Local Jersey coast fisherman are growing increasingly more angry at the Army Corps of Engineers and the NJ DEP. Dredging and dune building by these 2 agencies is killing fishing and marine life, they claim.
Anglers made their feelings known on the recent ‘Shep on Fishing’ radio show.
‘Horrifying. What they do to our natural resources along the Jersey Shore. The Army Corps, mostly civilian employees, just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Always looking for stuff to fix. Even if it’s not broken.’
LISTEN > NOV. 10, 2018. Shep on Fishing Radio Show. WOND 1400am. 7a Sat Mornings.
The Army Corps of Engineers forced Ventnor and other Jersey Shore towns to sign a 50 year deal. Taxpayers are now mandated to chip in hundreds of thousands of dollars every few years, to support a dune deal that really does nothing…but disrupt tourism and kills fishing.
The sand being dredged is ultimately ending up in Wildwood or clogging up the back bay channels. When you pump sand on the beach, there’s nothing to hold it back. At one time, Absecon Lighthouse was actually on the water.
Back bays are choked with sand originally pumped onto the front beaches
Money grab? In order to pump and dredge the inlets, the Army Corps of Engineers say that they must do a three-year study. More taxpayer funds wasted.
This type of work is killing grass beds in the back bays and inshore waters. The back bays and marshes are the nurseries of the marine environment.
‘It’s really sad what’s going on’ says Bucktail Willie. Fishing is deteriorating. Clogged channels are also a navigational hazard, says of Robin Scott of Margate.
There’s a little known science known as Geomorphology. It explains how land..above and below sea level gets its shape. Shifting shapes and coastlines are most apparent on barrier islands along the Jersey Shore. When we dredge just off shore, and pump it for dune building, it’s clearly destroying our fishing grounds.
The Army Corps of Engineers and the DEP Department of Environmental Protection are awkwardly trying to restore the barrier islands. Mainly to protect residential neighborhoods on these barrier islands.
Remember: the barrier islands primary function is not to protect the mainland, NOT build McMansions next to the unpredictable ocean. Back in the 1930’s, the Army Corps warned against building along the water. Most towns ignored those warnings.
Sand is a living, fluid thing. You could pump sand for 10 years, and it’s all going to move. Look at the beaches in Wildwood. It’s creating problems. Whatever they pull up or dredge or strip from just off the coastline, it eventually ends up in the back bays. Hurting fish and marine life. Where they breed & feed.
It’s ridiculous says Alex of Buena. You’re trying to balance communities and commerce against what Mother Nature wants to do.
According to Alex, the Army Corps of Engineers and NJ DEP are just wasting money. They’re fighting a losing battle. All this sand pumping doesn’t stop sand from moving. Fisherman are starting to see the results of this kind of harmful manipulation of the barrier islands, especially here in South Jersey.
Robin Scott of Ray Scotts Dock in Margate has a friend who’s a retired Army Corps of Engineer. He admitted the primary job of the Army Corps is to find another job, more work. This is what’s called ‘make work’.
To be fair, The Army Corps of Engineers can do great things. Look at the excellent job along the Absecon Inlet. Protecting the new Atlantic City Boardwalk and inlet area. Well worth the money. But dune building in Margate, Ventnor and Atlantic City, and dredging for the next 50 years, is a highly questionable use of taxpayer funds.