28 Oceanfront homeowners in Ocean County can have a portion of their property seized by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection needed for a long-awaited protective dune and beach replenishment project to move forward, following Superstorm Sandy devasation in 2012.

Photo provided by Bob Major, Ortley Beach

The ruling handed down Wednesday by Ocean County Superior Court Judge Marlene Lynch Ford involved the first round of cases against the state to stop the project by the Army Corps of Engineers to widen beaches from Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet.

Ford refused to dismiss the condemnation cases, and determined the DEP negotiated properly with homeowners, even in offering low-ball compensation.

Claims by oceanfront homeowners in Bay Head and Mantoloking that a rock wall paid for with private funds presents a special situation will be heard at an April 19th hearing, set by the judge.