The concept for an 11-mile oceanfront dune from Manasquan to Barnegat Inlets to help protect homes from catastrophic storms moves a step closer to reality.

The Army Corps of Engineers includes the project in its report released to Congress today. The Corp estimates a cost of about $85,000,000.

Congressman Jon Runyan (R-3) expressed deep satisfaction with the decision in a release issued this afternoon.

The project had its origins in Superstorm-related legislation that cleared the House last January 15. The study outlines viable projects on the Eastern Seaboard using money from the $60,000,000,000 approved by both houses of Congress and President Obama.

“Hurricane Sandy proved that [towns like Seaside Heights, Mantoloking, Lavallette, and Normandy Beach] have serious vulnerabilities.  We have no time to waste, and I urge the ACOE to get to work on construction as soon as possible as these towns represent some of the most at risk areas on the entire New Jersey shoreline.”

On March 14th, Runyan lobbied for inclusion of the project in the ACOE plan and also urged local officials in Mantoloking, Toms River, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Lavallette, Brick, and Berkeley to collect the necessary access easements by May 1 to ensure a timely start date.

Many have signed, but some holdouts remain. The Corps will work where easements are in effect. Communities that fail to complete the task will be left out of the project.

Read the Army Corps of Engineers' report to Congress here.