State of the Beach/State Reports/NJ/Beach Fill

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New Jersey Ratings
Indicator Type Information Status
Beach Access84
Water Quality78
Beach Erosion8-
Erosion Response-4
Beach Fill8-
Shoreline Structures8 2
Beach Ecology3-
Surfing Areas35
Coastal Development{{{19}}}{{{20}}}
Sea Level Rise{{{21}}}{{{22}}}


State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs, A National Overview (NOAA, March 2000) provides the following information:

"The state has some policies regarding beach nourishment.

Policy Citation and Description

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 12 §5-3. Water Resource Development Act. Established funding for beach nourishment projects.

Beaches and Harbors Bond Act: PL 1978. C 157 and PL 1983. C 356. Responsible for the Comprehensive Shore Protection Master Plan and also for funding erosion control and beach nourishment projects stressing non-structural approaches to erosion.

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 7 §7E -4.42. Acceptable Conditions for Uses. Uncontaminated dredged sediments with 75 percent sand or greater are generally encouraged for beach nourishment (on ocean or open bay shores).

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 7 §7E -7.11. Standards Relevant to Beach Nourishment. Beach nourishment projects, such as non-structural shore protection measures are encouraged, provided that: 1) The particle size and type of fill material is compatible with the existing beach material to ensure that the new material will not be removed to a greater extent than the existing material would be by normal tidal fluctuations; 2) The elevation, width, slope and form of proposed beach nourishment projects are compatible with the characteristics of the existing beach; 3) The sediment deposition will not cause unacceptable shoaling in downdrift inlets and navigation channels; and 4) Public access to the nourished beach is provided in cases where public funds are used to complete the project.

Related Policies

Near Shore Sand Mining Regulations

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 7 §7E -4.42. Acceptable Conditions for Uses. Sand and gravel extraction is discouraged. Priority will be given to sand extraction for beach nourishment, and extraction is conditionally acceptable.

Dredge and Fill Regulations

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 13 §9A-1 et. seq. Wetlands Act of 1970. A Department of Environmental Protection permit is required for dredging, filling, removing or otherwise altering or polluting coastal wetlands.

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 7 §7E -4.42. Acceptable Conditions for Uses. Coastal Zone Management rules for dredging and dredged material disposal.

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 12 §3-21, 3-22. Requires proper license to dig, dredge or remove any deposits of sand or other material from lands of the state under tidewaters. Gives the Board the authority to issue the license.

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 12 §6B-1 to 6B-8. Includes the state findings and declarations relative to dredging and dredged material disposal. Establishes the Dredging Project Facilitation Task Force, a priority list for dredging projects, and the Dredging/Dredged Material Management and Disposal Plan.

Sand Scraping/Dune Reshaping Regulations

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 7 §7E-3A. Standards for Beach and Dune Activities. Projects involving the mechanical redistribution of sand from the lower beach profile to the upper beach profile, or along the shore, are acceptable in accordance with certain standards.

Dune Creation/Restoration Regulations

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 7 §7E-7.11. Standards Relevant to Dune Management. Allows dune restoration, creation and maintenance projects as non-structural shore protection measures as long as they are carried out in accordance with Subchapter 3A, Standards for Beach and Dune Activities.

Public Access Regulations

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 7 §7E-7.11. Standards Relevant to Beach Nourishment. Public access to the nourished beach is provided in cases where public funds are used to complete the project.

Beach Nourishment Funding Program

There is state funding for beach nourishment.

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 12 §5-3. Water Resource Development Act. Established funding for beach nourishment projects.

Beaches and Harbors Bond Act: PL 1978. C 157 and PL 1983. C 356, Funds erosion control and beach nourishment projects, stressing non-structural approaches to erosion.

N.J. Admin. Code tit. 13 §19-16.1. The "Shore Protection Fund" provides monies for shore protection projects associated with the protection, stabilization, restoration or maintenance of the shore with the current New Jersey Shore Protection Master Plan and may include the non-federal share of any state-federal project.

Minerals Management Service (U.S. Department of Interior) - New Jersey Geological Survey-NJDEP Cooperative Study for Offshore Beach Replenishment Sands Established 1992. Jointly funded. Identifies and characterizes beach sand source areas located in Federal waters. Sites are evaluated for possible development as additional sand source areas for NJ beach replenishment projects. To date, eight target areas in Federal waters have been delineated and are under environmental review by the Minerals Management Service.

