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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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September 19, 2003

Contact: Jack Kaskey
(609) 984-1795

Coastal Damage Update

(03/129) TRENTON - A Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) survey of New Jersey's coastline found Hurricane Isabel caused minor to moderate beach erosion.

"Thankfully, New Jersey's coast escaped a direct hit from Isabel," DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell said. "But high tides Thursday afternoon and early morning today did cause significant impacts to our coastline. Department engineers are closely monitoring the situation. "

Beaches with a southeast orientation generally faired the worst, with moderate erosion causing 2- to 4-foot vertical cuts in many beaches. Beaches with a more easterly orientation faired better, generally experiencing only minor erosion.

Moderate erosion was reported throughout Monmouth County, regardless of beach orientations, with northern areas hit hardest. Sections of Monmouth Beach and Long Branch lost up to 50 horizontal feet of beach, and parts of Sea Bright lost 40 horizontal feet of sand.

The recent displacement of sand from Hurricane Fabian and Tropical Storm Henri aggravated erosion in many areas. The DEP anticipates that offshore sands will migrate back in the coming months as a result of normal currents.

Commissioner Campbell noted the storm caused no structural damage along the coast, providing evidence of the effectiveness of the DEP beach-replenishment program.

Hurricane Isabel made landfall Thursday afternoon along the Outer Banks of North Carolina and moved inland over Virginia overnight. The effects from this storm continue to impact the New Jersey shore with onshore winds and heavy surf. Additional inspections will be performed as conditions warrant.



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