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State Releases Map for Boardwalk at Corson's Inlet State Park

But the DEP has few other details on a proposal to connect an existing rail trail to Ocean City streets.

 

A grant application (click on the first PDF) and a map (click on second PDF) provide a little more information on a to build a boardwalk connecting a rail trail in Corson's Inlet State Park to 59th Street.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, in a Dec. 21 news release, announced $5,850 in funding for a "59th Street Ocean City Boardwalk."

The rail trail dead-ends in the marshes less than 100 yards from Ocean City streets, and the boardwalk would allow hikers to complete a loop through the park by connecting to an existing beachside trail via 59th Street, according to the application. (The rail trail is accessible from the park's boat-ramp parking lot on the causeway to Strathmere.)

It remains unclear how much the proposed boardwalk project would cost and if it would be able to receive the required environmental permits. 

DEP spokesman Lawrence Hajna said the boardwalk would be subject to the state's Division of Land Use permitting process.

"The grant is a step in the process," Hajna said.

Hajna said he is not aware of a recent study by the state Department of Transportation and the consulting RBA Group of a potential raised-boardwalk rail trail in the wetlands about a mile away.

The lists potential environmental concerns and 13 threatened or endangered species that potentially could be affected. It estimates the cost of a raised boardwalk for 1.5 miles of bike path at $2.25 million to $3 million.

Various sections of the report suggest a process that might include:

  • Development of a specific design (at a cost)
  • NJDEP CAFRA Permit, NJDEP Waterfront Permit, NJDEP Individual Wetland Permit and Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Approval, NJDEP 401 Water Quality Certification, NJDEP Stormwater Approval, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 10 Permit including NOAA National Marine Fisheries Essential Fish Habitat Assessment and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Review for Federal Threatened and Endangered Species Impacts, and Federal Coastal Zone Management Consistency Determination. 
  • Additional costs for required "wetlands mitigation" that could exceed the cost of the project itself.

The federal grant requires a $3,700 match. City officials had not heard of the grant when it was announced in December.

