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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

a.m. Saturday Dec. 29 -- Quite the blow -- beach fix blog

Saturday, December 29, 2007: Surf: Chopped up 5-7 feet with larger sets. Water clarity: Churned.

Early-day blog: Where the hell did that come from? We took a nasty wind and rain whacking all night. Gusts to near 40 mph detonated the surf, taking another beach bite out of already eroding areas. I’m sure Holgate wasn’t spared, though I won’t be getting down there today since I have woodland engagements all day.

BEACH-FIX BLOG: Speaking of the beaches, Saxton somehow got another large chunk of change for the next phase of the federal beach repair effort. It’s an ongoing quandary over which town should be next. I think there are strong points for both Harvey Cedars and Beach Haven, with the Queen City getting my nod – for fishing reasons.

This is a bit convoluted (though factual), but if Beach Haven were to get the next phase of the federal project there is a chance that Long Beach Township could make an appealing plea for its Holgate section to get sand while the equipment is in place.

As you might know, the main expense in the pumped in beach fills is getting all that equipment on-scene. For a relative pittance, a municipality like Long Beach could hook onto the pipeline and profit from the big fed bucks already in place. Ship Bottom apparently had that chance when Surf City was getting sand but the lack of cooperation by a few arrogant oceanfront homeowners killed the possibility of even exploring that opportunity.

Understand that my above use of “Holgate” specifically refers to the build-up areas of the south end and not the Forsythe Refuge, which prohibits sand placement and beach repair -- though there are strong legal questions as to whether the refuge has the right to thwart the rebuilding of the adjacent riparian beach area that is not owned by the refuge and that falls under the mandates of the Public Trust Doctrine requiring beach easement owners to maintain the beaches for public usage. That is a whole other matter.

There is also the unsmall matter of whether there are adequate public restroom facilities in the Holgate section so the township will be in alignment with the state’s recently strengthened public beach usage and access mandates. It seems LBT’s Holgate section does, in fact, meet the state criteria in that regard.

Should all the stars align (low odds but what the hay), the pumped in sand could be placed right up to the point where the refuge signs used to be in Holgate. By the by, those signs are all quite washed out as the beachline erodes. The littoral drift of sand from the beach repair might help stem the inexorable erosion of the Refuge.

Another thing that could stem the terrible tides that are overreaching Holgate is to combine a beach-fix with the channel dredging of the intercoastal waterway west of Holgate – in totally desperate need of deepening and widening. That could be done by piping the sand across the refuge and onto the beaches. That could also (conceivably) be done by curving the piping around the refuge (coming in from Beach Haven Inlet or along the roadway at the far south end of Holgate) and along the beachline.

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