Dune Restoration A Crucial Part of Brick's Recovery from Sandy

Dunes were pulverized by powerful storm

"I used to have a 24 foot dune out there," said Frank Gallagher, a resident of Brick's barrier island portion. "Now, you look out right onto the ocean, and it's a very scary situation."

Gallagher told township council members this week he is afraid another storm could cause damage to his home that is still standing after Hurricane Sandy.

The issue of dune restoration is a crucial one for homeowners in essentially every community that fronts the ocean. Without protective dunes, homes even blocks away could be at risk. And if the ocean breaches the barrier island, as it did near the Mantoloking Bridge during Sandy, rushing water could cause flooding even on the western shore of Barnegat Bay.

State officials were as concerned as anyone, and in the immediate aftermath of Sandy, commented on the great extent to which the dunes were destroyed.

In Brick, restoring the dunes will be both a short-term and long-term project, officials said.

"We have one contractor out there right now doing dune restoration," said Business Administrator Scott Pezarras. "He's pushing as much up as he can."

The current plan includes taking sand washed onto local streets by the storm and pushing it back to the beach to form a berm.

"We are in an effort to secure as much of the beach, by pushing up some sand, as we can," said Pezarras.

Another technique the township has been using to help restore dunes in the short-term is acquiring storm fencing, which Pezarras said is a "hot commodity" right now.

The initial, short-term work is a quick fix to help prevent additional damage to township neighborhoods.

Dune restoration work is one of the many expenditures for which the township can be expected to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agenca (FEMA).

Pezarras said long-term dune restoration is "very preliminary phased right now."

Fortunately, in the wake of Sandy, state officials have alleviated lengthy permitting requirements that normally come with dune restoration projects, said Pezarras.

"There are so many moving parts to the recovery process, it's just mind-boggling," he said.

