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Christie Administration and Federal Government to Conduct a Joint Study to Identify Off-shore Coastal Sand Resources

The State of New Jersey has signed a cooperative agreement with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for a $400,000 federally funded study to identify sand resources offshore that can be tapped for future beach restoration and resiliency projects, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

The research effort will analyze the state’s existing data to identify sand resources in federal waters in the Outer Continental Shelf that can be used for coastal restoration projects in New Jersey, including a series of projects to be done over the next two years by the Army Corps of Engineers to help coastal communities recover from Superstorm Sandy, restore habitat, and contribute to long-term coastal resiliency.

This project has no connection to an offshore seismic study that has been proposed by the federal government.

“This research will have great benefit to projects to be done by the Army Corps of Engineers, which will be focusing on restoring and improving New Jersey’s coastline, to make it more resilient and better able to withstand future storms,” said Commissioner Martin.

“This agreement renews BOEM’s commitment to work with New Jersey to help coastal communities recover from Sandy and enhance resiliency efforts for the future,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau.

The DEP’s New Jersey Geological and Water Survey (NJGWS) has an ongoing program to identify sand resources in both state and federal waters. Under this two-year agreement, NJGWS will focus on assessing sand resources offshore of Monmouth and Northern Ocean counties. The NJGWS will develop resource maps and review existing marine geological studies to assist BOEM in identifying sand resources that can be included as a component of state coastal resiliency and restoration planning.

BOEM scientists will work with New Jersey in identifying areas to study for future offshore sand resource evaluations, with the purpose of confirming previously identified resources and locating new potential areas of sand resources. BOEM also will help New Jersey develop tools to more readily share sand resource data with other agencies involved in coastal resiliency planning.

Such activities are essential for reducing potential storm damage to the residents, economies, and infrastructure of New Jersey’s coastal areas. Research funded under this agreement will provide multiple options for use of sand resources for beach nourishment. These options will allow the sustainable use of sand in a manner that is compatible with natural sediment transport and biological processes, as well as stakeholder interests.

This agreement is a part of a series of partnerships with coastal Atlantic states using part of the $13.6 million allocated to BOEM through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.

The resources are of great value to New Jersey, especially for a series of major post-Sandy coastal restoration and resiliency projects that are ongoing and are scheduled to continue over the next two years.

New Jersey is a recognized leader among coastal states for its science-based sand exploration program. Surveys and sampling in both state and federal waters are aimed at creating a comprehensive inventory of all potential said resources off the coast of New Jersey. Scientific and technical information is exchanged with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of the Interior in support of New Jersey’s ambitious beach replenishment and coastal restoration program.

For additional information on New Jersey’s offshore sand resource program for beach nourishment, visit: