Shifting sands could be detrimental to the Jersey Shore
Ocean waves have been breaking the wrong way between Manasquan and Point Pleasant Beach, forming a huge sandbar that threatens boat traffic in and out of area.
Queen Mary Capt. Cole Riebak, who sails through here every day with his father, says that weeks of southerly winds scoured sand from replenished beaches along Barnegat Bay Island, south of the inlet, and dumped it in the channel. He says about a third of the narrow inlet is now unpassable, and a closure would be devastating to the local economy.
“You have boats that come in and out of here for all sorts of fish, clams, sea bass, fluke, it all comes in and out of here; if there was an inlet closure it would be huge for the commercial seafood industry,” says Riebak.
The issues around these Monmouth County beaches have reached the office of Congressman Christopher Smith, who says the Army Corps will return as soon as next week or by the end of the month to conduct the survey.
“They do have money left in the budget to dredge,” said Jo Schloeder, Smith’s deputy chief of staff. “The federal year goes to the end of September so we're looking good but if they need more money Congressman Smith will find them more money to get the job done.”