With another hurricane season underway, the Department of Environmental Protection is working to ensure the progress made since Sandy does not get obliterated with an errant storm.

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen
Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

Speaking during a conference call, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said the Department has made preparations to strengthen shore communities. They're working on a schedule for protecting beaches, focusing on those communities that are most exposed.

Martin says the department will pay for sand so a town can build a temporary dune.

"We're talking to all the mayors, we're talking to their public works people. If the town doesn't have the ability to put sand on it, we typically will come up and provide temporary dunes or help them build temporary dunes with sand."

The cost of the temporary dunes would be picked up 80 percent by the federal government and 20 percent by the state.

Martin adds the DEP is working with Mantoloking and Brick, two of the hardest hit communities, to build see walls. He says they have conceptual approval for funding on a seawall.

"Basically, a sheet piling that creates a revetment that will allow us to protect Route 35 and the infrastructure overall."

While the plan would protect the coastal communities from winds and storm surges, Martin cautions it's still weeks from completion.

"We have to finish detailed design plans, do the environmental reviews, and the third big thing is getting the easements."

He points out that will be one of the biggest challenges of the project. While it would fall in the same category as the easements needed for beach replenishment by the Army Corps, Martin says they will likely go with a separate agreement.

"We might have people sign two different documents, but it's the same easements at the end of the day."

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