Gandy's Beach Shoreline Protection
Location: New Jersey
Project type: Resilience
Project status: In progress
Funding awarded: $880,000
Gandy's Beach/Money Island living shoreline work began October 2015
Oyster castles are being installed through the fall of 2016. Approximately 300 feet of living shoreline were constructed in March 2016 and oyster reefs were constructed in April 2016 to create a foundation for the shoreline. These oyster reefs are in addition to the four oyster reef breakwater structures built in 2015.
The Service will construct 3,000 feet of living shoreline and breakwater to restore 337 acres of salt marsh and adjacent uplands. This project will substantially improve the ability of the site to withstand storm surges and coastal erosion.
- Restore salt marsh and adjacent uplands
- Improve natural coastal defenses against future storms
- Reduces current erosion rate and storm damage and improves ecosystem connectivity
- Increases protective capacity to buffer adjacent uplands
- Restores and enhances habitat for migratory birds, fish, near-shore marine species and provides nursery habitats for commercial and recreational fish and shellfish
- Improves near-shore water quality
- Provides suitable oyster habitat to promote the growth of oyster reefs
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Bureau of Coastal Engineering
- The Nature Conservancy
- Downe Township
- Cumberland County
- American Littoral Society
- The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
- Rutgers University, Haskin Shellfish Research Lab
Gandy's Beach is currently a Nature Conservancy Preserve along an area of undeveloped shoreline on the Delaware Bay that provides valuable habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife. Its shore has been increasingly vulnerable to coastal erosion and was considerably impacted by storm surge from Hurricane Sandy. This project will build a shell-based living shoreline one mile offshore that will act as a breakwater and protect about one mile of sandy beach shoreline and adjacent salt marsh. Once constructed, the breakwater is projected to reduce incoming wave energy by up to 40 percent.