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May 05, 2017

Ventnor tells New Jersey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to pound sand on summer plan to rebuild dunes

Project now set to disrupt the heart of the beach season

UPDATE: Ventor commissioner Lance Landgraf contacted PhillyVoice with some new information. "While we were not successful in getting the timing changed,  the Corps and DEP Will try to accommodate our events." He also said the work will disrupt only four blocks of beach at any one time. Updated May 9, 2017.

Careful what you wish for, one South Jersey beach town just discovered.

Ventnor, originally an advocate for New Jersey’s plan to build an 8.1-mile dune system the length of Absecon Island – that’s Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport from top to bottom – just found out their summer tourist season is in jeopardy.

The beach-fill project for Ventnor is now set to start on June 8 and run perhaps into at least mid-July.

Originally, the work in Ventnor was set to start after Labor Day.

Ventnor officials posted a “go-pound-sand” message on the city's website this week, directed at the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The message reads:

“The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection unilaterally informed Ventnor this week that it is altering its beach replenishment schedule. Once again, far-flung bureaucrats are placing the disruptive work from June 8 to July 12 and likely beyond – squarely at the height of summer tourism season.

“Unfortunately, the city, its business and our residents have made other plans at this time and our beaches are unavailable for the dune and replenishment work. Our city has multiple concerts, a surf camp, Independence Day celebrations and thousands of visitors coming to town for their hard-earned summer vacations. We hope the state understands that this revised timing simply doesn’t work for Ventnor.

“Ventnor has enthusiastically supported the state and the Corps dune and replenishment work from day one – and we will continue to do so if they adhere to their original timeline. It is important work, but so is the summer tourism season. We simply cannot allow one to jeopardize the other.

“Today, we are notifying the state and the Army Corps of Engineers that our beaches will not be available for the replenishment and dune work until after Labor Day, which is when they had previously said the work would be performed.”

The city and state are meeting Friday.

But no word yet from the far-flung bureaucrats if they still are planning to storm the beaches of Ventnor in the heart of summer.