A Big, Expensive Legal Battle Over Coastal Dunes in New Jersey
"Almost four years after Superstorm Sandy devastated New Jersey, an ambitious plan to protect vulnerable areas of the Shore is stalled in the courts amid growing doubts about the state’s ability to pay the long-term costs of the project," according to an article by Jeff Pillets.
Pillets reports that "taxpayers have already spent more than $4 million in legal fees to battle more than 300 shorefront property owners who want no part of a plan that would erect 25-foot-high dunes along a 14-mile stretch of northern Ocean County that was battered by Sandy."
The group of 14 Bay Head property owners have spent $2.5 million of their own money to make the case that the government should not be responsible for protecting their homes.
According to Pillet's explanation of the proposed project, "costs to build and maintain the massive sand piles will reach nearly $1 billion in the next 50 years. That cost would cover about 22 miles of shoreline, the Ocean County stretch in addition to an 8-mile-segment of beachfront from Atlantic City through the communities of Margate, Ventnor and Longport." Most of those costs are expected to go to maintenance, after construction is complete.