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Taxes, beachfill & New Jersey

April 14 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

Sometimes I get emails and they literally make me lean back in my chair out of disbelief.

Here's the complete story, the following is my easy-to-follow guide to... New Jersey, beachfill and taxes.

Step 1. Practice non-sustainable coastal development practices. This gets you eroded beaches, poor water quality, etc.

Step 2. Dredge sand from elsewhere to fill beaches. They call it a "beach nourishment" project... which in laymans terms is sucking up sand from somewhere to put it on a beach... where it will wash away in a few weeks or months. In this particular case, this portion cost $5,000,000.

Step 3. Find munitions and ordinances and bombs in beach fill. How did these munitions and ordinances get in the sand? Our armed forces has done various flavors of war games and training off coastlines all over the world, including New Jersey. Sooo, if you suck up sand offshore after years of military training... you suck up old shells, bomb casings and perhaps some devices that aren't quite as safe as a pail and bucket. "Um... honey... please don't dig too deep in the sand... it's not safe... HONEY!!!"

Step 4. If you value a single tourist dollar, sift that sand like there is no tomorrow. Remember the scene from Jaws? "These beaches WILL be open!" In this case the fiction-based mechanical shark is replaced by... actual munitions and bombs under the sand. The lovely Army Corps, the people that put the shells on the beach to begin will are being tasked with cleaning them up. Total proposed cost for this step $17,000,000. At this point I have to question about whether the Army Corp is suffering from job security issues.

Step 5. Tax the people. This is a $21,000,000 mistake. Who did you think was going to pay for it? John and Jane Q Public will pay for this in one form or another.

Step 6. Watch the sand all wash away in few months. This would be where I cue the musical score, deftly penned in a minor key... this will ensure the tears start flowing swiftly and with passion.

MORAL OF THE STORY. Beach fill projects are not sustainable. Oh and... if you're heading to Jersey. Might want to get some new beach attire.
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