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Assemblyman Wants Federal Money To Dredge Coastal Lakes, Rivers [AUDIO]

As millions of dollars are incoming to replenish New Jersey’s beaches after Superstorm Sandy, a shore Assemblyman wants river and lake restoration projects to be included in the recovery efforts.

Wreck Pond in Spring Lake  dredging project in 2011
Wreck Pond in Spring Lake dredging project in 2011 (Townsquare Media NJ)

Assemblyman Sean Kean is proposing legislation (ACR-186) to urge the Congress and Army Corps of Engineers to consider and incorporate coastal lake and river restoration projects as part of the Hurricane Sandy recovery.

Speaking in Avon’s community center Tuesday, Assemblyman Kean called attention to the Sylvan Lake, a body of water that once went to depths of five feet but now is as shallow as a few inches. He’s calling for federal attention to the problem which he says goes beyond flooding.

“In Wreck Pond in the southern part of the county in the summer time when it rains a lot of the fecal matter ends up in the Ocean and the beaches have to close so it’s an environmental concern.”

Kean is suggesting a full scale dredging of the silt and other material clogging the coastal rivers and lakes, an expensive proposal; but notes with million in federal funding coming in for beach replenishment, the timing is right.

“So if we’re going to be pumping tons of cubic yards of sand from Sandy Hook all the way down to Manasquan, why don’t we take some of those assets and put them into dredging the lakes, upgrading some of the infrastructure in the lakes, and draining the lakes?”

He notes the time is right to address the problem on a global basis, not just targeting Avon’s Sylvan Lake, but flood prone rivers and lakes across the shore.

“We have a Deal Lake Commission, we have a Takanassee Lake Group. All the way up and down the coast there’s concerned citizens or environmental council’s in the towns where the lakes are situated, but the people get to together and advocate for grants to clean the lake.”

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