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Brouhaha at the beach

By Tom Fetters

Am I missing something here?

A bunch of oceanfront property owners in New Jersey are refusing to let a beach
restoration project go forward because they’re afraid of losing their views of the Atlantic, according to an Associated Press account. But as I understand it, without a beach rehab, the holdouts might lose more than their views.

Erosion already has eaten away enough sand in one area to cause a 30-foot drop. Wooden pilings and concrete bases that used to be buried are now visible and exposed to a constant assault from the waves.

The Army Corps of Engineers wants to start the restoration this summer, according to the AP account, but the project can’t begin until all of the property owners are on board. And with the holdouts steadfastly refusing to allow the work, the mayor is recruiting rehab supporters to join an arm-twisting campaign that could include phone calls, conversations and even picketing – to persuade their neighbors to sign an easement.

The mayor’s tactics aside, the decision to allow the beach rehab seems to be a no-brainer. If I look out my window and see the Atlantic getting closer and closer to my backdoor, I’d rather risk my view of the ocean than my entire house.

Tom Fetters is a copy editor at The Daily Reporter.

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