Margate residents pan Christie comments about dunes

Margate residents pan Christie comments about the sand dune project.

Margate residents pan Christie comments about the sand dune project. (10/5/15)

MARGATE - Residents of Margate are criticizing Gov. Chris Christie for comments made about the town's disagreement over sand dunes.

Residents in Margate have been resisting the plan to build the protective dunes ever since Gov. Christie began pushing for them in areas badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The issues even made their way to federal court. Many residents take issue with eminent domain.

At a news conference held last week in anticipation of a severe coastal storm, Gov. Christie called out Shore residents and Margate in particular for resisting the dune plan.

"You are amongst the most selfish people in the state of New Jersey," Christie said. "If [Hurricane Joaquin] had come to shore, the damage would have been done to lives and property in Margate."

Many residents say that while they understand the governor's concern, they feel his comments were out of line, especially since the town only saw minor flooding from last weekend's storm.

"We inspected the beaches this morning," says Margate Mayor Michael Becker. "The beaches look like they have more sand today than they had the middle of last week."

Mayor Becker has been resisting the dune plan because he says that Margate is already protected by effective bulkheads.

"We still think our bulkhead system gives us the flood protection that we need," says Becker. "We feel it's better and more efficient and a lot less expensive than the dune program."

Mayor Becker says that he hopes he and Gov. Christie can put their differences aside and have a talk about the matter.

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