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August 10, 2017

Federal judge lets Army Corps continue Margate dune work

Project caused bacteria-laden ponds on city's beachfront

Courts Beaches
Dune ponding Photo courtesy/Heather Robertson

Huge ponds of water cover the Margate beach where the Army Corps of Engineers is building dunes. Ponded water serves as a catch basin for feces and bacteria grows in the basins as the sun heats the water. Margate, which had fought the dunes, is expected to head back to court over the ponding problem.

Dune work that has led to enormous ponds of water on Margate's beaches this summer is set to continue after a court order halted it.

Federal judge Renee Marie Bumb allowed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to resume the project under conditions that include fencing off areas with ponding and pumping when needed, according to multiple reports.

Bumb overturned a ruling from New Jersey Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez last Thursday.

The Associated Press reported that Bumb ordered the Army Corps to investigate why the bacteria-laden ponds – or Lake Christie, as some residents have called it – formed.

Margate's case against the state Department of Environmental Protection was its latest attempt to fend off the controversial dune project, part of a statewide effort to protect New Jersey's coastline after Hurricane Sandy devastated a number of shore towns in 2012.