Three beaches in Monmouth County are getting a big boost of sand over the winter months as work to make it safer gets underway this month.

Jersey Shore Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D - NJ 6- Middlesex and Monmouth Counties) said that the Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project will take place in Long Branch, Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach.

Pallone said that the beach replenishment projects will restore more than 1.3-million cubic yards of sand to beaches that suffer from erosion caused by tidal activity and storms.

The federal investment in the project is $24.5 million, which is 65% of the total cost and a combination of state and local (each of the towns) funds will make up the remaining cost.

Pallone has worked with the Army Corps and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to develop a plan to allow for timely distribution of sand in Long Branch, Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach.

"The Army Corps of Engineers periodically surveys the beaches up and down the shore and these are the areas that have the most sand loss in the last few years," Pallone tells WOBM News.

While the project will certainly provide a benefit to beach-goers with new sand, Pallone said the focus of the beach replenishment is to provide protection for the mainland.

"I have to stress it, I know everyone thinks of it in terms of the beach is for people to sit down, go swimming and lay on the sand and that's certainly a consequence of it but that's not a factor in whether we do it," Pallone said. "In other words, it's all linked to damage that might occur upland not to actual recreational uses."

Prevention is the focus of beach replenishment work to not only guard against an impending storm but against anything that might happen after it leaves.

"It's all an effort to prevent damage from future storms," Pallone said. "In other words, whenever there's a storm you can see the damage that occurs to public facilities like the boardwalks, the streets and the utilities. All of that adds up to millions if not billions of dollars in damage so if we can prevent it by having a beach in front that takes the hits so to speak, then we actually save money and prevent that damage."

The Army Corps plans to move equipment and materials to three staging sites this month and begin pumping sand in December in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach.

The work in Long Branch is expected to begin a little bit later in the winter in February.

Sand will be placed in Long Branch from West End Beach south to Sycamore Avenue in Elberon.

In Monmouth Beach, sand will be placed from the Monmouth Beach Bathing Pavilion near Valentine Street north to Cottage Road.

Sand will be placed in Sea Bright from the area near Island View Way north to Tradewinds Lane.

The Corps has identified future replenishment in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach between the areas in the current project and to the north of Tradewinds Lane.

They've also identified the area between Madison Avenue north of Pier Village to Seven Presidents Park for future replenishment.

“Coastal restoration projects like beach replenishment ensure our beautiful beaches will remain safe and enjoyable for residents and tourists for years to come," Pallone said. "I would like to thank Colonel Asbery and the Army Corps of Engineers staff for their dedication to this important project.”

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