BRICK – The township is making it easier and less expensive for waterfront property owners who need to dredge by obtaining a township-wide dredge permit, which can be used by anyone.
During a May 19 Township-Wide Dredge Permit Status Update Zoom meeting, ACT Engineers, Inc. said the permit should be in place by the end of the year.
The township hired the firm to survey, conduct initial sediment sampling and perform the necessary engineering. Brick also paid the $30,000 permit application fee, said ACT’s Director of Public Involvement Carol Beske during the presentation.
“What this is going to do is, the permit is going to allow each of the property owners and marina owners to proceed with whatever dredging needs that they may have,” Beske said. “This is a big step forward for each and every owner who wishes to pursue dredging down the line.”
It would save money and complications for individuals who would not have to seek dredging permits from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The DEP permit will be good for five years (and is renewable for another five), and the Army Corps of Engineers permit is good for 10 years, she said.
ACT project manager Junetta Dix said as part of its contract with the township, ACT engineers surveyed the entire waterfront area – including 20-plus marinas – where they mapped the water depths at mean low water with color-coding, making it easier to understand, she said.
The township-wide permit application was submitted in April 2021, and it is working its way through the regulatory review, Dix said.
“It is a huge application,” she said. “It speaks to dredging about 1.8 million cubic yards of dredge material.”
Dix said they have identified a dredge material placement location for the first 50,000 cubic yards. Anything after that would require a permit modification as other areas are identified for dredge material placement, she said.
Dredging restrictions for winter flounder protection are in place every year for about half the year, from January 1 until May 31, which limits the window available for dredging, she said.
Once the township-wide dredging permit is issued, a waterfront property owner or a marina owner can utilize the permit to dredge where it’s needed. The township would be listed as the applicant on the township-wide permit application.
The next step is to identify where the dredged material would go. For example, it could be trucked to a landscaping business or used onsite as fill material. This would be coordinated with the township or with ACT engineers, she said.
Township engineer Elissa Commins said a waterfront property owner, a marina owner or an association would come to the township and apply for a permit.
The township would assign an inspector to the permit, “and basically, we want to make sure that what you’re doing meets the terms and conditions of the township’s permit from the state and from the Army Corps,” she said.
If the marine contractor isn’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, the township would get the fine, she said.
ACT engineers are hoping to link the bathymetry maps to Google Earth, per the township’s request, Dix said.
“It’s amazing; you can type your address in and it zooms you right to your property and shows you this legend and the color overlay,” she said.
“It will be an interactive mechanism so you can see exactly where you need to dredge, what you need to dredge, knowing your current water depths based on our survey efforts.”
When the meeting opened for questions from the public, a spokesperson for the Cedarcroft community said they were interested in restoring the beach there and wanted to know how to go about utilizing some of the dredge materials.
Dix said there is no design in place for a shoreline restoration project at Cedarcroft where the lagoon and the bayfront are in danger of breaching.
“It would be up to Cedarcroft to engage an engineering firm and come up with a design for a shoreline restoration and for placement of the material,” Dix said.
That could be identified in the township’s permit application as a possible and beneficial reuse location, she said.
To view the Dredge Status Permit meeting, visit bricktownship.net/index.php/events/dredge-status-permit-meeting/
For more information, email BrickDredging@actengineers.com