vic January 16, 2012 at 02:32 PM
what a fantastic idea. this finished trail would make it so much easier for me to enjoy nature with my grandchildren. now we have to hear from all the "not in my backyarders".
Beachy Keen January 16, 2012 at 02:45 PM
@Independent are you saying that somebody is not telling the truth? How come AJ believes that those 3 agencies he mentions have approved it?? I am still waiting for someone to answer why council was not aware of the grant money but myself and others were aware due to reading about it??? Seems like once again, a lot of misinformation going around.
South End Haven January 16, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I am extremely excited about the 59th Street/Corson's connector! My family and I love taking long walks and bike rides in areas where we can enjoy the beautiful nature in OC! Finally, we are catching up with other resort towns up and down the east coast, such as Hilton Head Island and Captiva, who provide hiking and bike paths for their communities!
AJ January 16, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Vic: seems like we already have. :) Making false accusations and spreading of misinformation. Beachy, as you read in the previous story on Patch; Bellplain State Forrest oversees Corson's Inlet State Park (not the city or anyone in the city) applied for and received a grant from the DEP for this project. This is to complete the connection to Ocean City from the rail trail that they have currently, which was approved and funded by the DEP and approved by the NJ Trails Council (see link below). These are facts. This is a great project for Ocean City (remember, we had a bike fatality a few years ago on the southend causeway), approved and endorsed by the state park, the DEP, and the NJ Trails Council. I'm sure you'll hear more opinions why this shouldn't be done. Personally, I accept the opinion of the state park service (charged with the care of this beautiful land), the dep and the nj trails council over that of Gladys Kravitz. Projects like this are being done all over the state and the country to allow access to our natural habitats. Yet in Ocean City there are those few that will try to convince you that this is destructive. Just not true. Take a walk on the Corson's Inlet trail and tell me where the destruction is. It's clean and beautiful! http://www.state.nj.us/dep//newsrel/2008/08_0055.htm
Independent January 16, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Interesting that the reader just accepts AJ's version of this story. I don't know why, but here's a question: Will you just accept my version? If not, ask yourself why not. I am also anonymous. My version. This Div. of Trails boss is on the record last week stating that he has not reviewed the proposal sufficiently and it is not approved. When he has sufficient info, he will test it against 4 criteria, three of which I know the proposal fails to meet. The DEP person I spoke to told me and others that the proposal has no approvals and will get no money until all approvals are gotten. The claim that just a single permit is required is absurdly wrong if the scant details that have been released are correct and the project does in fact go thru or impact tidal wetlands, tidal waters, and threatened and endangered species. REgardless, there is no way in reality that a boardwalk of this length in this or any other environment can be designed, permitted and constructed for 10K. It would cost more like 50K or more and that is without mitigation costs which could be as much as triple that number. And the permits have requirments that would not be met, among them that the project meets some important public need with little or no environmental cost. Keep in mind that the state not too long ago spent a ton of money to widen ocean drive's shoulders to create safe walking and biking on uplands right there!
Independent January 16, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I know that the City officials knew nothing about the Grant because there are those in Ocean City who inappropriately speak for the City - private citizens apparently were involved in this, not the administration and they should not speak for the City, but they have and they do. Something is very wrong there, isn't it? The current administration announced that they are not interested in going thru wetlands for a path so I doubt highly they will make any contribution. Apparently Corson's Inlet is the matching contributor, not the City. Apparently, AJ is speaking as an expert on this subject and one wonders where AJ gets his/her information since it contradicts what we have been told by those in positions of authority at the NJDEP Greenaces Program and the Park Service overseeing Corson's Inlet State Park.
AJ January 16, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Can't be done? See below for just a few examples Swamp Trail Boardwalk: http://www.aclink.org/PARKS/mainpages/estell.asp Wooden Duck rail trail: http://www.traillink.com/trail/wood-duck-nature-trail-(wallkill-river-nwr).aspx Maurice River: http://www.abchance.com/resources/case-histories/04-9801.pdf Boardwalk at Huntley Meadows: http://www.abchance.com/resources/case-histories/01-9308.pdf
Independent January 16, 2012 at 05:15 PM
There were accusations of "spreading misinformation" and calling people "liars" in relation to the path from 35th south. As it turned out, the "liars" were proven right by the RBA report in every single aspect. Now here we are again. Just because Grant money was designated for a project, does not mean that it has met the approval of the agencies that oversee the land. This project has not been approved just because funds were delegated. I guess you can believe whatever suits you or you can make some calls, as I did, and find out the truth. This project has not been permitted and it has not been "approved."
Independent January 16, 2012 at 05:15 PM
There were accusations of "spreading misinformation" and calling people "liars" in relation to the path from 35th south. As it turned out, the "liars" were proven right by the RBA report in every single aspect. Now here we are again. Just because Grant money was designated for a project, does not mean that it has met the approval of the agencies that oversee the land. This project has not been approved just because funds were delegated. I guess you can believe whatever suits you or you can make some calls, as I did, and find out the truth. This project has not been permitted and it has not been "approved."
