‘Living Shoreline’ Installation Put Off Until Next Year

By DON STINE

Installing a “living shoreline” along the banks of the Shark River in Neptune will not begin this year but will most likely begin next spring.

“We continue to tweak the plan and a fall installation is unlikely,” Township Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said.

He said the township hopes to have a finalized plan within the next few weeks and then apply for the proper permits with the state Department of Environmental Protection agency.

“And, if all of that goes well, then it will likely be a spring construction project,” he said.

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.

An ordinance providing $1,350,000 for the construction of the living shoreline mitigation project along sections of South Riverside Drive on the Shark River was previously approved by the governing body.

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

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

The area was heavily impacted during Superstorm Sandy.

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