Home Seaside Heights & Seaside Park Government Seaside Park Gearing Up for Major Bayside Flooding Project

Seaside Park Gearing Up for Major Bayside Flooding Project

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Sandbags positioned along North Bayview Avenue in Seaside Park, Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Sandbags positioned along North Bayview Avenue in Seaside Park, Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

When videos begin circulating on social media during coastal storms, one of the island locations most often recorded is Bayview Avenue, often under water, kayaks paddling by and waves from Barnegat Bay crashing onto the pavement.

While much of the flood control attention on the island has been focused toward oceanfront beach and dune replenishment, bayside homeowners have frequently expressed worry that their concerns have fallen on deaf ears – or that there are simply no solutions.

That may be about to change.

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In Seaside Park, a planned project may be one the first of its kind in New Jersey and a potential model for other waterfront communities. The project could also transform Bayview Avenue as we currently know it.

The borough is planning to use a grant of more than $1 million to construct new bulkheading that will serve as the base of a “living shoreline” along the bayside of town, south of the marina, said Borough Administrator Bob Martucci.

A living shoreline is a modern approach to tackling erosion and flooding, particularly in estuarial zones. Instead of bulkheading, living shorelines are built with natural elements such as oyster shell reef structure, aquatic vegetation and rocks. The idea of building a living shoreline is to allow the habitat created to grow, providing an ever-increasing level of protection against erosion and flooding.

The Seaside Park bayfront. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
The Seaside Park bayfront. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The proposed project for Seaside Park is likely to be unique since it is essentially a hybrid of a traditional living shoreline and a bulkheading project. The borough, last Friday, formally submitted its plans for the project to the state Department of Environmental Protection for approval.

Martucci said new bulkheading will be constructed about five feet into where the blacktop currently is located. The living shoreline will then be build in front of the bulkhead for the initial five feet, with the current sand area expected to serve as an expansion zone.

“Assuming we can get permitted to do it, the idea is to build the structural part of it in the street, off the bay, because it is obviously difficult to build anything in the bay,” said Martucci. “The living shoreline will be built out from that.”

“A living shorelines is as major part of the whole project,” said Council President Frank “Fritz” McHugh at a recent council meeting, after the governing body heard residents’ concerns over the flooding that was produced by the Jan. 23 nor’easter.

Martucci said the borough has worked with the county, state and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the plan.

“We’re going to look to have it expedited,” he said. 

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  • swimsmart

    what is the height of the initial “wall”? so, Bayview Ave will be five feet more narrow?

  • ken p hollins

    Bayview Ave is far from narrow, at this time! What is the height of the bulkhead going to be?

  • Chuck Appleby

    It would be good if the dot project functioned before getting invilved with another project. Now the bay water cycles through the pump stations.
    Stakeholder participation would also be a good idea.
    Living shorelines will not reduce flooding but will reduce wave action and erosion. By building a bulkhead they are planning for it not to work as a natural shoreline. Too much wave energy in that area.

  • Coast Watcher

    Another well thoughtout idea. So instead of fixing the problem again they are paying for yet another expensive idea that may or may not work to shut up people on the Bayfront. It’s not a feasible plan. Especially when you now have to rare onto bay view ave. I hope the state DEP denies this Atrempt. Thier are many factors leading to the degradation of the bAy and many man made structures such as k court, the marina and the yacht club force wave energy into that area all the time. Especially during the summer. A way to break the wave energy is the first step, this will help to reduce the erosion rate and increase sedimentation. A clear example is the water between k court and n street. This has not been eroding but has been filling nAturally due to Lower exposure to open water and lower wave action that can remove sediment. Just creating an environment for sedimentation will not solve the problem, especially when it brings the ongoing problem closer to the home owners at risk.

  • Coast Watcher

    Also to note, the traffic cones that the county stapled to the broken temporary bulkhead currently on the bay front is unimaginably stupid.