General Description of Funding

In New Jersey, $25 million is dedicated annually from the legislature for shore protection projects across the entire state. These funds come from New Jersey’s real estate transfer tax. Most of this money goes to the state share of federal projects with USACE. USACE generally funds 65 percent of these nourishment projects; the remaining 35 percent of the project is split between the state and the municipality. The state/local share in New Jersey is split 75 percent/25 percent, so it only costs the municipality nine cents out of every dollar to finance beach nourishment. New Jersey is also engaged in smaller state/local projects with no federal involvement, financed also at a 75 percent/25 percent state/local ratio. The municipalities typically raise bond revenues for their portion and counties sometimes fund a portion to help defer the local costs (Kaiser, 2006; King, 2006).

In August 2016 legislation to double state funding for beach replenishment and construction and maintenance of bulkheads, jetties, and seawalls was approved by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee. The Senate committee also passed a Senate version sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew. The bills would increase from $25 million to $50 million the amount that is credited each year to the Shore Protection Fund from the collection of realty transfer fees.

An article which appeared at in March 2015 stated:

"Congress is decreasing its investment to a 50/50 share of the costs for any post-Hurricane Sandy projects. As a result, two legislative bills - 4215 in the state Assembly and 2775 in the state Senate - are being considered. They would double the Shore Protection Fund contribution to $50 million a year. The money comes from realty transfer fees. The fees are based on property purchase prices; the basic rate is $1.75 for each $500 of sale price, of which 50 cents goes to the county where the deed is recorded. The remainder goes into state coffers. Currently, the first $25 million collected goes into the Shore fund; the rest, which varies from year to year, goes into other state accounts."

Policy and Program Considerations

According to the 2001 Assessment, the NJDEP has embarked on a large-scale, statewide beach fill program in conjunction with the US ACOE. New Jersey has continued to appropriate funds to support this program and to provide the non-federal matching share of these large-scale federal beach fill projects. Current annual appropriations for this beach fill program amount to $25 million. This program has resulted in significant restoration of beaches along the New Jersey oceanfront. As a component of these projects, the NJDEP has required the construction, restoration, and/or enhancement of dunes adjacent to these beaches.

While the fill projects have been successful in reestablishing eroded beaches, the dune restoration/enhancement program has met with limited success. In some oceanfront communities, residents are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential negative impact of newly created dunes on ocean views and associated property values. This clearly illustrates the limited public understanding of coastal hazards and hazard mitigation, and the apparent attitude in many coastal communities that property values are more important than public safety.

In an interesting court case decided in August 2005, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a sand berm and shrubs constructed on the beach in Loch Arbor by a private property owner constituted a "fence" and therefore had to be removed (or at least reduced in height) because a there was both a local zoning law and a restrictive covenant on the property that limited fence heights to six and four feet, respectively. The mayor of Loch Arbor expressed concern that removal of the berm might result in damage to properties during storms.


DEP's Coastal Engineering Web page contains information on beach fill projects, shoreline structures, and also has related coastal links. Current and completed projects are listed, some of which have detailed project information and photos, such as the 2009 Beachfill for Strathmere, Sea Isle City, North Wildwood, & Stone Harbor, NJ. Also see the website of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, for New Jersey Factsheets, which include descriptions of projects such as New Jersey Shore Protection, Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet.

The 13th Annual State of the Shore report was released in May 2015. The report has a winter storm summary, hurricane outlook and summer outlook, as well as a separate section "New Jersey Beaches Two Years Since Hurricane Sandy" that summarized both the erosional effects of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent massive beach fill projects completed and underway by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Division of Coastal Engineering, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, provides beach fill and re-fill projects for the purpose of restoring New Jersey's beaches along our coastline. Beach fill projects consist of the initial placement of sand along a beach that has experienced erosion. Sources of sand for such projects can include a local source such as from a neighboring beach or sandbar, a dredged source such as a nearby inlet or waterway, an inland source such as a mining quarry, or, as used most commonly in large-scale projects, an offshore source such as a borrow site along the ocean bottom. This sand can be brought in with trucks or barges, hydraulically pumped or any combination of the above, and is then spread evenly along the beach using a common dozer. This completes the initial beach fill phase.

As restored beaches undergo erosion, they must be maintained through beach re-fill. The re-fill process consists of restoring the beach to initial conditions and usually has less time and cost associated with the project when compared to the initial fill. The time between re-fill projects, called the re-fill cycle, is dependent upon the severity of annual erosion of the beach and is usually several years.

Depending on the purpose and location of the project, funding may be available from several sources. For federal beach fill projects, the federal government contributes 65% of the project cost while the remaining 35% is divided into a cost-share, with the state contributing 75% and the local governments contributing the remaining 25%. Non-federal beach fill projects are funded through a state/local cost-share, with the state contributing 75% and the local governments contributing 25%.

Stewart C. Farrell, a professor of marine geology at Stockton College of New Jersey, has stated that since 1985, 80 million cubic yards of sand had been applied on 54 of the state’s 97 miles of developed coastline: a truckload of sand for every foot of beach.

