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Next Step in Mantoloking Breach Area Cleanup: Move Sand From Bay to Beachfront

DEP Commissioner: sand could be piped over Route 35 to oceanfront

The ongoing process of removing debris from the floor of Barnegat Bay will eventually evolve to the next step in the overall cleanup effort: removing sand that got pushed into the waterway.

That phase of the project should begin in the next four to eight weeks, said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Martin during a conference call with a number of reporters Tuesday.

"While we do the debris removal, we are already putting plans in place and getting permitting with the Army Corps of Engineers to do the dredging activity," said Martin. "I'm hoping within the next month or two we can start doing that dredging as well."

The bay is steadily being cleared of large pieces of debris left over from Superstorm Sandy resting on the bottom, but debris floating at or just below the waterline is still a concern, said Martin, as well as shoaling that has developed due to sand having been pushed into the bay during the storm.

One of the most significantly affected areas is near the Mantoloking Bridge between Mantoloking and Brick, where a full breach created an inlet that split Ocean County's northern barrier island in half.

"The game plan is to move as much as of that sand as possible from the bay to the ocean," Martin said.

Officials have told Patch that the project of moving excess sand in the bay to the oceanfront could be accomplished in several ways. Martin said the DEP is investigating running a pipe over Route 35 to literally pump sand from the bay onto the island, then sift it before placing it on the beach to help shore up the dunes.

Chris Nelson, Mantoloking Borough's special counsel for storm recovery, spoke this week about a plan that would involve the sand being scooped from the bottom of the bay and desposited in trucks, before being sifted and brought back to the beachfront.

"Our goal is to get the sand from the bay back on the beach," said Nelson, adding that he hoped the project could be completed by the end of June.

Brick Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said it is Brick Township's intention to use dredged bay sand at the beach as well, once it is sifted and deemed safe.

Acropolis said areas where there were major issues with sand intrusion such as near the Mantoloking Bridge and Gunner's Ditch, the channel that runs west of the Intracoastal Waterway at the confluence of the bay and the Metedeconk River, would likely be dredged.

Martin said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has estimated as much as 10 million cubic yards of sand were deposited into the bay, a figure the DEP is still working to validate.

Donnie Brasco April 10, 2013 at 09:55 AM
I have heard stories circulating that the bay may possibly be closed this summer to boaters. I heard this from a boat Captain. Based on the time line in this article it seems that may be a strong possibility. Although most boaters will be upset, I think it may be the best and safest option for everyone. Removing all the debris and dredging all the incremental sand from the bay will eliminate any unnecessary damage to boats. In addition, would also eliminate any serious injury to boaters.
DAN FRIENDLY April 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM
No, the bay will not be be closed, and that would be a very stupid idea. Also impossible to do.
Beachie April 10, 2013 at 02:20 PM
There are boats out there on the weekends fishing already.
elle April 10, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Is the beach in mantoloking open or going to be open at some point this season for swimming? Or is there just too much happening with demos, etc to have people on the beach?
jack cee April 10, 2013 at 04:04 PM
You can't go on the mantoloking beach until the beachfront homes are secure or knocked down.Demo is supposed to start real soon.
elle April 10, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Thanks, Jack.
proudnot2bliberal April 10, 2013 at 05:01 PM
You couldnt pay me enough to go in the water this year on th eocean side or bay side way way way too much debris in water (for those a bit slow this means the houses, vehicles & contants of them washed out by Sandy) As for the closing of the Bay this summer it might be possibilty in the interest of safety Ive heard several stories of boaters striking objects in teh bay. Plus would you want to be in the water with the NY bennies this summer?
Daniel Nee (Editor) April 10, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Those rumors are absolutely, categorically false. The only thing you might see are certain areas marked off while work is being performed, or if there is a specific danger under the surface. In my conversation with the commissioner yesterday, he confirmed the bay will be open to boat traffic.
JoanneNY April 10, 2013 at 07:06 PM
How do you think the economy will fare WITHOUT NY bennies this summer? What industry do you guys have down there besides tourism and adult communities?
Donnie Brasco April 10, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Dan, that is good to know.
jack cee April 10, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Boats hit sumerged objects every year.Without the NY bennies your economy would collapse so please be quiet.I doubt you even live at the shore.
proudnot2bliberal April 10, 2013 at 08:16 PM
RE JoanneNY .....its not the bennies I have an issue with its the braindead "MTV Jerseyshore POS " types.. you knwo like the ones who fly down the breakdown lane of the parkway at 90 in bumper to bumper traffic
re-tired April 10, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Should slow the speedboats down some ! Maybe the whole north end of the bay should be a no wake zone .
proud April 10, 2013 at 10:28 PM
To answer your question @ Joanne, we do have gym, tan, laundry.
Martin April 11, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Updates about flood zone maps, elevations and premiums: Thursday, April 25th, 6:30-7:30PM, Berkeley Elem. School, Rt. 9 & Station Rd., Bayville. StopFemaNow.com
Daniel Nee (Editor) April 11, 2013 at 04:35 AM
In the ICW from the Mantoloking Bridge to the canal (and then to the Manasquan River), it basically already is. ;)
BrickAmericanMan April 11, 2013 at 12:14 PM
i been boating in the bay for the last 3 months. it all looks the same to me. no issues.
J.JONES April 11, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Boating , swimming will be a big risk to all until the bay ,ocean , beach area's are all cleaned up...NO body really no's how much crap is still in those waters..

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