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Beachgoers Notice Change In Sand Along Jersey Shore

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SPRING LAKE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A steamy summer’s day means bustling beaches along the Jersey Shore, but when it comes to stepping on the sand, many say something’s different since Superstorm Sandy.

“It’s the sand, it’s beach, it’s the best place in the world,” said Bonnie Chase.

But the best place in the world may not be as all remember it, especially when you look closely to the sand between your toes, CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported.

At first glance, you might even think the sand is dirty.

“It’s a different color. I don’t know if it’s dirty or not,” said one beachgoer.

Or too rocky for tiny toes to tackle.

“Much more rocky than I thought. (Murdock: Does it bother you?) Nah, I just jump right over it,” said 9-year-old Richard.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has told beachgoers not to worry, it’s only a matter time before the entire beach is covered in smooth, white sand.

The corps just finished a massive repair and restoration project spanning from Sea Bright to Manasquan — necessary in the wake of Sandy.

“These projects are not for recreational, they’re coastal storm risk reduction projects,” said Hurricane Sandy Recovery program manager Anthony Ciorra.

The project allowed crews to dredge sucked up sand from the ocean floor at a borrow site about two miles off the coast of Sandy Hook, N.J. The sand – 8 million cubic yards of it — was pumped onto 18 miles of the Jersey Shore.

At first it looked like black sludge.

“It is coming from the ocean bottom, which has not been exposed to sunlight. Therefore you have darker material,” Ciorra said.

After just a few short months in the sun, it’s been substantially bleached, but there is still a notable difference.

You can almost draw a line in the sand to note a difference in the color: the original looks white, the replenished sand more golden in color and more course with tiny pebbles, Murdock reported.

“We do dredge up rocks, seashells, but even those wash away over time,” Ciorra said.

So just how much time will it take? The Army Corps said about 6 to 12 months.

If the color of the sand has you questioning cleanliness, the U.S. Army Corps said contaminants do not bind to sand.

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