Mrgrumpass November 15, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Mother Nature made an out let it should have been completed the bay would have been much cleaner!
Mrgrumpass November 15, 2012 at 02:16 PM
sorry i ment inlet!
J.JONES November 15, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Still can't believe the damage that was done in that area ...And I hope there's a way to restore and people stay safe saying a prayer for all to get help and move on..
JD November 15, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Dunes are not the long term answer as there is an annual cost to maintain them. 1st... Jetties... about every 1/2 mile. They need to go out at least 50 yds from current low tide. It keeps the sand from eroding from the beaches and eliminates the need for annual beach replenishment. If you have a deep beaches that alone can sustain many storms. The ocean currents cause the erosion on a regular basis... jetties keep the sand in place for the most part. 2nd... build concrete barriers up to the elevation of 10 feet above high tide. If you want to put sand over it to look natural so be it. But that will sustain a storm whereas dunes will not... and they have to be replenished every year.... notwithstanding they need to be 20ft high and 20ft deep to withstand a storm. That blocks all views from the boardwalk, etc.
Pavlivdogs November 15, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Hey JD did toms river give u the boot? Lucky brick...what would they do without ur words of wisdom?
Mattie November 15, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Maybe it's time we all admit that it would be best to give the barrier islands back to Mother Nature.... Take your insurance and flood insurance money, and build/buy yourselves homes on the mainland somewhere. Want waterfront property? Find a lake or riverbank home. I firmly believe we should not allow them to rebuild residential homes on the island.
Don Smith November 15, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Can residents help in the planing of sea oats on the new dunes?
Don Smith November 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I don't think you realize my family was on the island for 74 years. Maybe you give me you place on the bay and you maybe go to the pine barrens. Maybe now you see how silly your sugestion was? My home was 600 sq ft in a responcible location. Poor maintainance by JCP&L caused a trainformer fire that took over 120 bungalows in the community. I frankly don't see why when they are done getting power back that we don't hold then accountable for rebuilding what was lost due to the fire caused by their poor facilities. Where else does JCP&L hang transformers over a living space? What code officials allowed such service?
Don Smith November 15, 2012 at 03:47 PM
In camp Osborn they were 20' high and 80' deep. Hardening the front of the Thunderbird building caused the standing wave action in front of the T Bird to seek relief toward our camp. Our houses on pilings would have held if the fire had not started. If you want to harden the beach put up a bulk head under the dunes that will grow like the one in front of the T Bird. If they were allowed to build it we all should have equal protection. Jetties do nothing. After a storm look how big the sand bar gets. Calm weather puts the sand back on the beach at an incedable rate.
JD November 15, 2012 at 03:52 PM
pavlivdogs.... this is how the beaches should be rebuilt.... for any beach community... and... wait to hear what I have to say about you on Tuesday!!! can't believe TRRS is paying part of your salary... that will soon change!!
JD November 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Don Smith... I'm very familiar with jetties... and they work... the keep for a deeper beach and don't need replenishment every year.. I know.. I built one on the pacific ocean... If you have a deep beach... water has hard time even reaching the dunes... did you see AC in front of the casinos.... not a drop hit the boardwalk!!
Don Smith November 15, 2012 at 04:09 PM
JD The beach I live on has never been replentished, we have no jetties and no problems for 74 years. Hardening of the front of the T Bird built too close to the ocean in 1966 has caused the only problem. Jetties also cause issues for swimming and alike.
Pavlivdogs November 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Lol !
JD November 15, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Donsmith, beach restoration is done EVERY year up and down the Jersey coast... including your beachfront. It is done by the state... paid for by the state..
Mattie November 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Your home should have been insured against the risk of living on the shoreline. If it wasn't, that is YOUR problem... even if the loss of your home was through no fault of your own, and even if your ridiculous idea that JCP&L is responsible for the fire that destroyed it, why should you be allowed to rebuild in a now-known flood area? What makes you think you won't be paying many many thousands of dollars per year for flood insurance now, ** IF ** you could even get coverage? Take your compensation from wherever it comes, and move to the mainland. For your own safety and peace of mind, and for everyone else's pocketbook and for the environment too.
Ocean club at mantoloking November 15, 2012 at 07:11 PM
It's now called the ocean club!!!! We ae not and haven't been the"old thunderbird"' please stop referring to it that way.
Don Smith November 15, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Does it really matter what we call it so long as we all know the building? It was built in 1966 with the promise that gaming would be allowed up the coast and the owners thought they would be part of that movement. They had interest in Sea Bay Park that has since become the Brick Beach III. Was there a permit issued to harden the front wall of the Tunderbird building?
Don Smith November 15, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Other then raking the beach or pushing sand up in front of the Thunder Bird exactly what is done? Maybe they do it at night while I sleep?
Slippery Slope November 15, 2012 at 09:28 PM
""Private Property. Beach Club Members Only". I wonder what happened to all of the "Keep Out, Home Owners Association" signs that were posted along the entrance to all the beach front communities on the barrier island? Are non residents allowed in to help now, or are we still forbidden from entering these private fiefdoms?
proudnot2bliberal November 16, 2012 at 01:29 AM
RE Slippery Ok 1st I DO NOT have a beach front home or a member of a beach club but why should you be able to get on to THIER property???? Gee how would you feel if people jsut stated pinicning & camping out on your front yard (or in front you window at your apt)? 2nd I agree many should have had the insurance & the insurance companies should have informed you (for those not right by the water) of the importance of flood insurance. that being said why anyone on the island that didnt have it is beyond me.
Slippery Slope November 16, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I grew up here at the shore. My friends and I were told many times to " get off our beach, this is private property" when we were younger. Sometimes there were ZERO other people out on the beach. Just us. Try parking on their "private roads" to go onto "their beach" to catch a striper or surf. Even though I have been chased off their "private beaches" many times over the years, Me and my family are still volunteering and donating to help them during these times. I just hope they don't put the "Keep Out" signs back up.
Donna Griffin November 16, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Don - How much erosion occurred in Lavallette with this storm? I've not really seen a picture of the state of their beach. They have a jetty system, but for the past 10 years the beach has still gotten narrower. Granted, they fared better in Sandy than surrounding communities but I'm thinking more in terms of the barriers/sea wall with healthy dunes on top as a longer term solution.
Donna Griffin November 16, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Don - It'll always be the "old Thunderbird" to us locals. No harm intended Ocean Club but no need to be so sensitive.
Lauren November 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I lost my summer home and my family is devastated. Bottom line.....dunes need to be restored, beaches and homes need to be protected and the barrier island needs to be rebuilt. My heart goes out to everyone that lost something or someone in this terrible storm.
Joe P November 17, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I hope each town on the barrier island seriously re-thinks their re-development plan for the beach and bayfront before haphazard rebuilding begins.
Jeff November 17, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Someone start a program to collect all the unsold Christmas trees in the tri-state area and dump them in the dunes. It not a cure all but for the price of transporting them they would act similar to snow fencing. Sand would probably gather around them faster than snow fence and as a bonus wouldn’t have all that nasty wire laying around when they breakdown. Some of the critters and birds probably would take up residence until the dune vegetation is reestablished.


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