precious January 16, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Here we go again - AJ leading us down the primrose path to HUMILIATION How many times can he pull this off? Roping innocent well-intended people to believe him about his little obsession? So far it has cost taxpayers in cold hard cash more than $200,000 in doomed attempts to make fantasy a reality. Add that to the $100,00 in real and opportunity costs incurred by private citizens to defend our critical and dwindling wetlands against unnecessary intrusion and destruction and to uphold laws and regulations that accomplish that. The State (we taxpayers) paid a lot of money to widen Ocean Drive making it safe for bikers and hikers to go through the beautiful wetlands and maritime forest right there in that very part of Corsons. There is no need to spend more money to destroy more wetlands to finish off a superfluous trail (which was installed illegally by the way.) As to the links AJ provides, those are not comparable projects, locations are not even subject to the same laws and regulations. Two are not even in NJ What matters is reality - and in reality this particular proposal in this particular location is unnecessary, destructive, expensive, and not permittable. The Green Acres person at the NJDEP who awarded the grant contingent on approvals told me he did not know the project goes thru wetlands and there are no approvals. I spend a lot of time in Corsons and there is more than adequate access to and through the park right now.
AJ January 16, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Can't argue the FACTS, so we go to personal attacks. And so it goes ....... I'm out
sillyme January 16, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Fact: A grant was awarded but no money will be provided until there are approvals Fact: Green Acres, NJDEP verified that the grant was awarded without the information that the path was designed to go through wetlands Fact: Any wetlands disturbance requires permits from several State and Federal agencies. These permits have not been approved. The links you provided prove nothing. You are "out" because you have no arguments as usual although your previous argument was that your opponents were "liars" which is no argument at all - just a really nasty personal attack which is your speciality since you do no research yourself and can never back up your position. Glad to see you have learned your lesson - hang your head in shame!
tim duffy January 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM
just tell me whos brainstorm it was to build a beautiful ramp guard station at tenn. ave ramp and then demolish it That to me was the apex of stupidity !
vic January 16, 2012 at 11:21 PM
here we go again. all the "not in my back yarders" trying to preserve nature all for themselves, trying to keep the rest of us taxpayers out.
sillyme January 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM
vic - the State and Federal aws protect the wetlands not the "not in my backyarders" --- the laws -- so there is nature for all the taxpayers otherwise the whole island and State of NY would be blacktopped from one end to the other and there would be no nature for anyone - but if that concept is too tough for you to complrehend, clearly you just don't get it
sillyme January 17, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I meant New Jersey -- but this could apply to NY also. In areas of NY they are actually now tearing down warehouses on the harbor and making new wetlands there so we would be pretty foolish if we did not value and protect what we have in Ocean City.
Gary Trucano January 17, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Then maybe they should start tearing down all the houses at the south end, that are built on what was originally wetlands. I would vote yes on that in a New York minute.
sillyme January 17, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Since the developers and realtors rule the City, you will have to speak to them. They will only tear down the houses, if they can build bigger, multi-family homes that are only appealing to summer residents, not full time people - and fill their pockets Don't be angry at the neighbors, it is the developers & realtors who built on wetlands and way back when, there were no laws to keep that from happening. That is the problem, once the wetlands are gone, they are gone. Of course one good hurricane and many of the houses on the island would be gone, Would that make you happy, Gary? You want to be angry about what has happened to Ocean City, be angy at the Mayors, the city councils, the zoning boards, the developers, the realtors, the insurers, who have pushed for development so they could get rich. Now, they are talking about building high rises so why don't you take all your aggression against south end homeowners and speak up about that - before it happens. Because after, it is too late.
Gary Trucano January 17, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Anger? Aggression? I'm simply agreeing with you.
vic January 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM
how is completing this boardwalk destroying the marshes. it only provides an easier venue for more people to be able to enjoy nature, without having to tramp through it. it actually protects nature from intruders.
Florence Moyer January 18, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Exactly. How can we possibly expect people to be motivated to protect nature if they don't get to experience it unless they own a house adjacent to it?
cynthia January 18, 2012 at 09:42 PM
There are ample opportunities to experience nature in Ocean City, Corson's Inlet State Park without installing an intrusive boardwalk to connect areas that are already connected by riding on city streets which afford a view of the same wetland area. This beautiful area can be enjoyed from many locations as evidenced by the pictures taken for the Patch. No boardwalk was needed. Thankfully, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will weigh in before this project can be permitted as they are the experts on the wildlife and plant life in the area. These decisions are not made by uninformed people who just think something is a nifty idea. Ocean Drive was widened (AFTER the accident) to make hiking and biking safer in the area so there are plenty of options for enjoying nature without installing a boardwalk which would just be an eyesore and adversely affect wildlife and plantlife unnecesarily. If you can't enjoy nature in Ocean City, you aren't trying and you don't need a house adjacent to the wetlands to enjoy them.
