BAY / LAGOON DREDGING UPDATE

September 26, 2014

 

The Administration continues to work on a number of parallel paths in order to implement a dredging project during the next available window of opportunity.  Contingent on success with our ongoing permitting we will next be allowed to dredge on July 1,2015.  We are working on several parallel paths to pursue any and all viable disposal methods for the dredge spoils.

 

       1.   Our engineering staff and project team attended another meeting with the permitting agencies in Trenton on August 25, 2014. The meeting included representatives with Federal and State level regulatory agencies including NJDEP, NJDOT, US Army Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife. The agencies provided feedback on our various disposal options and asked for more information regarding our pending permit applications, which has since been supplied.

 

2.      We continue to pursue approval to enlarge the undersized Route 52 Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) to significantly increase the capacity. This CDF is accessible by both trucks and barges and therefore would be easier to empty in the future to create additional capacity. This request is being met with resistance by the agencies primarily due to some wetland mitigation nearby that was a requirement of the Route 52 project.

 

3.      We are exploring the acquisition of one or more properties in other communities that could be used as disposal sites. Any possible purchase would be contingent on obtaining permits to allow the construction of a Confined Disposal Facility (CDF).

 

4.      We have been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the United States Department of the Interior to use dredge spoils to create and stabilize wetlands. We have ongoing dialog with the NJDEP and Army Corps toward obtaining the required permits to do this. We are closely monitoring two similar pilot projects now underway in New Jersey.

 

5.      We are pursuing all viable ways to empty Site 83 and create capacity for new spoils.

 

6.      We are closely monitoring a project currently underway in Avalon where they are removing materials from a CDF and hauling it to sand mine in the lower portion of the county. They are undertaking this at a significant cost.

 

7.      We are continuing to explore the viability of placing dredge spoils on our golf course. There are a number of permitting and logistical issues to explore further to make this a reality.  This is not a short term option.

 

8.      We have agreed to allow the State of New Jersey to remove dredge materials from two full city owned sites at the southern end of Ocean City. These sites have no practical use for Ocean City due to their distance from the lagoons. It is in Ocean City's best interest to allow the State to do this to evaluate if there is any viable beneficial reuse for the material. Following this we have asked the State to consider helping us empty Site 83 in exchange for some capacity for future dredging of the lntercoastal Waterway.

 

9.      We continue to strive to increase public awareness of the negative economic impact of being unable to dredge our bay and lagoon areas.

 

10.   We are working in partnership with other coastal communities to pursue changes in various state and federal regulations that make dealing with this situation so difficult. Representatives of Stockton State College are also involved in these efforts.

 

The overall objective remains to develop a long term sustainable plan for the dredging of our lagoons and bay front areas, just as we have for the maintenance of our entire beachfront.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

BAY / LAGOON DREDGING UPDATE

February 27, 2014

 

The Administration continues to work with a sub-committee of City Council on bay and lagoon dredging.  A viable disposal method for the spoils remains one of the biggest challenges we face. 

 

Several things are in process on parallel paths:

1.     We have filed a permit application to enlarge the undersized Route 52 Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) which could allow us to complete the unfinished work from the last contract plus dredge Snug Harbor.  This CDF is accessible by both trucks and barges and therefore would be easier to empty in the future to create additional capacity.

 

2.     In  October Mayor Gillian, along with Mayor Martin Pagliughi of Avalon and Cape May County Freeholder Marie Hayes hosted a meeting for representatives of all communities in Cape May County to discuss dredging. NJDEP officials were also in attendance. Information shared at this meeting, and compiled since then, is being forwarded to the NJDEP and Army Corps in preparation for an upcoming meeting in Trenton to explore solutions.

 

3.     We are exploring the acquisition of one or more properties in other communities that could be used as disposal sites.

 

4.     We have filed for two grants to fund a pilot project to use dredge spoils to stabilize and create wetlands.  This is being done in other states and is working.  It has never been permitted or done in New Jersey and we would like to be the first.

 

5.     We are exploring all viable ways to empty Site 83 and create capacity for new spoils.

 

6.     We continue to have good dialog with the permitting agencies at the state and federal levels.  We are hopeful this will lead to their favorable consideration of some new ideas, including disposal methods that they have rejected in the past.

 

7.     We are closely monitoring a project currently underway in Avalon where they are removing materials from a CDF and hauling it to sand mine in the lower portion of the county.

 

8.     We have discussed with the subcommittee and others exploring the use of one of our largest parcels of land – our golf course.  Our golf course is an asset, but is underutilized because of poor drainage.  We believe we could use dredge spoils, combined with other materials, to raise the course and make it drain properly.  This has been done in New Jersey.  This would close the course for a lengthy period of time but result in an even bigger asset: a quality nine hole executive course that does not have 100 unplayable days a year due to flooding.  There are a number of permitting and logistical issues to explore further to make this a reality.

 

9.     We continue to strive to increase public awareness of the negative economic impact of being unable to dredge our bay and lagoon areas. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Thursday, July 11, 2013 representatives of City Council and City staff participated in a phone conference with Congressman LoBiondo, a member of his staff, and representatives of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  City staff were asked to provide the Congressman with specific federal regulations that make alternative disposal sites or methods impossible.

 

Subsequent to the July 11 phone conference, the Congressman arranged for a group of City representatives to meet with representatives of both federal and state permitting agencies in Trenton later this month to discuss alternative disposal sites and methods.  City staff is compiling information for this meeting.

 

Following the meeting in Trenton the City intends to provide our state legislators with the specific state regulations which make alternative disposal sites or options impossible.

 

There has been significant media coverage recently about Ocean City’s need for alternative dredge disposal sites and options.

 

Dredging Association members are encouraged to continue to get others to sign the petition letters.

 

Local elected officials are continuing to encourage other shore community elected officials to establish their own associations and coordinate efforts.

 

The remaining dredging work already under contract has unfortunately not been undertaken due to the contractor’s concerns about the adequacy of the disposal site.  The City is considering all possible alternatives to complete this work.

 

Those who are interested in contacting our elected officials about acting on Ocean City’s dredging problem should contact the below names:

 

Senator Robert Menendez

Newark Office

One Gateway Center, 11th Floor

Newark, NJ 07102

Attn: Constituent Services

Phone: 973-645-3030

Fax: 973-645-0502

 

Barrington Office

208 White Horse Pike, Suite 18

Barrington, New Jersey 08007

Attn: Constituent Services

Phone: 856-757-5353

Fax: 856-546-1526

 

Senator Jeff Chiesa

Newark Office

One Gateway Center

23rd Floor

Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: (973) 639-87000

 

Rep. Frank Lobiondo

Washington, DC Office

2427 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-6572

Fax: (202) 225-3318

Mays Landing Office

5914 Main Street Suite 103

Mays Landing, NJ 08330-1746

Phone: (800) 471-4450 or (609) 625-5008

Fax: (609) 625-5071

 

State Senator Jeff Van Drew

21 N Main St

Cape May Court House, NJ 08210-2154

Fax: (609) 465-4578

Phone: (609) 465-0700

 

Assemblyman Nelson Albano

21 N Main St

Cape May Court House, NJ 08210-2154

Fax: (609) 465-4578

Phone: (609) 465-0700

 

Assemblyman Robert Andrzejczak

21 N Main St

Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

Fax: (609) 465-4578

Phone: (609) 465-0700

 


Download
LoBionod Dredging Letter to OC Residents
LoBiondo_Dredge_Letter_082013.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 66.3 KB