Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Army Corps Gets it Done in Ventnor: Some Beaches!

So the Army Corps arrived and everyone grumbled at the inconvenience of suddenly having your beach turned into a major construction site mid-July. But look at the beaches now

Army Corps Gets it Done in Ventnor: Some Beaches!

Well, I'm an Army Corps of Engineer skeptic in general, having seen the fine federal agency block the view from Boardwalks with their overly high dunes, rebuild beaches and create swimming hazards, alter longtime surfing beaches to the detriment of the local economy and surf culture and just generally bungle things in the name of beach replenishment. And when they arrived in Ventnor mid-July _ basically telling city officials, we're in Atlantic City (replenishing near the Inlet and the costly and state-backed Revel casino project), if you want your beaches replenished, it's now or never _ it seemed the height of aburdity. So it became now. 

And then it became this, a wide beach with a dune that shouts out "We learned our lesson from Atlantic City and no longer build the dunes so high!" Nicely done:

If it was your only week at the shore, and you rented in the south end of town, and all the beaches were blocked off and there were giant beach walker tripod and other heavy equipment that looked like super-duper lego transformer toys and the sound of the pipes and dredging -- whoosh -- kept you up at night and you don't like looking at enormous pipes while you sit on the beach, well, it may have been a big bummer. On the other hand, in about a week's time, the Army Corps created new beaches from about Sacramento on down to almost Margate, where there had been virtually no beach at high tide for a long time. Gotta give them some props on this one.

Here's the view from Newport Avenue, dramatically different from a week ago. This winter, I got caught against the eroding sand cliff by the Boardwalk (see video, below) as the tide came in. It was ridiculous, but you know, kinda cool too. But if your goal is room to stretch your feet out on the sand, the Army Corp's got your back.

Here's a view looking back toward the Boardwalk. A week ago, the water was right up against it, eroding what remained of a dune before your very eyes.  

And here's video of the beach eroding before your very eyes, from this spring

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Amy S. Rosenberg has covered Philly police, city neighborhoods, Ed Rendell as mayor, the Jersey shore, Atlantic City, Miss America and the psychology of Eagles fans. She moved to Ventnor on July 3, 1995, which makes her a local, but not really.

Inquirer Staff Writer Jacqueline L. Urgo has spent every summer of her life at the Jersey Shore, and has lived there year-round for nearly 30 years, even fulfilling one of her bucket list dreams by once living in a house by the sea.

Since 1990, she has covered the waterfront for The Inquirer — from the Atlantic to the Delaware Bay shore — and some of the mainland in between. Along the way, she amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of this tear-it-down-and-build-it-back-up region, delving into the history and the hype of a place with a lot of unexpected stories to tell.

Reach The Downashore at arosenberg@phillynews.com.

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