vic January 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM
riding on ocean drive is not the same experience as being able to walk through the trails in the park. cynthia sounds like a typical "not in my back yarder" whose main objective is to keep taxpayers out of her neighborhood.
Steve Purdy January 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I have enjoyed reading local news and events on the Patch, but have never "contributed". However, I would like to offer a few words both on the topic and on the discussion. First, the discussion. I am dismayed by the tone of some of the writers. The aggression, rudeness, and visciousness is appalling. In particular, I feel that "sillyme" and "prescious" made statements which were extremely viscious. To me, these words were shameful. Further, there have been statements made (or repeated) that are incorrect, uninformed or meant to be misinforming. That is not an accusation, but merely my considered opinion. I don't want to draw anyones ire, but i'm too old not to speak my mind. I am a south end resident and enjoy walking in the south end. I walk Corsons Inlet from both the beach side and the bay side.
Steve Purdy January 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
cont. The topic First, the article says that the purpose is to create a "loop" in the park. Not to provide an (unnecessary) access point as was stated. I would really enjoy a loop. There are various access points, but a loop would be wonderful. Second, from a safety perspective. The causeway was not widened for bikes and pedestrians as was stated. The drive lanes were shifted to make room for the new sea wall on the bay side of the road. Further, that area is south of the russ chattin bridge. So it has no effect on the access to corsons inlet from ocean city. The causeway (bay ave) is particularly unsafe from simpson ave around the curve - and the high speeds beyond make it more unsafe (and uncomfortable to walk on). An access to the park from west avenue would provide a much safer route for walkers and bikers. Third, the term "boardwalk" used by the state park is probably not a good choice in ocean city. I called bellplain state park, and while the project is "in concept phase", I'm told that the idea is merely a "ADA compliant ramp to the rail trail". 3 -4 ft wide. The ramp would not cross any "tidal pools'. It is in an area of possible wetlands and uplands and mostly non-indigenous plants and trees.
Steve Purdy January 19, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Fourth, that this would "adversely effect wildlife and plant life" is not known, but I doubt it would have a negative effect on anything. It may or may not, and that is why there is a process and permits needed. The state agencies involved will make this determination, but they have not as yet. To go so far as to say that it cannot be done makes me wonder how so many other similar projects were done. ? There is a "boardwalk" over tidal waters within this very park now - leading from the parking area to all of the dune trails. Is that harming wildlfie or plant life? I don't see how, but I will leave that to the professionals. (I wonder if they are insulted by lay persons questioning them? I would never presume to know more than a professional in any field). Finally, while I would personally enjoy the loop and feel that it would be much safer than what exists now and also believe that it would not harm the park, I am open to the experts opinions and the opinions of my neighbors - provided they are repectful, factual and considered - not what I've seen here. Please be more factual and civil.
cynthia January 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Hey Steve: If you are offended by this, you should have seen the horrid, personal attacks against bike path opponents written inthe newspapers calling people liars and political puppets and making all kinds of vile claims against people. One woman received an email telling her she was "not Christian." Yes if you think these comments are offensive, your head would spin at the terrible conduct of some of the hypocrites in Ocean City. And by the way - there are no APPROVALS for this project and that is a fact.
Steve Purdy January 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Cynthia, It sure sounds like a heated debate, but what kind of world would it be if we all responded in anger like this? Please tell me you're not trying to justify your words by this. Two wrongs certainly do not make a right. As far as "approvals". I did not suggest there were, and stated "permits" are necessary. The approval is by the dep in issuing grant as per the article.
cynthia January 19, 2012 at 09:08 PM
STEVE: some people have split personalities and are so nice when they get their way and so vile when they do not. We have seen it and it is very ugly and these poor souls have no where to run and no where to hide. We have copies of their unsolicited letters sent to neighbors calling them weird, we have copies of emails telling neighbors to "stay away" from certain perople and calling people liars. And "Steve" as far as you telling anyone what is right and what is wrong - morally or ethically or (what is Christian or not???) please spare us all
stickfoot January 22, 2012 at 05:10 PM
a lot of irrelevance spoken. the person that mentioned sanibel and captiva has a clue. have you left new jersey recently? why would the people that live here want to agree to accessibility? let's just put up unwelcome signs and tell everyone to go visit national parks or other states' parks. this is south jersey yo.. the lack of the rail trail support is the biggest disgust. tourism, luring people here and charging a lot of money for every move they make, getting little in return, if not making it unsafe for them to recreate. biking in oc in the summer is a high risk endeavor.

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