POINT PLEASANT BEACH - In the dead of winter, the dune wars are heating up at the Jersey shore.

More oceanfront homeowners are going to court to try to block protective sand dunes from being built near their homes on land they currently own, while New Jersey is increasing the pace of its court filings seeking to condemn strips of beach needed for the project.

The latest group to fight the state Department of Environmental Protection is 11 oceanfront homeowners in Point Pleasant Beach, who are challenging the agency's legal right to proceed with the dune project.

They join the privately-owned Jenkinson's beach, and homeowners in Bay Head, Long Beach Island, and Margate who have sued, temporarily stalling it in their areas.

So far, the state has filed condemnation proceedings against 83 properties.