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

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.