Man-made islands proposed by Stevens Institute scientist Alan Blumberg could buffer storm impact

Alan Blumberg says the catastrophic damage caused by Superstorm Sandy could have been prevented by man-made barrier islands. (3/31/14)

HOBOKEN - Scientists at Stevens Institute looking for a way to prevent the future damage to the Jersey Shore believe they have found a solution.

Alan Blumberg says the catastrophic damage caused by Superstorm Sandy could have been prevented by man-made barrier islands.

"What these islands are going to do is block the water so it comes into here and then goes back out to the ocean," Blumberg says.

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Blumberg has designed banana-shaped dunes that he says would stop coastal storms in their tracks. 

The uninhabited islands would need to be built around 10 miles offshore and could protect waterfront communities all the way from Hudson County to Ocean County.

The islands would change the oceanfront, according to Blumberg. "The water between the new dunes and the existing coastline is going to become much calmer," he says. "It's going to look like a bay as opposed to an oceanfront."

It wouldn't be ideal for surfers and Seaside Park Councilwoman Gail Coleman isn't crazy about it, either. "I don't think it's worth the billions of dollars," she says. "I think what we need to do is protect the shoreline, now."

Blumberg is pitching his design to the federal government in a storm damage prevention competition.

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