As of 2008 New Jersey, with its 127-mile coastline, had spent more than $800 million in state and federal taxpayer dollars on beach fill projects over the previous two decades. Since 1989, an estimated $511 million in federal shore protection funds has been appropriated. Notwithstanding post-hurricane repair dollars, New Jersey has received more federal dollars -- approximately $325 million -- than any other state between the fiscal years 1995 and 2008 including Florida, which has an 1,800-mile coastline. That is equivalent to 80 million cubic yards of sand - or about a dump truck load for every foot of beach. Read more on this.
Updated information can be found in this October 2015 article from

Since 1994, the state has dedicated about $321 million through a Shore Protection Fund that goes toward beach restoration. Stable funding for state-sponsored shore protection projects was increased to $25 million annually in 1999 as part of an amendment to the real estate transfer tax. In 2015 bills were introduced in the state legislature to increase funding to $50 million per year. This legislation helps to ensure the funding needed annually to continue the beach fill program and protect New Jersey's coastal communities as well as the state's vital tourism industry.

Current Federal and State beach fill and shoreline structure projects in New Jersey are listed here.

An article Should nation's taxpayers be paying for beach-fill efforts? was published on April 25, 2011 in Besides presenting views on the funding question, the article provides a graphic giving details of beach fill projects planned for New Jersey and Delaware in 2011 to "repair" storm damage from 2009. One of those projects is at Atlantic City, where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved $7.8 million funding for the project in July 2010. That project was scheduled to begin in late June 2011.

The New Jersey Beach Fill program was first authorized by the River and Harbor Act of July 3, 1958, and consisted of nourishing 21 miles of shoreline from the Town of Sea Bright to the Manasquan Inlet in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

The Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet project is the largest beach fill project ever undertaken by the Corps of Engineers, and is the largest beach fill project (in terms of volume) in the world. The project is intended to provide beach restoration and storm damage protection to the highly populated communities and infrastructure located along the New Jersey shoreline, which was previously protected only by a seawall or eroded sections of beach. Protection is provided by constructing a 100-foot wide beach berm at an elevation of 10 feet above mean low water (MLW). Construction also consists of notching existing stone groins and outfall pipe extensions. This provides for littoral drift, which is the natural tendency of the ocean currents to flow north-south or south-north along the beachfront. This littoral drift causes sediment to travel back and forth with these currents, allowing the natural cycle of sand migration to continue relatively unimpeded. The combination of littoral (or longshore) drift as well as cross shore transport (landward and seaward) together are a large part of the sand migration cycle which has been impeded by many shore protection structures in New Jersey.

The project includes periodic fill of the restored beaches on a 6-year cycle for a period 50 years from the start of initial construction. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, $195 million has been spent in the past 20 years on beach fill projects along this stretch of beach.

The project area consists of two sections:

  • Section I - Which extends for 12 miles from Sea Bright to Ocean Township. Section I is separated into four construction contracts.
  • Section II - Which reaches 9 miles from Asbury Park south to the Manasquan Inlet. Section II is divided into two contracts.

The non-Federal sponsor for the project is the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, who is responsible for acquiring all lands, easements, and rights-of-way and providing 35% of the total costs of the project.

The 50-year Army Corps program in Monmouth County is expected to cost $800 million. So far, 22 million cubic yards of sand has been pumped over 18 miles of beach.

More information on this project is available at the Army Corps of Engineers, New York District website. Also see here.

The Final Report for The Army Corps of Engineers New York District's Biological Monitoring Program for the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey, Sea Bright to Manasquan Inlet, Beach Erosion Project is now available. The report describes results of during-construction (1997) and first- and second-year post-construction (1998, 1999, & 2000) studies as well as comparisons with the pre-construction results (1994-1996).

Information on this and other New Jersey "shore protection" projects can be found here.

This project has not been without controversy, however. Placement of massive amounts of sand has "buried" several surfing spots in the area. When an additional re-fill project was proposed in 2001, members of Surfrider's Jersey Shore Chapter, along with scientists from Surfrider's Environmental Issues Team and representatives of Surfers Environmental Alliance (SEA) became concerned that the "Big Cove" surfing area in Sandy Hook would be destroyed or severely altered. There was also a belief among these groups that re-fill in this particular location was not necessary to protect a park access road, since sand was naturally accumulating in this area. The National Park Service ultimately agreed with Surfrider and SEA that the fill project at Big Cove was not necessary.

