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Poll: Beach Replenishment — Saving the Shore, Hurting the Environment?

Beach replenishment is expensive and — by some lights — ineffective, since any sand dredged up will ultimately wind up back in the water. Do we stay the course?

The state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are about to embark on a $3 billion effort — that could last until 2060 — to purchase sand and replenish the Jersey coastline. As most New Jerseyans are aware, the Shore was badly damaged by superstorm Sandy, but the resultant replenishment effort is now winding down. Some environmentalists and observers think this new effort is misguided because the sand will eventually return to the ocean despite our best efforts.

What do you think?

  • No question, we have to do it. What would New Jersey be without the Shore? We’ve got to keep our major asset in as good shape as possible.

  • Yes, we should do beach replenishment, but we have to be clear-eyed about it. We need our beaches to be in good shape for tourism but make no mistake, we’ll never get ahead of this. It means billions and constant upkeep.

  • We need to reassess. We’re running out of sand suitable for beaches; we’re destroying fish and wildlife habitat; and it’s incredibly expensive. Has anyone done a cost/benefit analysis? We’ve got to stop doing things just because we’ve always done them.

  • No more beach replenishment, period. We’ve got other considerations than tourism. We are destroying the ocean floor, and fishing is another big industry in New Jersey that beach replenishment will damage. Let’s not rob Peter to pay Paul.

  • Whether people want to believe it or not, we’ve just got to retreat from the Shore. Yes, it will have some impact on tourism but it won’t destroy it. People will lose their second homes. But New Jersey is way overbuilt and if we want to protect our environment and fishing industry, we need to get off the barrier islands.

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