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Beach Widening Project Is Under Way at North End

The Ocean City project will last three months and cover beaches from the north end to 14 Street — and possibly beyond.

A $10 million beach replenishment project began Friday in Ocean City and will continue 24 hours a day for about three months until beaches from Seaspray Road to 14th Street are widened.

The project is part of a regularly scheduled series of beach maintenance projects for north-end and downtown beaches, but the work takes on a special urgency in the wake of the Oct. 29 Superstorm Sandy, which wiped dune systems and left protective "geotubes" entirely exposed.

A 309-foot dredge operated by the Great Lake Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill., sits about a half-mile off Surf Road beach in Ocean City and is the source for what will be 1.8 million cubic yards of sand pumped at 19,050 cubic yards per day.

Dredging began Friday at Atlantic Blvd. Beach and will proceed north to Seaspray Road Beach, then move south to 14th Street.

The current limit of the project is 14th Street, although the city is negotiating to extend the project south within a federally approved project area that extends to 36th Street.

City administrators say they also are hoping to secure a separate replenishment project for beaches between 36th and 59th streets.

The cost for the original project prior to Superstorm Sandy was $10,320,000, of which the federal government was responsible for 65 percent, the state Department of Environmental Protection 26.25 percent and the City 8.75 percent.

It is estimated that supplemental Sandy funds will add about $5.5 million to the contract to buy sand lost to the storm at 100 percent federal cost.

People may watch the operation from a safe distance behind established safety fence/tape boundaries during daylight. The project site is dangerous at night and spectators are strongly advised to stay away.

