By JOHN T. WARD
Sea Bright is in for some sand to replenish oceanfront beaches torn into by Hurricane Irene last August.
Congressman Frank Pallone of Long Branch announced Wednesday that the borough, along with neighboring Monmouth Beach, would share in $12.3 million worth of federal funding for sand replacement.
The work, to be 75-percent paid for by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is expected to begin in the fall, Pallone said in a press release.
The project isn’t free to borough taxpayers, but was much hoped for by local officials. Here’s the text of an email from Mayor Dina Long in response to questions sent by redbankgreen Thursday morning:
My understanding is this replenishment will finish monmouth beach and continue north through sea bright. I hope it will cover our entire beachfront but that’s not clear yet. Our beach erosion is most severe in the south near monmouth beach, so we are relieved to hear this news! As you know this project is through the army corps; the federal funding will be 75% and the remaining local share will be made up through a combination of state county and municipal funds. I expect sea brights portion to come in around 300 to 400k, which we must include in our budget this year. We have been lobbying congressman Pallone for sand for quite some time, more urgently after we lost our dunes in the hurricane. He’s been a great advocate for sea bright!
From Pallone’s announcement:
Last month the Army Corps of Engineers completed a contract that replenished a portion of the beach in Monmouth Beach that went forward due to funding secured by Pallone in 2011. The $12.3 million secured by Pallone in 2012 will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the rest of Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright. Significant erosion has occurred in these areas over the last few years which can put homes and businesses in jeopardy when a storm hits the coast.
The money was approved as part of the fiscal year 2012 appropriations legislation passed in late December that funds the government through the end of the year. Pallone worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to request that funding be allocated to this project. The Army Corps of Engineers will begin the beach replenishment project later this year.