Home Lavallette Government Anger Over ‘Dune Climbers’ Simmers in Lavallette; Some Beaches Battered by Recent...

Anger Over ‘Dune Climbers’ Simmers in Lavallette; Some Beaches Battered by Recent Storms

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Beach entrances blocked off by a sand berm in Lavallette, Sept. 30, 2015. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Beach entrances blocked off by a sand berm in Lavallette, Sept. 30, 2015. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

As Lavallette continues to repair its battered beaches following a number of winter storms that began with the Jan. 23 nor’easter, officials are continuing to search for ways to prevent surfers and anglers from climbing the dunes to access the beach instead of using designated, open entrances.

“People do climb over,” said Councilman Robert Lamb, acknowledging Councilwoman Joanne Filippone, who lamented the fact that enforcement of the borough’s “keep off the dune” ordinance was not more stringently enforced by the police department.

“We’re going to be putting those fences up higher and higher and higher,” said Lamb.

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The borough recently hired two additional employees for its public works department, who will be helping with beaches maintenance.

The discussion on the state of the beach occurred after Newark Avenue resident John Corning asked about the borough’s plan to rehabilitate its beaches and dunes following the recent storms.

“I’m getting repetitive calls from snowbirds and neighbors wanting to know when the beach will be fixed,” he said.

Elizabeth Avenue is the the most-damaged beach in town, Lamb said, with the entire area between New York and Dover avenues having suffered the heaviest effects of the storms. Crews are working every day to move sand and rebuild berms in anticipation of the spring nor’easter season and the upcoming summer season.

Borough officials are mulling various ideas for shoring up dunes since a federal beach replenishment and dune-building project is on hold as legal wrangling continues over homeowners in several municipalities who refuse to sign easements allowing the work to be completed. Under consideration is the depositing of Christmas trees next year to catch sand at the dune line and adding more – and higher – snow fencing to help the dunes retain sand.

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  • baycruiser

    We all hate not having an entrance at the top of our streets. It’s difficult for the elderly, and I’m sure for those carrying fishing equipment & surf boards, to walk up the street, and then have to walk even further to enter the beach. If we went back to having an entrance at the end of each street, I’m sure you would find people would use those entrances, and not walk over the dunes. Wouldn’t it make more sense to fill just a few extra openings with sand, as part of a routine maintenance prior to a storm, to save the integrity of the dunes? Could someone educate me as to why the entrances were eliminated in the first place, and was it all the streets, or just a few?

    • Christine Davis

      The town used to block the beach entry for big storms, except for Sandy! Of course nobody mentioned that. Fact is, all those beach front home were built on the dune, and never should have been. So the town finally built one seaward of the boards. They need to be widened at the base and entry has to be angled to the south east. No beach replenishment! Most of the beaches were actually a lot smaller! Look at the jetty’s, the wooden ones behind the rocks! Houses are simply too close.

    • Joanne Petitti Filippone

      Every ‘opening’ in the dune system presents a weakness. Dunes need to be well rooted with foliage to gain strength, thus providing good protection A well rooted dune absorbs the water and holds back the surge for a number of hours. This can be evidenced by the strong rooted system we have in the northern sections of Lavallette. After Sandy, much of our dune system was weakened and/or eliminated. It will take a number of years for it to develop. Sand piles do little/nothing to hold back the surge of the ocean. With the replenishment project still in limbo, things will remain pretty much the same in Lavallette until something definitive develops with that project.
      As for the elderly, the surfers, the fisherman, and the viewers .. .enter the beach from the streets where the openings are, there are nine such openings which do get ‘filled in’ with an impending storm but still remain legitimate openings. The photo above shows such an opening and does not depict what is referred to in the article. Most people drive to the beach … or perhaps could/should if walking any extra distance is problematic. The surfer beach is on Brown Avenue. We specifically put an opening there for that reason.

  • Christine Davis

    Town police used to patrol the beach all year! I never see them on the beach anymore! Maybe they could stop all the dogs on the beach, too! …..or the drunk and speeding beach buggy drivers! ….or the bonfires, etc.

  • Nim

    The problem is the sand they are putting down is NOT the same kind, texture, grain size, etc. of the sand that was on the dune and beach previously. The sand they are bringing in for the dunes is NOT the kind that was there before! It has a size and texure of talcum powder! It blows aways in the slightest wind, it blows through the screens on your windows and doors and into your house! It washes away with the gentlest of waves! Poor research was done in finding out what kind of sand was there before and where to get the proper replacement for it! Whoever is in charge of this should contact Save Barnegat Bay or another group to help them.