ORTLEY BEACH – Residents and visitors to the Ortley Beach section of Toms River Township may have been surprised if not shocked to see that the oceanfront landscape of 7th, 8th and 9th avenues had been completely transformed thanks to ongoing beach replenishment work.
Children and adults were enjoying the new sights during the day and early evening of Aug. 1 which featured a wide pond of water which filled a trench. The nearly block long trench served as an aquatic barrier to cross before you reached the ocean itself.
As you walked the 9th Avenue surf past the lifeguard station based on the boardwalk, you crossed into the actual work site where a bulldozer was poised at an odd angle on an artificial jetty.
If you looked further inland you could spot a temporary orange fence which featured a small sign that states “Danger: construction site unauthorized persons keep out.”
Were you oblivious to the fence, and thus the sign, and simply walking the surf, you would see a larger pond and a mini peninsula. If you remained there to long you’d hear a loud horn. The horn was sounded off by either a workman or a security officer wearing a blue shirt and orange vest. That was meant to get your attention that you had crossed into the unauthorized zone and to exit.
An elderly couple using metal detectors to scour the beach for treasures seemed intrigued but not deterred to keep on with their treasure hunting. They did take a closer look at the fence to examine the sign as they looked at the work site which featured sand formations of various elevations.
A pair of young children were delighted with the pond that they got to splash around in and their parents found the new formations an interesting geological oddity.
The new landscape won’t last forever, but for now, it has made for interesting viewing and an extra attraction for badge holders and those that explore it after beach hours end at 5 pm.
It is part of an Army Corps of Engineers project to replenish the beaches from the Manasquan Inlet to the Barnegat Inlet. They’ve been in several shore towns already, and now it’s Ortley’s turn. For up-to-date information on the project, visit nap.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Manasquan-Inlet-to-Barnegat-Inlet/.