TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie's administration has begun legal proceedings to obtain land from beachfront property owners so the state can build dunes to protect against storms.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday it filed eminent domain actions in superior court in Cape May and Ocean counties.

The administration's action is the latest in a disagreement with 244 coastal property owners. Christie issued an executive order after Superstorm Sandy directing the DEP to obtain the easements so dunes could be built.

The state says it has received 90 percent of the easements it needs but some owners are not giving up their land rights.

State officials say the easements are vital for protecting the coastline.

The filings affect one property in Ship Bottom and another in Ocean City.