Canopies Banned After Beach Loses Sand

Brick Beach 3, like the other beaches along the Jersey Shore, lost sand during the winter storms. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – There has been a significant loss of sand at the township’s three ocean beaches due to erosion from winter storms.

  As a result, the governing body has passed an ordinance that forbids canopies and tents on township beaches because there is less space available for Brick beachgoers. The only exception is for “baby tents,” no larger than 40” x 40” used to shade infants and small children.

  The long-awaited Army Corps of Engineers Beach Replenishment Project – a federal project to replenish sand, held up in red tape – will not be completed this summer, and does not have an anticipated start date, said Councilman Perry Albanese during a recent council meeting.

  “Therefore, with limited space on the beach, the township’s Recreation Committee is in favor of this resolution to ensure all beachgoers have the ability to enjoy the beach with less intrusive intrusion from canopies and tents,” he said.

  During public comment, resident Vic Finelli asked what percentage of the beach has been lost.

  “Well, that’s a moving target on almost a daily basis – how much sand we’ve lost – because it’s just a constant ebb and flow, because the replenishment is not here to give us the beach that we need to allow for these canopies and tents,” said Township Business Administrator Joanne Bergin. “That’s clear.”

  Finelli asked if prohibiting tents and canopies would result in a loss of beach revenue.

  Councilwoman Heather deJong said people can still put up regular beach umbrellas, they just can’t have “the giant canopies…it impacts the amount of space that people will be able to use on the beach.”

  After the meeting, Bergin said that the township has been advised that the Army Corps has released the pre-solicitation for the Beach Replenishment Project.

  “They have finally completed the process for clearing the multiple protests from the original bid and subsequent request for negotiation,” she wrote in an email after the council meeting.

  “In order to rebid, the Corps had to reduce the scope of the project to meet the requirements of being a new bid,” which they anticipated putting out to bid in March, she said.

Looking at Brick Beach 3 from 6th Avenue, it’s clear to see that large tents would take up a lot of space. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  The Army Corps has advised Brick that they cannot begin to discuss a beach replenishment timeline until the project is bid and a low bidder has been identified.

  According to Brick’s Director of Recreation Dan Santaniello, the most erosion spans from Brick Beach 3 and south to 6th Avenue. He said his department “has their work cut out for them” to ensure the beaches are ready for the holiday weekend.

  “We will start moving all the piles of sand that built up on walkways, and also the berms that don’t have any vegetation, onto the beach area starting the last weekend of April,” he said after the council meeting.

  “We will then start pushing sand up from the water line to make the slope less of an incline than it is today,” he said. “I hope Mother Nature also helps out a little in bringing sand closer to shore so that we get more sand to work with.”

  During the winter, storm waves move sand offshore, and during the summer, wave conditions move sand back onto the beach. Summer shoaling begins in early April, and by July the township beaches normally triple in size, but sand is needed now.