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Post-Sandy Debris Wash-Ups are Normal [AUDIO]

There’s no need to fear when you hear stories about pieces of amusement park rides washing up on New Jersey’s beaches post Sandy.

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The State Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) wants to reassure beachgoers that they’ve gotten about 97 percent of identified debris from the storm.

“We’ve been scanning, we’ve been searching by plane, we’ve been doing sonar, we’ve had beach crews out,” NJDEP Spokesman Larry Ragonese says. “We haven’t found very much debris. In fact, much more than normal.”

According to Ragonese, there have been a hand full of things reported washed up on New Jersey’s coastline but that’s not unusual during any average year, including a post Sandy year.

“There’s always wash up of things from the ocean, whether they be from boats, whether someone unfortunately dumps things overboard or there’s some steamers out there or whatever that has materials they come across. So we’re not finding anything more than normal.”

“There seems to be a little bit of a myth going on here that there’s sandy debris of some major size that’s waiting and lurking off-shore and it’s coming to get us,” Ragonese says. “So far, we’ve been very fortunate.”

Ragonese believes part of the reason for the lack of frequency of unusual objects washing up can be attributed to the Sandy itself.

“The way the storm surge came up, it seems that the majority of debris washed up on the shore, in lagoons, in inlets right away.”

In fact, he says work crews are focusing their attention on removing sediment and sand pushed into bays, lagoons and marinas.

Ragonese says the crews are also doing debris removal all summer and they’re on standby for calls about debris that washes up on beaches. He encourages beachgoers who see debris wash up to notify beach patrols or call the NJDEP Hotline at 877-WARN-DEP.

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