Richard Jacoby February 21, 2013 at 12:44 AM
So are you saying that the dredging should have gone to the south end and not the north? I am sure if the mayor had the money to do both, he would. Let’s think about this. If I was mayor and I only had the permits and money to put the sand in one of these places, where would I put it? The North end? Where the life blood of the island is? Where 95 percent of the tourism is? Where they had no beach last year. Where the beaches on two blocks in the summer have more people on them then the entire run of 50-59th st OR put it on 50th to 59th? Now if I lived in the South end, maybe I wouldn’t care as I would only be concerned for myself and not the majority, but if I was looking at the problem from the outside, the answer is quite clear. I wish everyone could get the sand they need, I truly do. But you must do the best you can with what you have available at present. The mayor stated he would rebuild the dunes on the south end and who knows maybe everybody gets lucky and the sand comes soon. We had no beach on 4th and 5th st last year and we got absolutely nothing.
Richard Jacoby February 21, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Josie, it sounds like we are neighbors
Eric Sauder February 21, 2013 at 12:56 AM
No I live here. I'm a voter and I don't want to pay more in taxes than I have to (I can't afford to.) I think the problem is that many voters are uninformed. My purpose is to inform them. And in a way I suppose I'm speaking for the less fortunate among us. So I was trying to say what those taxes mean to me, knowing that there are lots of people living here that are in the same boat. There are plenty of people here that can speak for fortunate ones.
Eric Sauder February 21, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Sorry ... misread your post.
Eric Sauder February 21, 2013 at 01:03 AM
That is the point and you stated it well.
lynn February 21, 2013 at 01:21 AM
In an article, Mayor Gillian was quoted as saying that the southend beaches could not be replenished now because of the environmentalists. But that is simply not the case. When life and property are at stake, (which they definitely are in the south end) envirnomental issues are put aside. The piping plovers are the issue but there is no place for them to nest on south end beaches - because there are no south end beaches for them to nest upon. It is also a seasonal matter and February is not the season that there is an issue with the plovers anyway. This is easily verified. This is a political issue in Ocean City. Those in control have never bothered taking care of issues in the southend because there are many 2nd homeowners who cannot vote, because the funds go to the tourist areas and the boardwalk and to the north end where the business owners and old local families reside. They have the clout in this town. Ocean City exists for the prosperity of the few - and the few don't have homes in the south end of Ocean City. AND YES- the southend homeowners need to speak up loud and clear and not take this treatment anymore. And Mayor Gillian does have a lot of control over this matter and he needs to do something about it.
DockedinOC February 21, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Eric - You're flailing about. It is unseemly. Your words are right there in plain sight. Why not state that you retract them rather than contort them after the fact in an attempt to give a different impression? Is OK to change your mind, or have your argument effectively rebutted. If you are overly sensitive to that, why put yourself in a position to be hurt by posting your opinions on a public forum where they are publicly scrutinized and likely to be rebutted, attacked, or ignored? Give it some thought. Ball don't lie.
Eric Sauder February 21, 2013 at 01:43 AM
If you think I feel the need to take aything back that I said you're mistaken. I'm not going to get in a private $%^ match with you on this thread. You're resorting to personal attack, which is what people often do when they can't defend their position. As for continuing with this "discussion" I think not.
DockedinOC February 21, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Case in point.
Southend Citizen February 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Seems like we're really getting the ol' run around: The article in the Press this morning says to replenish the South End an dredge has to go "out to sea" and ship sand back. Am I the only one who saw a dredge parked off of Corson's a couple of summers ago to do Strathmere? (Which would be Piping Plover season, right?) Maybe it was the shoulder season, but I remember having guests? They're fishing for excuses: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/communities/upper_capemay/southern-ocean-city-residents-want-share-of-beach-replenishment-happening/article_d62aad1e-7bb0-11e2-8845-001a4bcf887a.html
OClover February 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Seems like our best chance right now is OC acting on it's own with the expectation of federal reimbursement. As the old saying goes, "sometimes it's better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission." Mr. Mayor---Just do it!!!!! Quote from the article: "City Business Administrator Michael Dattilo said Ocean City is still considering the possibility of hiring its own dredge company to do the work, but added that time is running out to get it done before the start of summer. “We’re getting very close to making it too late, but not impossible, for the summer season,” he said. Residents such as Kirk think the city government has dragged its feet on the project for years, having known about the diminished beaches before last summer. He said the city should start the replenishment with the expectation of federal reimbursement, before it’s too late."
lynn February 21, 2013 at 01:01 PM
The city should do something right now. They should have done something years ago for the south end. The beaches have been disappearing for years now. The theory that the sand will move south from the north didn't work for the 50 - 59 beaches clearly. It is not just a recreational issue for this summer. We need protection! We need the beaches widened and dunes for protection. The mayor can do this - if Gillian's Fun Deck were sitting on 50th and Asbury, you can bet there would be a nice wide beach at 50th Street and it would have been done consistently and it would have started many, many years ago. I think our Mayor is a good man, but clearly his priority has been the boardwalk and now, Mr. Mayor, that you can see that the southend needs help desperately, I know you can make this happen.
lynn February 21, 2013 at 01:06 PM
I just read the Press article. The ACE has no funds for this?? Crazy! They got, I think, billions of dollars for this. The city needs to move on this and then work to get reimbursed.
OClover February 21, 2013 at 01:31 PM
"It is not just a recreational issue for this summer. We need protection!" Amen! And people need to stop saying things like, "waaaah, our beautiful beach is gone, where will we play volley ball." (Seriously, a southender is quoted in the article making that very complaint). We need to address this as a crisis that puts people's lives and property in danger.
Eric Sauder February 21, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Yeah not good news for the south end. And yes, its kind of reached a point where we're in crisis management mode. Its a shame this wasn't addressed long before.
Eric Sauder February 21, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Yep.
