Ortley Beach's battered oceanfront, Oct. 21, 2015. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Ortley Beach’s battered oceanfront, Oct. 21, 2015. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Ortley Beach – often called Superstorm Sandy’s “Ground Zero” – will commemorate the event that changed the community forever on its third anniversary, organizers said.

The anniversary event, which will be held Wednesday, will host a tiki-torch vigil on the 3rd Avenue beach parking lot from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The film “Heartbreak and Healing After Sandy” will also be shown.

The commemoration is being organized by the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association, a community group that advocates for the neighborhood, which is part of Toms River Township.


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“This event will call attention to the fact that three years after the storm, the dune and beach replenishment project is still moving at a snail’s pace in Trenton,” said Paul Jeffrey, the association president.

In a recent nor’easter, about 300 truck loads of sand had to be delivered to the neighborhood as the ocean threatened to break through makeshifts dunes. At one point, a small breach occurred.

“If the recent northeaster storm was not a call for action, then we dread to think what it will take to get this badly needed replenishment project underway,” said Jeffrey.

“Heartbreak and Healing After Sandy” is a film made by local filmmaker Sandra Levine. The hour-long film chronicles Ocean County’s recovery from Sandy and the challenges that remain.