A shoreline restoration project on the bayfront in Seaside Park near the J Street Marina is complete – and crews managed to get the work done before the local community of osprey arrived for the season.
The restoration project was limited in scope to the shoreline along Barnegat Bay near the J Street municipal marina. It is separate from the much larger and more comprehensive “living shoreline” project that remains caught up in dueling permit requirements by various federal and state agencies.
Work began on the project in early March and has now been completed. In addition to the shoreline restoration itself, the marina received new snow fencing along the bayfront and some new dock fingers and lighting. The primary purpose of the project, however, was to replace what had became an unsightly – and potentially dangerous – makeshift shoreline consisting of disposed concrete and flotsam that had washed up over the years. Borough officials said that at one point or another, various temporary “bandages” were applied to keep the shoreline from eroding and affecting the marina.
“In the years past, they threw part of the old Berkeley pool in there and other things to stop the erosion,” then-Councilwoman Karen Kroon told Shorebeat last year. (Kroon has since been appointed the borough administrator.)
Last summer, the borough entered into a $227,250 contract with T.R. Weniger, an excavating firm based in Piscataway, Middlesex County, to implement a plan created by Remington and Vernick, the borough’s engineer of record. Mayor John Peterson said the plan consisted largely of elements of a “living shoreline,” which uses plants and natural materials to stabilize the shoreline, combined with hardened features such as rip-rap, bulkheading and professionally-engineered features that will protect the integrity of the marina site. The construction firm also removed the more hazardous aspects of the site as it currently exists, such as the mounds of broken concrete and other debris.
Peterson said he walked the site recently after construction was completed, and was pelased by the results.
“It will definitely serve us well,” he said of the project. “The shoreline will be preserved and the marina will remain safe and vibrant.”
One concern – the potential arrival of a family of osprey that takes residence in a nearby man-made nest tower – wasn’t an issue. The beloved shorebirds of prey have not yet showed up in New Jersey and, presumably, are still on their migration journey northward.