Coastal Preservation, Beach Dredge & Fill
November 04 2013

Rebuilding After Sandy, C’mon Man!

by John Weber

Now that the Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy has passed, here is an example of exactly what we should not be doing.  It is OK to rebuild, but not this way.

At the center of this aerial picture is the old beachfront gazebo in Beach Haven, NJ.  Note how it sits in line with the front of the dunes, yet still well in front of the surrounding houses.   It was damaged enough during Hurricane Sandy that is was torn down. Fair enough.

But one would think that in the wake of this fierce storm, in an age when we now know sea levels are rising and will continue to do so, they would have pulled it back from the ocean…even a little.  There would still have unobstructed oceanfront views.  It would still be a great place to sit, to visit, to watch the sunrise, and visit the beach without going on it. 

But no. They rebuilt this gazebo even closer to the ocean than the one that was destroyed.   The Borough's explanation for this is beach replenishment.  The town is expected to get beach replenishment so they felt it was OK to build this gazebo out on to the open beach. 

My personal history with the structure goes back almost 40 years.  I can remember when jumping off the floor level onto the sand below was a rite of passage for kids.  I remember being scared of the 8 foot drop.  Now it is scaring me for a different reason.  Here is what the new one looks like.