The 15 Million Dollar Beach 2017

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Cape May, NJ – This is not a good time to take a walk on the beach.

The sands are shifting big time along Cape May’s beachfront.   The Army Corps of Engineers is pumping almost a million cubic yards of sand to reconfigure the eroding shoreline. It’s part of the ongoing beach replenishment project critical to Cape May’s tourism industry.

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A line of fencing walls off the Cove from visitors while work takes place. A representative from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock is on hand to make sure that perimeter is not breached for safety purposes.

The dredging company is vacuuming up the massive amount of sand from the ocean floor about a quarter mile away.

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The new sand is pumped through pipes that shoot it out to waiting backhoes and bulldozers. Slowly but surely, the Cove’s concave beach will be rebuilt. Good for tourism as well as for migrating and nesting shorebirds. 

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The Cove is just the first stop in Cape May for the restoration project. By March 1, the Coast Guard Base, Cape May’s beach at Wilmington and Beach Avenues, Cape May Point State Park, and a small part of Cape May Point’s beach will be restored.

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The entire two month operation will cost $15.4 million dollars.

Most of that is federal money but about one and a half million dollars comes from the State.

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This marks the halfway point for the Army Corps of Engineers 50 year beach replenishment program in Cape May.  Whether the beaches continue to be replenished for the next 25 years will depend on what funding is available.

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About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak is a journalist, a gardener and a Cape Island resident. She's also Cape May Times' photographer. She founded Cape May Times after a long and lively career in TV news.