Margate, Ventnor and Absecon Island Dune Update

Margate Ventnor Dune
Bagnell and Russo. Mayors of Ventnor and Longport.

The Margate Board of Commissioners held a special executive session on Tuesday, May 26. Up for discussion was the Margate vs. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state Department of Environmental Protection lawsuit.

The Absecon Island Shore Protection Project was developed to protect Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport. Margate residents have voted via referendum to refuse the dunes, and initiated legal proceedings to fight the project.

The Army Corps said it’s moving forward with a dune system in Ventnor, Margate and Longport, even though a handful of beachfront property owners have yet to hand over easements to the state. 

The dunes were completed in most of Ventnor. In Atlantic City, dunes were seemingly placed with little regard for proper height restrictions. While the AC portion of the dune project will improve protection against a major storm, it ham-handedly destroyed most of the views of beach and water.

Those strolling the world famous boardwalk often forget that the beach and surf are just beyond those sandy mountains, some reaching a median height of 17 feet.

Will the complete dune system on Absecon Island eventually be built? And if so, when? That answer is still up in the air for now. The State of NJ is handling the real estate acquisition process which includes surveys, title searches, appraisals, and easements. If negotiations with Margate property owners are unsuccessful, condemnation actions will be filed by the State’s Attorney General.

From Shore News Today: City officials have not had any contact with the state for several months regarding the project. According NJ Attorney General’s Office, the state has no particular time frame to start the project until appraisals for city- and privately-owned lots are completed. The state is completing appraisals for all remaining easements needed, both in Longport and in Margate. If negotiations based on the appraisals are unsuccessful, the state will file condemnation actions as soon as appropriate, including the filing of Declarations of Taking.

Read More in Shore News Today

LISTEN to report on how other Jersey towns are dealing with the dune issue: