NJDEP Updates Coastal Regulations to Aide in Protective Beaches

Posted on August 1st, 2016

On June 20, 2016 NJDEP Division of Land Use Regulation released the most current Coastal Zone Management Rules N.J.A.C. 7:7. The document is an overview of provisions, permits, endangered or threatened wildlife or plant species, land areas and use rules. A key subchapter in the document is “Standards for Beach and Dune Activities”.

Sand dunes located at Gulf of Mexico, Florida. A worn weathered wooden fence is set into sand dunes.

This chapter outlines acceptable standards and practices to beach maintenance and dune up keeping. Since the damage resulting from Hurricane Sunday 2012, government officials and scientists alike have been trying to facilitate the construction of beaches with protective features. Foredunes act as protective features against wave attack during a high energy event, which can reduce coastal flooding. As a result, over time different practices have been developed to facilitate the presence of a protective foredune.

In this recent publication the NJDEP outlines acceptable beach maintenance practices to ensure foredune stability and growth. The removal of beach debris, raking and removal of sediment accumulated on roads and walk-overs is an accepted practice that increases the sediment budget, which acts as a source for foredune and backshore growth. The use of sand trapping fencing and vegetation is also permitted by the DEP to aid in the deposition of sediment and increase the size and volume of the foredune. Sand trapping fences and vegetation decrease wind speed in the immediate area and result in deposition of wind-borne sediment.

Since high energy wind events are becoming more frequent, the importance of a protective foredune is greater than ever. Beach and dune maintenance is vital to protecting from coastal flooding and inundation.

Kayla Kaplan

Environmental Scientist

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