The Office of Coastal Planning contracted a study to put together comprehensive information on fill projects. The information was available as an unverified GIS map and as a report. Many of the recorded projects washed away, so there was no "polygon" delineating the project, just a reference to where it took place, the number of cubic yards of fill, and its purpose. The Bureau of Coastal Engineering has more in-depth information but it is not available to the public or in a GIS format.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced in December 2003 the commitment of $34.5 million in state funding to protect the Jersey shore from erosion and severe coastal damage during major storms. U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg announced $30.5 million in federal funding to assist in shore protection and enhancement projects at several locations including Raritan Bay, Barnegat Inlet, Sandy Hook and the Shrewsbury, Manasquan, and Shark Rivers (see table below).

A portion of the state funding will be directed to coastal municipalities to aid shore stabilization projects, such as beach fills, bulkhead replacements and jetty construction.

A periodic "re-fill" project began in December 2008 in Long Branch, Monmouth County. Beaches between Cedar and Howland Avenues, which were part of an extensive shore protection project in 1994, are scheduled to receive 700,000 cubic yards of sand at a cost of $9.34 million. Surfrider's Jersey Shore Chapter went to federal court in November 2008 to try to delay the project until authorities could test the sand for pollutants and contaminants. U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper denied Surfrider's motion for a preliminary injunction. Surfrider has noted that the sand being pumped from the ocean floor near Sandy Hook and transported to Long Branch is located near several sources of pollution and waste water, including outfall from New York Harbor.

The project is noteworthy because it included an experimental design championed by the Surfers Environmental Alliance and Surfrider Foundation to help maintain surfing opportunities there. The Long Branch project includes a feature that may add to the creation of offshore sandbars while maintaining the project's storm damage reduction qualities, and allow sand to flow north in currents, giving the beach a varied shoreline shape and possibly some near-shore sand bars. Unfortunately, the "as-built" shoreline did not have nearly as pronounced a "sand point" as designed, so the wave enhancement was minimal, with the waves breaking very close to shore.

The corps' New York District has teamed with the Stevens Institute of Technology and NJDEP to monitor the ocean and shoreline. Students and faculty from Stevens will look at several aspects of the renourished beach over the course of a year to track erosion, the creation of sandbars, wave dynamics and how recreational use is affected.

DEP funded research conducted by the Richard Stockton Coastal Research Center to record the effects of major beach restoration projects undertaken by federal, state, and local partners. Stockton recently completed a 15-year study that also reviewed beach changes from 1986 through the fall of 2002. The research shows beach restoration projects, when completed and maintained can successfully stabilize short-term erosion and highlighted the importance of beach replenishment projects and New Jersey's shore economy and tourism. The study states that 22% of the $31 billion ($6.82 billion) spent on tourism related recreational activities is generated from direct beach or waterfront activities.

Shore protection projects are funded through either a federal-state-local cost share or a state-local cost share, depending on the project. Design and real estate acquisition costs are the responsibility of the local sponsor.

State-owned shore protection structures are designed, constructed and maintained through the DEP Bureau of Coastal Engineering. The Bureau of Coastal Engineering, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, provides beach fill and re-fill projects for the purpose of restoring New Jersey's beaches.

Below is a listing of projects.

Municipality Total State Share Local Share
Beachwood $66,667 $50,000 $16,667
Beachwood $373,867 $280,400 $93,467
Brooklawn $425,000 $318,750 $106,250
Cape May Point $400,000 $300,000 $100,000
Downe Twp. $100,000 $75,000 $25,000
Jersey City $666,667 $500,000 $166,667
Longport $1,100,000 $825,000 $275,000
Monmouth County Park System $333,333 $250,000 $83,333
North Wildwood $1,333,333 $1,000,000 $333,333
North Wildwood $3,333,333 $2,500,000 $833,333
Pennsville $1,000,000 $750,000 $250,000
Rumson $234,667 $176,000 $58,667
Seaside Heights $300,000 $225,000 $75,000
Stone Harbor $1,000,000 $750,000 $250,000
West Wildwood $1,626,667 $1,220,000 $406,667
Wildwood $1,066,667 $800,000 $266,667
Wildwood Crest $1,866,667 $1,400,000 $466,667
Total $15,226,867 $11,420,150 $3,806,717

Carry-over from previous fiscal years:

Municipality Total State Share Local Share
Keyport Bulkhead (FY 2000) $2,150,000 $1,612,500 $537,500
Westville Stabilization (FY2001) $800,000 $600,000 $200,000
Sea Breeze Rip-Rap (FY 2001) $1,000,000 $750,000 $250,000
DOD Sea Girt Bulkhead (FY 2003) $1,000,000 $1,000,000 -
Loch Arbour/ Deal Lake Bulkhead (FY 2003) $1,333,333 $1,000,000 $333,333
Fletcher Lake (FY 2003) $1,000,000 $750,000 $250,000
Pleasantville 5% Reimbursement (FY 2002) $113,333 $85,000 $28,333
Perth Amboy 5% Reimbursement (FY 2002) $150,000 $112,500 $37,500
Stockton State College (FY 2003) $500,000 $500,000 -
Total $8,046,667 $6,410,000 $1,636,667

