Two weeks after Mantoloking said it will seek to install a geotube along its oceanfront area, the Brick Township council voted in favor of making funding available for a similar project.
The vote Tuesday added to the township's capital budget $7.9 million, 75 percent of which would be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for the project, which would span the length of the township's 1.8 mile-long oceanfront.
A geotube is a type of revetment that usually consists of gravel and sand wrapped in an ultra-strong geotextile fabric, forming a tube which is placed underneath a dune. The geotube acts similar to a seawall and protects the coastline from dune breaches.
A geotube previously installed in Ocean City has been credited by many in that municipality with protecting the north end of the city's barrier island from significant damage during Superstorm Sandy.
The geotube would be a more solid solution for rebuilding the township's dunes, officials said.
"What we're currently doing is not effective," said Business Administrator Scott Pezarras.
Since Sandy struck and destroyed the township's dunes, the township has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars rebuilding makeshift dunes that are simply washed away after each storm that rolls in, Pezarras said.
"We have to do something semi-permanent, because what we do now is build a big sand castle," said Pezarras. "Then we have to go out and build the berm again."
Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said the township has not decided to go forward with the geotube project, and it may consider completing the project in specific areas rather than the entire oceanfront.
"With an engineered dune, you may not need the geotubes along the whole stretch," said Acropolis, referring to the dunes that may be built if an Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project comes to fruition. "A lot is going to depend on the Army Corps."
"It's one of the things we're looking at," he said of the project. "We can't continue to rebuild the sandcastle dunes every time there's a high tide."
The geotube project would be integrated into the Army Corps' project. Unlike in Mantoloking, easements from oceanfront residents would most likely not be required in Brick's project, Acropolis said.
A dune breach in Mantoloking during Superstorm Sandy has been blamed for the flooding that occurred both in Brick's barrier island sections as well as in bayfront and lagoon neighborhoods on the mainland.
If the project is undertaken in Brick, the township would have to fund $1,975,000 of it under current FEMA reimbursement rates, though that could be reduced, as the reimbursement rate is widely expected to rise in the near future.