Shore communities fight against beach project during the summer

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Some Jersey Shore communities say that they would rather not have sand replenishment projects take place during the summer months.

“We’ve been making that argument to NJDEP and the Army Corps for a good 2 1/2 years at this point,” says Seaside Heights Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers have been doing beach replenishment projects since Superstorm Sandy.

Vaz says that his town needs summer to be a success to help the economy of the town. He says that having Army Corps of Engineers’ heavy equipment on the beach is not good for business. Heavy equipment is currently on the beach in Mantoloking.

“We do want the work done but the reality is Seaside Heights as a summer tourism destination is very different from other communities that are primarily residential,” says Vaz.

Officials for Seaside Park also tell News 12 New Jersey that they are fighting against the project.

But some Jersey Shore town officials say that they welcome the project.

"Our residents right now, the council and the mayor basically, are looking to get the project in as soon as we can and whenever we can,” says Toms River township engineer Bob Chankalian.

The Ortley Beach section of Toms River was devastated by Superstorm Sandy.  Officials say that protecting the beach from another similar storm is a top priority.

“We'd rather be dealing with a couple of disruptions in the summer than dealing with another nor’easter and why we delayed the project,” Chankalian says.

Army Corp of Engineers says that no matter which beach it’s working on this summer, it will only work on 1,000 feet of beach at a time, which should allow plenty of room for beachgoers. 

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