LoBiondo Celebrated In Brigantine for Non-Effective Dredging & Beach Project

Brigantine Beach Lobiondo Army Corp of Engineers
Outgoing Congressman LoBiondo gets regularly eroded Brigantine Beach named after him.

NJ Congressman, Frank Lobiondo will likely NOT get a Margate, Ventnor or Longport beach named after him. These 3 Downbeach towns were less than thrilled over the forced dredging, dune building and beach sewer system foisted upon their shores. But over in Brigantine, Lobiondo will be forever celebrated.

Big Frank was instrumental in spending taxpayer dollars for a controversial Jersey shore project that needs to be repeated every few years.

The outgoing Congressman recently received a plaque that will be installed next to a North Brigantine beach that never had dunes, but consistently erodes soon after regular re-nourishment.

New Jersey has spent more on beach replenishment than nearly every other state, yet is still falling short of preserving its coasts in the face of sea-level rise and extreme weather.


New Jersey Gets Failing Grade For Coastal Preservation

New Jersey failed in every SURF RIDER FOUNDATION beach protection category. Yet Congressman Lobiondo was applauded by Brigantine for his ability dredge and pump sand, keeping the Army Corp of Engineers busy for the next 50 years.

Watch Video: Army Corp of Engineers

NJ Sediment Management: Bad

New Jersey lacks any regional sediment management plans and relies far too heavily on beach fill. In the past 30 years, more than a billion dollars have been spent on beach replenishment projects.

The state has a special fund, called the Shore Protection Fund, that is used for beach replenishment projects. New Jersey has some policies that dictate beach fill, such as matching grain size. However, for the most part, the state regulates fill as a ‘non-structural shoreline protection measure’ without strict permit requirements and monitoring plans.

NJ Coastal Armoring: Bad

New Jersey has few regulations on coastal armoring. In fact, seawalls and other hard structures are considered ‘essential’ to protect the shoreline and urbanization. In addition, there are few restrictions on repairing or replacing armoring, and a permit is only needed if there are ‘significant’ improvements.

The state of NJ is also lenient with emergency permits and requires very few restrictions. The permit request can even be done over the phone. Instead of making living shorelines accessible and easy, the state manual is wonky and not very user-friendly for local communities.

NJ Development: Bad

Over the past decade, the state and local municipalities have approved a significant amount of new development. In fact, a recent report by Zillow concludes new home development was three times higher in the ‘coastal risk zones’ than in safer areas.

This type of development is clearly skirting requirements of CAFRA; Coastal Area Facility Review Act. While the state requires the elevation of homes destroyed in a flood zone, the permitting process is lenient and elevation requirements are only one foot above a flood area. In addition, New Jersey needs to improve its setback policies.

NJ Sea Level Rise: Bad

Poor development standards in NJ have led to an overdeveloped coast, which will make sea level rise planning extremely challenging. Finally, because the state has been slow to act on climate change, it is behind in producing adaptation plans.

Brigantine Applauds LoBiondo, While NJ Gets Failing Grade. Pic: Brigantine Times.

Recommendations: • Improve compliance with the Coastal Area Facility Review Act • Reduce the reliance on, and use of, sand replenishment and consider other methods of beach preservation • Acknowledge the negative effects of shoreline armoring and prohibit or severely limit their use • Improve rebuilding standards after storms and increase home elevation in food zones • Prohibit new developments in known hazard areas • Prohibit the use of armoring for new or repaired buildings • Establish larger setback standards • Develop sea level rise adaptation plans • Establish managed retreat policies.

ACOE says dredging & pumping sand on the beach is better. Ugh. The Surfrider report criticizes New Jersey’s reliance on beach fill. Offshore dredging harms underwater barriers, fishing and marine life.

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