Eric Sauder February 22, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Clover I assume you have a mortgage. The thing of it is I don't. I understand the point about cash flow, but you would think, owning (until recently) a $mill investment, free and clear, that produces some income (around $10,000 a year) that I should be able to afford it? I work fulltime too (although I don't make nearly as much as what most people make.) But I'm struggling to pay my taxes. Even with that investment I really don't own anything. The truth be told I rent my place from the City. Which is why I'm sensitive to taxes and how the City spends my money. I can't afford the fat. I realize the tax burden isn't a big deal to many people, but it is to me. The way things are looking it may well cost me my investment.
Eric Sauder February 23, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Technical correction. Spending went up a couple of million and not the levy. Reserve funds were used to make up the difference.
Jack k February 23, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Yes you saw a dredge off Corsn's Inlet 3 years ago. Beaches were replenished in Strathmere thru mid-Sea isle. Unfortunately, the reject could nt commence until after the nesting season of the Piping Plovers, which meant that the beaches were replenished DURING the summer tourist (beach) season!
Jack k February 23, 2013 at 02:29 AM
And the DEP is VERY specific as to where sand is harvested. You can't just dredge wherever you want whenever you want. There is an environmental cost to harvesting sand. These beach replenishment projects are a little more complicated than you'd like them to be South End
Eric Sauder February 23, 2013 at 02:42 AM
So have we identified a site on the south end for sand harvesting, and if no, why not?
wjs February 23, 2013 at 03:09 AM
There are no piping plover nesting sites in the Southend. They are in the north end, central and corson's. Irony- what destroyed the most plover nests in NJ? flooding!
wjs February 23, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Jack K- you may very well be correct- these projects could be complicated, need planning. Perhaps all in the Southend would have been better served if some government agency had been more planfull the past decade. Southend beaches have been eroding for years- factual as stated by Stockton College Professor Farrell. Being proactive would have been much less costly than now being reactive.
Eric Sauder February 23, 2013 at 03:22 AM
I don't know if you saw my post in response (above) but the question is, has a site been identified for sand harvesting in the south end, and if not, why not? Ain't that the truth. The tax payers are now going to pay the cost for what should have been done a long time ago with state and federal money, but was neglected by the City.
Southend Citizen February 23, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Jack: According to the administration "nesting season for the endangered piping plover starts on March 15 and stretches into August.". So were the dredges there after August. (honestly can't remember the timing). However, no need to patronize me: I understand there's specific requirements to dredging. That doesn't seem overly complex to my simple mind. But that dredge was obviusly not "out to sea". It was taking sand from what appears to be a pretty sand clogged inlet.
Tired of Hypocrisy February 23, 2013 at 07:25 AM
It is rather sad to read the complaints regarding the South End needing sand replenishment sooner rather than later. Grew up in OC (50's, 60's, 70's) in the Southern End & back then the beaches were perfect. Of course, there also were no cookie cutter duplexes or quads or mcmansions. There were single homes, lovely large duplexes, green front lawns, parking spaces for everyone, very rarely flooding on the streets, etc. But that was then and this is now. The damage was done when the tear down/building was allowed to rape O.C. in the late 80's & 90's. No thought was put to the stress on the sewage system, the roads, etc. Dollar signs were in the powers that be eyes. Blue laws broken, 'new money' folks moved in that in reality have to rent out their cookie cutter duplexes because they can't afford to own them otherwise. Not meaning to sound uppity, just stating the facts. What was once a lovely, safe, neighborly town has become a greedy money grabbing place. Watched the stress the BYOB brought on & pitted neighbor against neighbor. For what? How many 'good' restaurants are in OC and worth paying their exorbitant prices for something that is frozen, then microwaved, slapped on your plate and that is supposed to 'Fine Dining in OC'. The boardwalk now resembles Wildwood's (without the games of chance, which won't be far behind). Homeowners are for the most part absent landlords now. Look around, don't just blame the government, tax payers are just as guilty. 'Made your bed.."
Eric Sauder February 23, 2013 at 08:51 AM
Hey I tried to oppose over development though in the greater scheme of things I came to it relatively late. Can't say I've had a lot of success. Its still happening today.
Darby T. February 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Tired: I appreciate your points. The beaches in the North End were once pristine and untouched as well. Heck, the original boardwalk was a few blocks further West. In fact, most of the Mid-Atlantic region was less populated, less developed and less crowded. I can't control what happened in the past, but I do pay taxes in the present. If my tax dollars can support the North End and my discretionary dollars can support businesses in all of Ocean City, then I think it's fair to expect some services in return. I, for one, can afford not to rent my house, But those landlords who you hold in contempt pay their taxes, too. And my guess is their tenants spend far more on a week to week basis on the Boardwalk, Asbury Ave., etc than either you or I do: it's their vacation. If we're simply going to adopt a policy of leaving the South End on its own for the beaches, then we should at least disclose it to renters, and give the section of town a "special services" designation and give us a break on taxes, beach tags and the rest. I'd be happy to petition Upper Twp. to absorb us and our shoobie absentee tax dollars. And if your solution is to tear all the duplexes down, shutter the businesses, and fire all the people who work in and around the town, I'd be happy to consider how to unwind all of that as well, Because I'm tired now too.
George February 23, 2013 at 02:44 PM
How soon we all forget. I cant paste the link but google Congressman or representative william Hughes beach replenishment. if you recall, he had a home on the north end. in 1991 he authored a bill that was approved for a 50 year project of beach replenishment. on another note, why is the dredge not in the ships channel? what a waste again of a good opportunity to make the ships channel wider, deeper and most of all safer.
Eric Sauder February 24, 2013 at 06:13 AM
The hope was that with BYOB we could attract more of the fine dinning crowd and that with a more level playing field we'd be able to cultivate better restaurants. Or at least make the ones we have more competitive. I mean think about it. Do you want a glass of wine with a slice of pizza or a sub? No but you probably do with a fine dinner. I agree with your post. I voted for BYOB because I thought it would lead to better restaurants and keep more of the dinner crowd in Ocean CIty. And in so doing lt would have helped the downtown.

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