US Army Corps of Engineers Projects:
New York District:

Project Federal State Local
Belmar to Manasquan Beachfill $4,333,333 $1,750,000 $583,333
Port Monmouth Feasibility & PED $700,000 $700,000 $0
Keansburg Feasibility Study $100,000 $100,000 $0
Total $5,133,333 $2,550,000 $583,333

Philadelphia District:

Project Federal State Local
Absecon Island Beachfill $19,500,000 $7,875,000 $2,525,000
Great Egg to Townsends (Strathmere, Whale Beach) $150,000 $150,000 $0
NJ Alternative Fill Feasibility Study $300,000 $300,000 $0
Hereford to Cape May Inlet Feasibility Study $100,000 $100,000 $0
Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet $300,000 $100,000 $0
Townsends Inlet-Cape May Int Beachfill/Seawall $12,380,951 $5,000,000 $1,666,666
Cape May City Beachfill $100,000 $100,000 $0
Long Beach Island Beachfill $300,000 $100,000 $0
Delaware Bay/Reeds Beach/Pierces Pt $900,000 $300,000 $0
Lower Cape May Meadows $185,715 $100,000 $0
Total $34,216,666 $14,125,000 $4,191,666

Grand Totals:

US Army Corps Grand Total $60,799,998 - -
State Share Grand Total - $34,505,150 -
Local Share Grand Total - - $10,218,383

Two seawalls are being constructed to protect the inlets at the north ends of Avalon and North Wildwood. The House approved more than $12.6 million for this project in 2004. Construction began in August 2004 and was expected to last between 18 and 24 months. The seawall construction is part of a larger project that includes the placement of 4.6 million cubic yards of beach fill and dune reconstruction on the ocean fronts of Avalon and Stone Harbor (already completed) and the periodic re-fill on these beaches approximately every three years.

Grant funding in the amount of $75,000 to re-fill a small section of beach at Union Beach was approved by the DEP in late 2004. Beach fill projects that have reportedly been funded by the U.S. Congress are Leonardo beach design at $224,000, Highlands and Keyport beach projects at $200,000 each and $175,000 for beach fill at spots along the Raritan-Sandy Hook shoreline.

An article in The Press of Atlantic City by Richard Degener on March 22, 2005 illustrates the importance of considering beach ecology before implementing beach dredge and fill projects. Below are slightly edited excerpts from that article:

Piping plovers have been called the most endangered bird on the New Jersey shore. They may also be the most expensive, based upon tentative settlement of a case in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, where the borough was forced to remove dredge spoils from the beach at an estimated cost of $3 million. The $3 million got the spoils off piping plover habitat that produced four nests last year.

That works out to $750,000 per plover nest. Plovers set up nine nests on the area where the dredge spoils were removed, but only four of the nests produced young. The bad news: Only one plover fledged. That means it was a $3 million bird.

To put it in perspective, piping plovers are only deemed to be worth $22,000 each when they are killed by an oil spill. But another perspective worth considering is that the case was not just about piping plovers, although they got all the publicity. The area also includes large colonies of least terns and black skimmers, which are both endangered species in New Jersey.

There are also about 1,000 common terns on the beach. This is a "species of concern," which is a step below being listed as threatened. A threatened species is the step below being listed as endangered.

The case began when Stone Harbor deposited backbay dredge spoils on Stone Harbor Point, and the federal government, worried about impacts on plovers, filed suit giving the borough a March 31, 2003, deadline to remove the materials. Stone Harbor agreed in court to remove 80,000 cubic yards of material. Some of the spoils were moved to a nearby backbay location, Sedge Island, but former Lower Township Mayor Larry Starner became irate upon hearing in December 2003 that 20,000 cubic yards were to be trucked to Garden State's yard in the township's Rio Grande section. Starner was worried the spoils could pollute the groundwater, though they had tested below contaminant thresholds.

Before long the lawsuits were flying. Lower Township passed a dredge-spoils ordinance that was struck down by a judge in June 2004 in a case that made it clear the state controls dredge spoils.

Stronger than expected waves, tides and currents during the 2004-2005 Winter and during Spring 2005 caused substantial erosion along portions of a $24 million beach fill project at Ventnor. Cliffs were cut into new dunes which had been constructed along the beach. Then when the city used bulldozers to smooth out the affected areas, they flattened some dunes. This caused the New Jersey DEP to order a stop to the work, based on concerns that federal dune protection laws may have been violated.

