Almost two years after Superstorm Sandy washed away huge parts of New Jersey’s shoreline, Strathmere beachfront residents fear their homes are in danger from recent beach erosion.
“Once the ocean takes our homes, it will take the town of Strathmere with it too," said John Monaghan, a Strathmere resident. “The pathway to [Corson’s Inlet State Park] is closed because it’s now a 14-foot cliff; it’s eroding so fast we are in shock, the waves today are frightening.”
Intense waves have washed away sand that served as a barrier to protective boulders and steel walls.
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Many Jersey Shore towns, including Strathmere, replenish their beaches each year. Strathmere is receiving three times more sand this year than it did in 2012, according to Shore News Today.
Corson’s Inlet State Park and Bird Sanctuary in Strathmere, established in 1969, was significantly damaged by ocean waves in the past year. The scenic park once served as a popular recreational site for hiking, fishing, crabbing, boating and sunbathing.
“We, the beachfront residents, bonded together and personally paid close to a million dollars to have a 30-foot steel break-wall installed at the edge of all of our waterfront properties, mostly under the sand,” Monaghan added. "The wall is now exposed; the sand is washing away from it and that’s really bad news."
Corson’s Inlet State Park entrance is closed for now, but permanent changes, like the seawall rock jetties in Avalon and Cape May that were constructed after Superstorm Sandy, could reverse the damage. Officials in New Jersey report they do not have sufficient funds to build permanent barriers.