Runyan Urges Mayors/Residents to Sign Easements by May 1st, Advocates for Beach Replenishment
Washington, D.C. – This week Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-3) took three separate steps to ensure that the Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet shore protection project receives robust funding and is completed as soon as possible. First, Runyan wrote the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works advocating for inclusion of the project in her work plan due to Congress by May 1st. Second, he wrote the Mayors’ of Mantoloking, Toms River, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Lavallette, Brick, and Berkeley, urging them to secure all necessary easements for the projects by May 1st. Lastly, he submitted testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations urging the funding of all New Jersey beach replenishment projects including the Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet project. In his testimony Runyan also highlighted the need to further study and mitigate flooding from Barnegat Bay.
Runyan made the following statement, “I was more than happy to do my part to help secure nearly $4 billion in Army Corps funding in the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief bill, but the job is not done,” stated Runyan. “Now we need to work together to ensure that the residents of shore towns sign their easements by May 1st to guarantee that this vital potentially life and property saving project is funded and constructed without delay. We have no control over when the next super storm will strike and cannot afford to wait months or years for the easements to come in. We must not waste this opportunity.”
In January Congress passed Hurricane Sandy relief legislation that contained nearly $4 billion in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to build flood control projects. The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works must submit a work plan to Congress by May 1st outlining the projects the Corps intends to construct and complete with Hurricane Sandy funding.
The Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet project runs from Point Pleasant Beach in the north to Island Beach State Park in the south and would provide beach replenishment in the form of a berm and dune. This project was authorized by Congress in 2007 but has yet to the receive funding due to the fact that the appropriate easements have not been obtained. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water held a hearing on Wednesday on Army Corps of Engineers spending related to Hurricane Sandy. Runyan submitted his testimony to the committee. Attached, you can find the letters and testimony.