Shoreline Restoration in Little Egg Harbor on Track

By PAT JOHNSON | Jun 05, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson Albert Marine continues work on the shoreline restoration project on Iowa Court, Osborn Island.

Little Egg Harbor Township — The shoreline restoration project on Iowa Court in Little Egg Harbor Township seems to be on track for completion this summer. The bulkhead is almost finished; then the rocks and backfill will commence.

David Fuller, a member of the dredge committee of the Osborn Island Residents Association, said the amount of real estate being captured by the restoration should go far toward providing protection for the homes on the street and for the street itself.

On Tuesday, Fuller had just come in from a fishing trip in the bay and was pleased with the lagoon dredging. “We can go in and out at low tide, and the residents have, so far, been very positive.” The dredging contractor, Wickberg Marine Construction, is back at the de-watering site on Kentucky Drive as there are a few spots that have to be “cleaned up after the survey,” said Fuller. “That’s not unusual, and the project will soon come to a conclusion.”

Final numbers will be crunched once the Osborn Island dredging is completed.

The living shoreline on Iowa Court includes shoring up the eroded cul-de-sac and creating a “hybrid living shoreline,” so called because it contains a hard structure. Hybrid living shorelines are preferred for projects that face open water. The hybrid living shoreline will contain a 20-foot-wide “shoreline sill” of a ton of rocks to mitigate wave action on the salt marsh. The sill will bury the wooden bulkhead along the historic 1977 tide line. It will then be filled in with “quality” dredge material having just the right sand-to-mud consistency, and planted with salt marsh and cedar trees. This project will require at least 50 dump trucks of fill to enlarge the marsh to almost an acre. The marsh is owned by the New Jersey Land Trust. The hard structure will be enhanced with oyster spat (baby oysters).

The township awarded a $29,750 professional services contract to ReClam the Bay, a nonprofit dedicated to improving water quality through increasing shellfish in the Barnegat, Manahawkin and Little Egg Harbor bays. ReClam will provide oyster spat on shell to the state Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers for the project This is paid for through a $2.1 million National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant.

Last August, Little Egg awarded the $1.5 million contract to Albert Marine. The cost for the Iowa Court living shoreline ($1,086,031) and a project to increase the shoreline at South Green Street in Tuckerton ($421,036) will come from two grants, what is left of the $2.1 million NFWF grant awarded in May 2015 and a $400,000 NJDEP resiliency grant.

— Pat Johnson

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