TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie’s administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are launching a study of the effectiveness of new methods to protect coastal towns from storms.

Officials announced Monday that the $8 million project would use clean dredge material to restore salt marshes in an attempt to make the towns more resilient against storms.

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Officials say the first phase of the project started last week on wetlands in Cape May County.

The process would use clean dredged sentiment to raise the level of marshes to make them healthy again.

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Officials say the project is being paid for through a grant from the U.S. Department of Interior, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers and state Department of Transportation.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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