Shark River Hills Residents Will Rally for the River


coaster-news-200-newThe Shark River Cleanup Coalition, along with some residents of Shark River Hills in Neptune, will hold a Rally for the River regarding the South Riverside Drive Flood Remediation Project Sun., Aug. 13.

The rally will start with a march that starts at the bottom of Snake Hill. Marchers will gather at the bottom of Snake Hill at 11:30 a.m. The  march will proceed to Volunteer Park, where speakers and marchers will call for Neptune to delay any vote on a bond ordinance to finance this project until other entities/agencies have reviewed the need for this proposed project and its impact on the shoreline.

The township will bond for approximately $350,000 to finance the project, with the remaining $850,000 being paid by FEMA.

Neptune filed an application with FEMA in 2010 for a 2,000 ft long, 10 foot (above base flood elevation) high bulkhead to be constructed along South Riverside Drive from the bottom of Snake Hill to the Shark River Beach and Yacht Club. The application has been under review and revision since that point in time.

At the May 23 Township Committee meeting, after residents of Shark River Hills objected to the plan, and called for a living shoreline concept instead, the committee voted to table the ordinance that would have authorized a bond be issued for the project to move forward. Mayor Michael Brantley assured residents that the discussion would continue at a public meeting to be held at a later date.

Dr. Andrew Rella, a coastal engineer and CEO of EcoConcrete, was subsequently consulted to design a hybrid model for the township. He presented a model at a recent public meeting which utilizes his company’s product, EcoConcrete ( a concrete mattress), and an armored Geotube core ( a huge silt filled sock).

Elevation of  the proposed project dropped from 10′ to 8 1/2′ above base elevation, which would be 3 1/2-4′ above the

The residents still have unresolved questions regarding whether or not flood mitigation is a real necessity here, the exact impact on the ecology and environment, and lack of beach access beyond the entry points. Residents expressed concern for the vegetation, wildlife, and sea life that would be negatively impacted by the project.

In addition, several residents have raised serious questions about the township’s FEMA application, which states that flooding occurs on a regular basis, as often as two to three times a month. Many residents dispute these assertions, and the township has not been able to produce any documentation to verify those claims.

The SRCC has urged the township to seek an extension from FEMA until more research can be done on the living shoreline design concept, and/or whether or not flood remediation is even necessary.

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