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Workshop Looks To Create More Resilient Beaches [AUDIO]

The future for the states beaches after Sandy will discussed by experts during a free workshop held by the Jersey Shore Partnership.

Ortley Beach after Sandy
Ortley Beach after Sandy (Toms River Township)

The program, which will be held May 23rd in Long Branch at the Ocean Place Hotel, will feature speakers from federal, state, and local levels of government, as well as those in the private sector from as far away as the Netherlands; all on topics related to increasing the resilience of New Jersey’s beaches and coastal communities.

The event will feature two morning panels. Tony MacDonald from the Urban Coast Institute will moderate the first panel, which will have key speakers, Joe Vietrie from the Army Corps of Engineers, Dave Rosenblatt, DEP manager for beach replenishment, and Jeff Tabar, Florida based coastal engineer.

The second will include three local mayors, as well as a representative from Mantoloking, which sustained some of the worst damage from Sandy. Scheduled for attendance are Mayors Ed Johnson of Asbury Park, Joseph Mancini of LBI, and Marty Pagliughi of Avalon. Special counsel on storm recovery, Chris Nelson, will be representing Mantoloking.

The Consul General of the Netherlands will also be speaking about the effect storms and erosion has on beachfronts.

Afterwards attendees will have the option of joining groups with experts for further discussions.

Margot Walsh, Executive Director of Jersey Shore Partnership, says the timing for a workshop like this might seem odd, almost seven months after Sandy hit, but the timing was meticulously planned in order to give homeowners and towns a chance to rebuild and start thinking about the long term.

“We determined right at the beginning that we didn’t want a knee-jerk reaction. We wanted to plan out with enough time since Sandy to plan ahead.”

While before issues of coastal management may have seemed isoteric or relegated to “environmentalists,” much of the terminology is no longer debated and part of the vernacular of residents. She notes even Governor Christie already said beach widening and dune replenishment projects will happen. The workshop will help lay out the best way of how it should happen.

“So it involves working with communities and recognizing what’s the best way we can protect ourselves in the future from another devastating storm.”

Margot believes Sandy and Irene were not isolated incidents and severe storms are a likely in our future.

“I hope we’re in a better position to manage it the next time around.”

The program is free of charge, however registration is required. Registration is available online.

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