In 2005 the Army Corps began a $500,000 beach fill project at the south end of Harvey Cedars.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District pumps sand onto Brant Beach, NJ in June 2013. The work is part of an effort to restore the Coastal Storm Risk Management project from damages associated with Hurricane Sandy. (Image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

A large beach fill project at Long Beach Island secured $5.67 million in federal funding in November 2005. The project also had $3 million in state funding and approximately $400,000 each from Ocean County and local municipalities. Congress also allocated $3 million for periodic re-fill of previously widened beaches in Monmouth County and construction funds for northern Ocean County beaches. In total, New Jersey is slated to receive $32.7 million for beach projects as part of the 2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, more than any other state.

Two controversial issues associated with the Long Beach Island project (the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refers to this as the Barnegat Inlet to Little Egg Harbor Inlet Long Beach Island Storm Damage Reduction Project) are the easements that must be granted by some 800 oceanfront property owners to provide public access points every quarter mile along the beach before the Army Corps of Engineers can begin work and the concerns of the Jersey Shore Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation regarding impacts of the project to surfing areas. The cities involved may have to use eminent domain to acquire the property for the easements if the property owners don't voluntarily grant them. Another option being explored by the borough of Ship Bottom is the possibility of doing a land swap with homeowners. The homeowners would be granted developable land behind the bulkhead in exchange for giving up a portion of the beach in front of the dune. The project gained added urgency in early 2006 when storm waves undermined two multimillion-dollar homes. As of the end of 2008, implementation of the project in the towns of Harvey Cedars, Ship Bottom, Beach Haven and Long Beach Township was still stalled due to an inability to secure easements from property owners granting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state DEP access to their property. In November 2008 a state appeals court rejected the DEP's 24-hour beach access rules and regulations of bathroom and parking locations. The ruling also said that the DEP alone does not have the authority to withhold shore protection funds if municipalities do not provide additional parking spaces or restrooms close to the beach.

For the surfing impacts, the Jersey Shore Chapter completed a mapping project along Long Beach Island and requested modifications of the project in about a dozen locations to preserve surfing resources.

As mentioned above, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) originally required municipalities to provide public restrooms every quarter-mile for the length of the island as a condition of the project. The DEP also mandated that Long Beach Township provide more public parking in the exclusive Loveladies and North Beach sections of town. The project will create a 17-mile-long berm, 125-feet wide and as high as 30 feet at the crest, along the beach. Initial construction will require 7.5 million cubic yards of sand, a half-million feet of sand fencing and 350 acres of dune grasses.

In January 2017 it was announced that the federal government had awarded a contract for one of the largest beach fill projects in the nation's history for an area devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $92 million contract to Weeks Marine to replenish beaches and build sand dunes along the northern section of Ocean County. The full project eventually will cost $128 million once permission is obtained from landowners who oppose the project, or once the state seizes the land through court proceedings. This is the last major section of Gov. Chris Christie's plan to erect protective sand dunes along New Jersey's entire 127-mile coastline. But it also is the biggest hotbed of resistance to the project, including numerous holdouts in Bay Head and Point Pleasant Beach. More.

A $128 million beach fill project in Long Beach Island was scheduled to begin in April 2015 and last approximately one year. A joint effort of the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, crews will begin within Long Beach Township and proceed towards Holgate at the southern end of the island. Crews generally close 1,000-foot sections of the beach as work progresses at approximately 100 feet per day. Dubbed the Long Beach Island Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project, the restoration and repair work will complete the initial construction of the dune and berm system on Long Beach Island that began in 2006. Based on the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the project is 100 percent funded through the Army Corps' Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program. The Jersey Shore chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has been regularly critical of the ongoing beach replenishment along the entire New Jersey coastline, saying it creates more hazardous swimming conditions, generates poor quality sand, and negatively impacts wildlife.

An update on this project was published in in November 2016.

Contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. completed beach restoration operations in Holgate last Wednesday, Nov. 23, marking the conclusion of initial construction of Long Beach Island’s dune and berm system. The Island now returns to a periodic nourishment cycle. According to Steve Rochette, public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal sponsor of the project, crossover repairs are underway in Holgate, and should be done before January. Dune grass planting is also in progress, with completion anticipated by mid-February. Fertilizer will be applied in late spring, and again in the summer.

As the Corps’ project website,, explains, “A feasibility report completed in September of 1999 recommended beachfill with periodic nourishment to reduce potential hurricane and storm damages for the island.”

