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Erosion Mitigation Comes to Ocean Gate Today [AUDIO]

NEW JERSEY 101.5

Ocean Gate is getting a delivery of 35 beach prisms this morning.

Ocean Gate, NJ (Flickr User Sea of Legs)

The huge, specially-designed concrete slabs are a post-Sandy fix aimed at preventing beach erosion, flooding and infrastructure damage, according to Borough Mayor Paul Kennedy.

Kennedy said the beach prisms are 10 feet long and four feet high similar to a ‘Jersey Barrier’ with holes, and they’ll be placed 20 to 30 feet out into the water where severe erosion has occurred.

“The wind and wave action will move sand through these prisms and create beach behind them and eventually, over time, you’ll have the beach restored again. The sand doesn’t go back out, it just pushes in and only the water goes back out,” Kennedy explains .

At first, the prisms were a tough sell to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) because its never been used in New Jersey.

However, Kennedy said they were able to convince them following an informational session at borough hall.

“They said, ‘Pick one area. We’ll allow you to do them in two phases and we’ll put the first one in and if it works over a given amount of time, then we’ll let you put the rest in and if it doesn’t work, you have to agree to take em out,’” he said.

Kennedy estimated that the cost of the prisms are roughly $80,000, which will be funded through the municipal budget. But, he said they’re hoping for a FEMA reimbursement. In fact, he said FEMA recommends Ocean Gate place sand berms in areas not protected by the prisms to prevent damage to its newly reconstructed boardwalk.

The idea for the prisms comes from the Annapolis Maryland, Virginia Beach area, where Kennedy said they’ve worked well and have protected homes.

“That’s the intent here as well, he said. Not only do we have homes to protect. We have our own beach and in this particular area that we’re going to do it this week, is our newly done parking lot.”

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