NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many people will be headed for the ocean this weekend, but will tri-state area beaches be ready to receive them?
A January storm hit the coast hard, but beach goers have Memorial Day weekend in mind.
“Eighty-five percent of what they were last year,” Manasquan Mayor Ed Donovan told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
Donovan praised a sand berm for keeping homes safe, but nothing could stop the strong winds and high tides from eating away at the beach. Professor Jon Miller from Stevens Institute of Technology said that’s the case up and down the shore.
“The storms we had, Joaquin and the remnants of winter storms in January really took a chunk out of the beaches,” Miller said.
Miller predicts that beach replenishment projects started before and after Sandy will be ongoing.
“Areas like northern Ocean County are sand starved right now, they need help,” Miller said.
He’s referring to areas like Brick, where a steel wall was installed to protect the beach.
“The tide just ate away at the sand. The wall was acting as a bulkhead as opposed to a wall buried by a dune,” Brick Mayor John Ducey said.
On Monday, front loaders were moving $450,000 worth of sand funded by the state so all of Brick’s beaches can be accessed.
The township is still waiting on the Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project to start. Belmar had the work completed in 2013, but Mayor Matt Doherty said they are due for another.
“We’re gonna be in good shape for the summer, but as beautiful as the beach is it lacks a natural barrier to mitigate against storm surges for our tow so we do need replenishment badly,” Doherty said.
It’s a warning to all that as sand eroded from the beach it created major sandbars which surfers are loving, but can be a danger to swimmers because they create rip tides.