Corps has similar plans for the town of Loch Arbour to the south. But the mayor there, Bill Rosenblatt, has mounted a campaign to prevent it. Rosenblatt, a surfer, points out that about 30 percent of the houses in his town are owned by his fellow surfers. Many moved there precisely because they wanted to be near the waves. Now the Army Corps wants to bury that town's jetties as well.
"Yes, they are all manmade structures," says Rosenblatt. "But the jetties are the artificial reefs of the Jersey Shore. They create all sort of diving and fishing and surfing opportunities."
Most of the jetties were built at great expense a half-century or so ago. But now the Army Corps is cutting them up with no clear idea of the result, Rosenblatt said.
"There's no scientific basis for what they're doing," he says. "If you ask these guys in what depth of a water will a wave break, they don't even know."
And they refuse to even acknowledge that the Long Branch experiment has been a failure, he said. In fact, the Army Corps succeeded in its one stated goal: protecting the houses of rich oceanfront property owners. He cited a beach in Long Branch called "the Pit" that was a local hangout for decades. Once the sand went in, the condos went up and the locals no longer had a beach.
The state plans to spend $25 million a year on this scheme for the next 50 years. They're invading Ocean County next, even though the Ocean County beaches already have plenty of that wonderful white sand that Jersey is famous for. The Corps wants to replace it with that dirty brown sand from offshore.
There are all sorts of alternative approaches, such as artificial reefs, that could halt erosion while actually enhancing the diving, surfing and fishing opportunities. But the Department of Environmental Protection under former Gov. Christie Whitman didn't care. Gov. James E. McGreevey's DEP commissioner, Bradley Campbell, told me this will change.
"Frankly, I don't think the DEP put its best foot forward. Neither the state nor the Corps was willing to listen to these recreational groups," Campbell said. He promised that the DEP is going to start weighing the interests of fishermen, divers and surfers before burying the beaches.
But as it now stands, the pumping program benefits two types of people: those who own beachfront houses and those who like to sit for hours on dry sand tempting skin cancer. Both of those groups are primarily summer people. The locals can't afford those houses and don't have time to sunbathe.
So to all of you bennies who think you're doing us a favor, I hate to tell you this, but you've got your heads in the sand.
Paul Mulshine is a Star-Ledger columnist.