Article in The Press of Atlantic City- published 2/3/7.
The Borough of Avalon is preparing to borrow nearly $3 Million to restock beaches in Avalon’s Northern End damaged by erosion in the past year.
Avalon scheduled an emergency meeting for Monday, 1/29/07, to appropriate money for beach replenishment before the tourist season.
Last year, Avalon paid nearly $2.8 Million for a dredge to replace 8 blocks of beaches – about 350,000 cubic yards of sand – between 9th and 18th Streets.
Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi said the Borough hoped its beach fill in 2006 would last through the start of an upcoming U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project.
But Pagliughi said Avalon can’t wait. ” That’s all we need is a hurricane or a coastal storm and all of those houses are going to get whacked”.
Municipalities such as Avalon are on a schedule to receive money for beach replenishment through a funding formula that divides the costs between federal, state and local governments.
Before 2006, Avalon’s last beach fill was in 2003, when it entered into a 50-year partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Under that Agreement, the federal government pays more than half the costs. Avalon anticipates the federal government will help fund a larger beach replenishment for later this year or in 2008.
Avalon Public Works Director Harry Debutts checks the conditions of the beaches nearly every day. Like the vacationers who frequent the beaches, the sand itself tends to migrate and return, but not in the same volume in which it left. “The beach has actually started to recover a little on its own in the north end…for that part of it, I’m grateful. What we need to see happen there is finally starting to come around”, Debutts said. “But, it’s not enough for us to feel comfortable with entering the summer season”.
Debutts said this year’s project will likely not include a dredge. Instead, it may involve back-passing – trucking sand from one end of Avalon to the other – or carting sand in from elsewhere.