Dune erosion leads to closure of access to Strathmere beach | Local News


UPPER TOWNSHIP – Help is on the way to the eroded north end of Strathmere, where tides and ocean waves have carved deep cliffs into the dunes.

But help will not arrive this summer.

Township officials recently closed beach access on two streets, where erosion has created a steep drop at the end of the beach trails, and put up yellow warning tape on another block.

A federal beach project is planned for 2023, township engineer Paul Dietrich reported at Monday’s township committee meeting, but he said beach access will most likely remain closed for the rest of the year. ‘summer.

Erosion has long been a problem at the north end of the Upper Township portion of the waterfront near Corsons Inlet.

Sometimes the water approached the houses by the sea.

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Paul Dietrich gingerly stepped over a downed snow fence and whipped yellow caution tape…

Now there are sand dunes between roads and houses and ocean waves, although at high tide there is little beach in the area.

“We closed two additional beach entrances, probably for the rest of the season,” Dietrich said.

Seaview Avenue beach access has been closed since the spring. More recently, a dune fence has been put in place on Seacliff Avenue and nearby Winthrop Road. Access to the beach at Williams Avenue, near the Upper Township Beach Patrol headquarters, remains open, but about 100 feet of yellow warning tape has been put up on the beach to direct visitors south, away cliffs formed by erosion. .

In this section the drop is less than a foot, but further up the beach where other paths are closed the drop appears over 7 feet from the dune to the beach in sections.

The new replenishment is expected to begin in 2023, Dietrich said, in a project that will include adding sand to the beaches at the south end of Ocean City and Sea Isle City, which shares the island- barrier with Strathmere.

The total project is expected to cost around $32 million, Dietrich said. He didn’t have a breakdown of how much would go to Strathmere Beach specifically.

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“It’s very lucky that we were able to get this additional funding for the beach, otherwise next summer would have been difficult,” he said at the meeting.

He said the township will closely monitor access to Williams Avenue, which is one of two beach entrances considered accessible under US Federal Disabilities Act standards.

An overview of beach projects released by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which is working with the Army Corps of Engineers on beach restoration work, says the next phase of work will take place in 2023. Also that year, additional sand is expected to be added to Ocean City’s northern beaches, the last sand addition since the first project in 1993.

On Tuesday morning, Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio also briefed the city council on the upcoming project. He says he received a notice from the DEP.

“This will be our second round of beach restoration under our 50-year federal Coastal Protection Program, which began in 2015,” Desiderio said.

The Corps has a 50-year commitment to continue adding sand to beaches, the model for major beach replenishment projects since the Corps’ first project at Cape May in 1991.

According to a project fact sheet released by the Philadelphia District of the Army Corps, the project was authorized in 2007 but not funded until after an emergency authorization after Super Hurricane Sandy, approved in 2013.

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