What was formally termed the Barnegat Inlet to Little Egg Inlet Coastal Storm Risk Management project, a joint endeavor of the USACE and the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection designed to reduce storm-driven erosion and property damage, began in Surf City in 2006. Harvey Cedars was replenished in 2010, and from 31st to 57th Street in Long Beach Township’s Brant Beach section was filled in 2012. The Corps repaired beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars in 2012, after Hurricane Irene, and restored all three areas in 2013, following Superstorm Sandy.

In December 2014, the Corps awarded the recent contract to Great Lakes, for $128 million, to complete initial construction. That work – which was 100 percent funded by the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, known as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill – began in Ship Bottom in early May 2015, then moved to various segments of Long Beach Township, including Holgate.

The Philadelphia District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a Web page with information on projects in New Jersey.

In January 2009 it was announced that Strathmere was getting an $8 million beach fill to pump sand onto Ludlam Island, the strand shared by Strathmere and Sea Isle City. Sand will be pumped from Seaview Avenue south through Whale Beach. As a project condition, Upper Township secured easements from dozens of property owners and is taking a few holdouts to court to seize the beachfront lots through eminent domain to satisfy NJDEP's requirement to ensure public access to the beaches. The township is paying 25 percent of the total project cost. Sea Isle City plans to pump 400,000 cubic yards of sand on beaches from First to 15th streets and from 42nd to 52nd streets as part of the same dredging project. The stretch from First to 15th streets are where the city previously installed geotubes to protect Ocean Drive. The last state beach project in Sea Isle City was a $4.2 million beach fill on the city's south end in 1999.

Also in January 2009, a $4.5 million beach fill project in Cape May was announced. The project was scheduled to pump 70,000 cubic yards of sand from the borough to Second Avenue. Interestingly, the project also included removing 30,000 cubic yards of sand from beaches off Coral and Whilldin Avenues because a previous project pushed the beachfront too close to offshore concrete "reefs" and resulted in those beaches being closed to swimmers. Another aspect of the project is the excavation of a pond in the meadows behind the strand that will be used by piping plovers.

In December 2010, a project that involved beach fill, drainage improvements and modification to beach dunes to help piping plovers began in southern Cape May County. A dredge began pumping sand in front of Cape May Point State Park, just west of the World War II concrete bunker. Meanwhile, an outfall pipe that drains rainwater when it builds up on The Nature Conservancy tract just north of the beachfront and even into Cape May Point, via the borough-owned Lake Lily was being repaired. A third part of the project includes scraping off vegetation and lowering a dune so it is more suitable to endangered shorebirds. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (meaning U.S. taxpayers) is funding 80.5 percent of the work. This is periodic maintenance of a project that began in the winter of 2004-05 as the first federal beach fill project in the nation designed to help nature. Most federal beach projects are designed to protect shorefront real estate. The contractor, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., will be paid $9,060,000 to pump in 320,000 cubic yards of sand starting with the area in front of the state park in Lower Township, then addressing eroded beaches in Cape May Point, and finally filling in The Cove Beach in Cape May.

In September 2008 Senator Frank Lautenberg called on the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately investigate the rise in spinal cord injuries to Cape May beachgoers. During the summer of 2008, officials in Cape May and various news stories, including the Press of Atlantic City and the Philadelphia Inquirer, reported 17 cases of injuries. Cape May City also began a public education campaign to raise awareness of the problem in August 2008.

“As you may know, these injuries are sustained by swimmers and surfers who are crashing into the unusually shallow water near the shoreline,” Lautenberg said in the letter. “We need to address this safety issue to ensure the well-being of beachgoers at the Jersey Shore.”

A $12 million, 400,000-cubic-yard beach fill project set to begin in November 2011 at Cape May will include moving 40,000 to 70,000 cubic yards of sand already on the beach to eroding beach areas. The goal of this is to create a flatter beach profile to reduce the possibility of injuries associated with a steep beach profile and the associated "shorebreak." More on this. Additional articles 1 and 2.

The Cape May County Herald reported in January 2013 that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District along with its cost sharing partner, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and the local communities of the Borough of Cape May Point and the City of Cape May, began work on an $8 million beach fill project in an area west of Cape May known as the “Meadows” in December 2012. This cycle of periodic re-nourishment began shortly after Thanksgiving 2012 and was scheduled to be completed by the middle of February 2013. Approximately 365,000 cubic yards of sand were planned to be placed over an area of 2.5 miles of beach.

The beach at Cape May was re-filled 10 times between 1962 and 1995, at a total cost of $24,669,771. Cape May was named one of the top "restored beaches" in the nation by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) in 2005. On the other hand, the "re-fill" conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the winter of 2004-2005 generated a litany of complaints from the public at a meeting in July 2005. The complaints included the fact that excessive sand moved the beaches at Coral and Whilldin Avenues too close to offshore submerged concrete reefs, causing the closure of these beaches for safety reasons. Other complaints concerned a steeper drop-off into deep water and the presence of rocks in the new beach sand.

