Friday, January 31, 2014

01.31.14 Checking out the beach replenishment in Asbury Park.....

     Over the last few days I've taken a ride from Long Branch down to Sea Girt to check the changing landscape on the shore. In Long Branch beach replenishment operations still continue north of Pier Village, and the next phase will go south down to Lake Takanasee.

     Today I hit Asbury Park, where operations are continuing just north of Convention Hall. 

      With most of the beach roped off I had to try and find an angler to see where the beach was being extended out to. Below is a notched groin and the sand line appears to be right at the base where the rocks meet the beach.

Some would say that is better than covering the rocks totally, and it would be a violation of the contract which states the beach would be returned to pre Sandy elevations. The problem isn't just with how much and where they put the sand, its what Mother Nature will do with it during the normal tide and storm cycles. No doubt the littoral current will deposit it and create shoals on the south sides of the groins and pull it out creating sand bars just off the beach, which can create dangerous rip currents and diving hazards for anglers, swimmers, and surfers.

     Not only is the amount of sand a consideration, but the composition of the sand, depending on the donor site, is yet to be known as of yet. Depending on the what is being pumped, sand, rock, ect, will determine how it acts after the project is gone. Will the sand be washed away leaving a coarse rock in its place? Which then becomes difficult to build a hold a beach during normal ebb and flow tides.

     Along some beaches I see dunes being constructed. Dunes and plantings are good. However, my fear is come spring and summer the towns will invade the beaches with heavy machinery and disperse the dunes creating a flat beach for the swimmers and sightseers.

    Only time will tell how the beaches, groins and jetties will look when the spring migration begins. For those that fish the Jersey Shore, I mean really fish all of it, it will be like learning new water all over again.