Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) announced that progress has been made on restoring sand to the beaches in Point Pleasant Beach Borough. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) signaled that it is planning to return to repair severe erosion caused by recent weather.
“Good beaches are essential to a successful local economy, tourism, and our shore town residents,” said Smith. “As promised by USACE, high dunes must be accompanied by wide beaches and appropriate slopes, and we’re counting on the Corps to follow through with this important beach protection.”
Smith spoke directly to USACE yesterday, and followed up with a letter sent to Lieutenant Colonel Kristen N. Dahle, Commander of the USACE Philadelphia District that oversees the project.
The Corps preliminarily informed Smith today that it was working on a plan of action that would get the contractor Weeks Marine back to Point Pleasant Beach for re-pumping, once the contractor completes the work in Bay Head.
“I am writing to you once again about the critical coastal storm damage reduction project in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., in my congressional district which the Army Corps of Engineers has been diligently constructing in recent months,” Smith wrote.
“Constituents have told me first-hand accounts of seeing their long-awaited, replenished beaches nearly washed away, with sea waters reaching the very foot of the dunes,” Smith said. “I have been in contact with Point Pleasant Beach officials, as well as Keith Watson, the Corps project manager, to express my support for the borough’s request that the Corps act as quickly as is possible on concerns about restoring the beaches.” Click here to read Smith’s letter.
Smith also spoke to Mayor Steve Reid to assure that he would work with the Corps to repair the recent damage.
“This is great news,” said Reid. “We appreciate the Corps trying to do this. I want to thank the Congressman for once again working on Point Pleasant Beach’s behalf.”
Smith noted that along with Mayor Reid, he has heard from State Sen. Holzapfel, and Borough Councilman Paul Kanitra.
Smith felt that since the Point Pleasant Beach section of the Corps’ project is still underway and not completed, and while the construction equipment is still in the area, it seemed logical and cost effective that the Corps restore the beach to its planned width before the aforementioned powerful weather system, in order to achieve the project’s primary goal of reducing impacts from coastal erosion and storms.