$1.3 Million Living Shoreline

By DON STINE

A $1.3 million living shoreline will be installed along some banks of the Shark River in Neptune under an ordinance introduced at this week’s Township Committee meeting.

The ordinance, which has a public hearing on Feb. 25, provides $1,350,000 for the construction of a living shoreline mitigation project along sections of South Riverside Dr. on the Shark River. The area of heavily impacted during Superstorm Sandy.

The total project includes $835,529 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding and authorizes the issuance of $488,000 in bonds to help finance the rest.

A “living shoreline” is a term used to define a number of shoreline protection options that allow for natural coastal processes through the strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill, and other structural and organic materials.

The issue had been a bone of contention among Shark River Hills residents, some supporting a living shoreline, other saying that the shoreline should be left alone, with others supporting metal bulkheads along the river, which was the original plan presented by the governing body

Neptune City resident Bill Sciarappa, who works with the Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station, thanked the Township Committee during the meeting’s public session for doing the project.

“It is important and appropriate and now is the time to show how well it will work. It will be a precedent-setting case and will reverberate throughout the county and state,” he said.

The project, which also included other physical flood-prevent items like tidal valves on stormwater outlets, will hopefully begin this fall.

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