Little Egg Harbor, Tuckerton Receive $2.13-Million Resiliency Grant
June 18th, 2014 by Leah Yasenchak
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently announced that Little Egg Harbor Township and Tuckerton Borough have received a $2.13 million grant to install natural protections against sea level rise and storm events. In addition to helping both communities, the project will benefit several surrounding public-trust lands: the Mystic Island Natural Lands Trust, the E.B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, and the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve Wildlife Management Area.
The two communities are sharing resources cooperatively on multiple resiliency efforts. Each town has passed an agreement to work with New Jersey Future, via funding from the New Jersey Recovery Fund, to further resiliency through forward-looking land use planning. Leah Yasenchak, the New Jersey Future local recovery planning manager working with both towns, developed the grant application and is working with them to implement the projects.
The new grant will cover the costs to dredge navigable waterways, lagoons and creeks in three communities to remove silt that has eroded into them from the nearby barrier islands. This silt has built up to the point of blocking stormwater outfalls and impeding the passage of wildlife and boats. The dredging is estimated to result in approximately seven linear miles of stream area restored and opened. The dredged materials will be used to undertake multiple restoration projects cost effectively while maintaining the economy, quality of life, and tax base of the community and providing increased protection from future storms. These restoration projects will include:
- Geotubes at three locations on Osborne Island on the Mystic Island Natural Lands Trust property, to halt the erosion that is threatening part of the residential neighborhood of Osborne Island;
- Beach replenishment at Tuckerton Beach, which has suffered significant erosion that has reduced the recreation and habitat benefits of the beach and is threatening several nearby homes and streets;
- Marsh strengthening at the E.B.Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, which is researching the use of new technologies to build and strengthen the marsh;
- Marsh restoration in the many areas where human-made gashes are found, for mosquito control and to restore lagoons that were never completed. These gashes disturb the continuity of the marsh system, restoration of which would provide additional habitat and protection from flooding and storm events.
The result will be restoration and replenishment approximately six acres of marsh and wetlands and almost three-quarters of an acre of beach.