Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The Army Corps learns its lesson: We don't want you (in summer)

Last summer, the Army Corps bulldozed its way downbeach with noisy transformer-like sand moving apparatus right in the middle of summer and tried to act like it was no big deal, nbd, as the kids would say. But this time, they're staying away during July and August. Um, thanks.

The Army Corps learns its lesson: We don't want you (in summer)

So when last we left the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it was a little awkward. Look, they did a pretty good job pumping up those vulnerable Ventnor beaches around Newport and New Haven, and made it possible for Revel to have an outpost they could presumptuously refer to as Revel Beach, but their timing was ridiculous. In the middle of the summer? Clogging up the beaches with heavy equipment? Shutting down certain beaches? Officials tried to justify it, and they were gone in a couple weeks and left a pretty nice beach behind them, but, honestly, it was bone-headed. And they appear to have learned their lesson.

This week, they started an $18 million beach replenishment project for Atlantic City and Ventnor (which Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Philip M. Secrist somewhat disingenously called "the first full-scale renourishment of the Atlantic City and Ventnor City coastal area since 2004." Um, guess he wasn't one of those who rented a house near the beach in Ventnor during last summer's replenishment. In any case, the Army Corps seems to have gotten the message. They will work their way down beach from now until June 29th, hang it up for summer, and resume their controversial reshaping of the beach apres Labor Day, on Sept. 5th. (Thereby ruining the most beautiful time of the year, as far as locals are concerned, September). Hopefully this replenishment will last a bit longer than last summer's, which got chewed up pretty bad from various and sundry nor'easters (tho not so much from the more ballyhooed Irene). And hopefully, their work will not mess up surf breaks and create rip tides and trenches and weird gullies that have been common complaints in other areas where they do their work.

Here's a picture from late last year of the very same beach that was replenished. Oops!

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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