"Judge: Defiant NJ Beach Town Can Sue For $21M In Dune Costs"

"CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. — A New Jersey beach town that defied state environmental authorities and fixed its dunes that were seriously eroded by a storm can proceed with a lawsuit seeking to recover $21 million it spent bulking up its shoreline, but cannot build a bulkhead to permanently thwart the waves, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Superior Court Judge Michael Blee issued a restraining order barring North Wildwood from building a bulkhead along a severely eroded section of its shoreline, as it has been threatening to do for months. The city defied the state Department of Environmental Protection and carried out emergency repairs to its beach in October after the remnants of Hurricane Ian chewed huge chunks out of protective sand dunes.

Blee also ordered the city to submit a new request to the DEP for authorization to do emergency repairs in light of what the city says are steadily deteriorating conditions on the beach, which officials say has lost 75% of its sand."

Wayne Parry reports for the Associated Press February 1, 2023.

Source: AP, 02/02/2023