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Manasquan Inlet sand piles up, creates big shoal to worry boaters

Posted on August 15, 2022

Shoaling in Manasquan Inlet has created a large sand bar on the Point Pleasant Beach side of the inlet that looked more like a beach during Thursday afternoon’s low tide.

The sand has been building up for most of the summer, most likely a result of steady south winds pushing the sand in, according to both fishing boat captains and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps has twice this summer dredged the federal navigation channel in the inlet, which connects the Manasquan River to the Atlantic Ocean.

“Undoubtedly the strong southerly wave energy we have been experiencing over the past month has accelerated the sand from the Point Pleasant (area), washing over, around and through the jetties,” said Keith Watson, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District.

Capt. William Egerter Jr., who operates the party boat Dauntless and uses the inlet daily on his way to the Atlantic Ocean fishing grounds, said it hasn’t been a navigational hazard so far. However, he said he is leery of coming into the inlet with a heavy sea.

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People have also been climbing down from the inlet’s T-shaped rocks to stand on the sand bar. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ spokesman Stephen Rochette said people should not do this.

“We’ve seen photos of folks fishing. It’s important to note the jetties and shoals could be hazardous and should not be accessed for any recreation,” Rochette said.

Rochette said shoaling has occurred historically in the inlet, though many residents said they’ve never seen it like this before. The corps did complete a beach fill project from Point Pleasant Beach to Berkeley however, Watson said the shoaling is more of a natural transport phenomenon.

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The corps doesn’t have plans to do more dredging at the moment but it is keeping an eye on the situation.

“We’ll be monitoring the accessibility of the navigation channel and will continue to coordinate with the U.S. Coast Guard,” Rochette said.



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