Army Corps of Engineers conducts dredging and Beach Nourishment in Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City's beach was re-filled 22 times between 1952 and 1995 at a total cost of more than $83,104,502. The 1982 fill in Ocean City cost $2.5 million but lasted only two and a half months. The Ocean City Patch reported in January 2013:

"An influx of emergency funding to the Army Corps of Engineers will help rebuild severely eroded beaches in Ocean City in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. An already-approved beach-widening project is now scheduled to start in mid-February. It was designed to cover beaches from the north end of the island to about 12th or 13th Street. The new funding would add to the 1 million cubic yards already approved for the project. It would not only replace sand eroded by the storm, but return the height and width of north-end beaches to the profile when the original replenishment project was completed. The new funding would likely allow the city to extend the scope of the project beyond 13th Street to the central parts of the island within the federally approved area up to 36th Street. [...] City Council on Thursday unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that approves $5.3 million in spending and $5 million in borrowing for Sandy repairs. The city expects to be reimbursed for 75 percent of the spending. The $5.3 million includes $2,675,000 to rebuild dunes and replace dune fencing and dune plantings for the length of the island. The plan includes trucking in 50,000 cubic yards of sand to help restore dunes between 50th and 59th streets, where they were entirely wiped out by the storm."

In March 2012 an $18 million beach replenishment project was expected to start in Atlantic City and Ventnor. The project is designed to reconstruct beaches and dunes from the Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City to Fredricksburg Avenue at the border of Ventnor and Margate. The 5.1-mile project also will include reconstruction of pedestrian and vehicle beach crossovers, repair of handicap dune crossovers, planting of dune and beach grasses, and erection of sand fencing. In addition, there will be stormwater outfall system improvements at three locations in Atlantic City: New Jersey Avenue, just north of the Steel Pier, and in front of the Resorts Casino. The work is jointly financed by the federal government, DEP, and local municipalities. The federal government is funding 65 percent of the project, or $11.7 million. The DEP is paying 35 percent, or $4.3 million, through the state's Shore Protection Fund. Local governments are sharing 25 percent of the costs, with Atlantic City paying $1.1 million and Ventnor providing $525,000.

A report on a seawall and beach fill project in Brick and Mantolocking appeared at on October 21, 2014. According to the article, the steel wall, estimated to cost $23.8 million, was "nearly done" and that will now allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to start a beach fill project for the entire 12-mile peninsula in northern Ocean County from Point Pleasant Beach to Island Beach State Park. The beach fill project requires numerous easements from oceanfront property owners, but the state will move to take property easements before the end of the year from oceanfront homeowners who have resisted beach fill projects. For most of the peninsula, the constructed dunes will be 22 feet above sea level and beaches will be about 250 feet wide. For Point Pleasant Beach and Seaside Heights, where piers would interrupt those dune lines, the DEP has agreed to 18-foot-high dunes with breaks for the piers. The total cost of the steel wall and the beach fill is estimated at $40 million.

The Jersey Shore Partnership Website provides some information on beach fill in New Jersey.

Information on beach fill in New Jersey is also available through Western Carolina University's Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines. State-by-state information is available from the pull-down menu or by clicking on a state on the map on this page.

In 2017 the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) announced a new online National Beach Nourishment Database – featuring data on projects comprised of nearly 1.5 billion cubic yards of sand placed in nearly 400 projects covering the continental U.S. coastline. In addition to the total volume and the number of projects, the database includes the number of nourishment events, the oldest project, the newest project, the known total cost, the total volume and the known length. The information is broken into both state statistics and those of local or regional projects. Every coastal continental state is included (so Alaska and Hawaii are still being compiled), and projects along the Great Lakes are similarly waiting to be added.

A report National Assessment of Beach Nourishment Requirements Associated with Accelerated Sea Level Rise (Leatherman, 1989) on EPA's Climate Change Impacts and Adapting to Climate Change websites notes that the cumulative cost of sand replenishment to protect New Jersey's coast from a 50 to 200 cm rise in sea level by 2100 is estimated at $902 million to $3.492 billion.

The Fiscal Year 2017 Civil Works Budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides $4.62 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program. This budget lists proposed projects and the associated budget justification by state.

State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs: A National Overview (2000) is a report NOAA/OCRM that provides an overview of the problem of beach erosion, various means of addressing this problem, and discusses issues regarding the use of beach nourishment. Section 2 of the report provides an overview of state, territorial, and commonwealth coastal management policies regarding beach nourishment and attendant funding programs. Appendix B provides individual summaries of 33 beach nourishment programs and policies.


State of the Beach Report: New Jersey
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