Coastal Storm Research Has Problems

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Posted November 8, 2018

On Thursday, September 13, 2018 I attended the meeting at Ocean County College regarding the back bay Coastal Storm Management. I would like to express my concerns regarding their current research.

First, their research on the beach and dune replenishments is majorly flawed. Weeks Construction/Dredging spends months pumping sand onto the beach and three nor’easters later the beach is gone (between January and April). So, they pumped more money into the project only to watch the ocean take back what it wants. There appears to be no attention paid to current flows or ways to stop the sand movement northward. One might look at the south jetties of Manasquan and Shark River to see how the south jetties have built the beaches. I have seen the sand continue to fill that area into the inlets. Now, I am hearing they are looking to find sand to fill the holes that were created in the ocean floor and are thinking to use dredge spoils from the bay. Can’t wait to see the law suits from the environmentalists!

I am in favor of tidal doors at Manasquan, Shark River and Barnegat Inlets. I feel very strongly that this will stop the back-bay flooding by limiting the amount of water entering the rivers and being held in by the storm surges. However, one must consider these facts:

The flow of water down the rivers from the land behind the doors. Rotterdam had this problem. The North Sea storms didn’t get them; it was the backed-up river water. Pumps would have to be installed to remove river/rainwater flow out from behind the doors.

Speaking of flow, by placing the design presented at the meeting you are going to create an increase in water flow in the inlets on incoming and outgoing tides in the area of the piers. Restricting the flow of water volume through the inlet would increase the hazard of transit. Another point of proof to look at is the history of the Route 88 Bridge in the Pt. Pleasant Canal. There with an 8-knot current on many days. A three- to four-foot hydraulic step was created at the peak of tide change. Then added to this was the erosion of the piers by the current. Engineers dumped rock around the piers to protect the bridge from collapsing and created a larger transiting problem from the current. Today, it is an easy passage with the piers removed. The last question I have is how would a boat get in or out of the inlet looking for a safe harbor during the storm or the Coast Guard responding to a Mayday call?

It may help very little but it needs to be done: the dredging of the bay channels. I don’t believe it would change the water levels much, because water will seek its own level. In the bay but it would help in the flow of the water and navigation.

Storm pumps should be considered rather than the Perimeter Wall Plans. With the gates you would just have to remove the rain water runoff from the bay. The bay water level is affected more by wind than much else in my experience of working the bay for over 44 years.

Perimeter Wall plans have two drawbacks in my opinion.

They are made from concrete. Concrete does not hold up well to salt water, ice and the cold. They will crack allowing water in those cracks which will freeze then chip.

These walls have been known to break! (i.e. New Orleans)

I can’t see the people living by the Manasquan and Brielle by the Inlet allowing a wall behind their multi-million dollar homes. Just think the legal issues/suits that the waterfront owners would bring against the project (i.e. beach replenishments, what was the cost for attorneys for that?)

Source: Jersey Shore