DEP Tells South Jersey Town To Fix Illegal Beach Construction
A South Jersey town has some explaining to do.
North Wildwood is being called out by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection -- also known as DEP -- for two major violations that need to be addressed immediately.
The first violation involves a lot of "quick fixes" that were done without proper permission after North Wildwood beaches were damaged from some pretty bad storms that have passed through the area over the years.
As a result, new sand was brought in which destroyed wetlands and eight acres of vegetated dunes. FYI, vegetated dunes are dunes with weeds and grass which helps to control beach winds and water as well as helps to keep sand in place.
Proper sand dunes are a must because they help to protect against floods and storms and as water levels rise, dunes are going to be key to keeping towns like North Wildwood in tact.
Playgrounds, walkways and sidewalks were also allegedly built without the proper authorizations and clearances needed.
The second major violation focuses on the redevelopment of the Seaport Pier.
There are restaurants, a deck for outdoor entertainment and a member only pool but the issue lies with where the bathrooms were built. They are allegedly outside of the designated sewer service area.
“We didn’t have the proper details on our original CAFRA plan designating those toilet rooms," said Joseph Byrne, a co-founder of BG Capital, LLC referring to plans submitted under the state’s Coastal Area Facility Review Act. "That’s on us, and that’s something we’re working to rectify.”
So now the town has one message for North Wildwood: Fix the problems or be ready to remove all illegal construction so the beach returns to as it was.
“These activities were undertaken without regard for the laws and regulations that have long been in place to protect public safety and the fragile ecosystems that are not only important as wildlife habitat but serve critical functions in protecting New Jersey’s coastal communities,” DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe said in a June 6 press release announcing the violations.
North Wildwood has 10 days to submit a plan on how they will fix these violations. The town has since asked for a 30-day extension.
The only thing that people don't understand is why it took this long for the DEP to take action.
But there is no point in obsessing over the details. Let's just hope North Wildwood can rectify these mistakes and we can continue to enjoy Summer.
Take a look at the original article at NJ.com.