CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: NJ-2
APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Construction General
BUSINESS PROGRAM: Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction
AUTHORITY: Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-2) & WRDA 2016, Section 1401(3)
LOCATION The study area includes Five Mile Island, located on the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey between Hereford and Cape May Inlets in Cape May County.
DESCRIPTION: The project area consists of the municipalities of North Wildwood, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Lower Township. These municipalities are vulnerable to storm damage all year round from a combination of hurricanes and nor’easters. The project area will be restricted to the beachfront and tapered at the southern and northern ends at Hereford Inlet and the USFW/Coast Guard properties. The Non-Federal sponsor is the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).
The City of North Wildwood has been experiencing significant erosion of its berm and dune, especially along the northern sections of the municipality’s oceanfront, since the 1990’s; what was once the largest beach in the state, has experienced approximately 1,100 feet of shoreline retreat, most of which has occurred during that time. In contrast to North Wildwood, sand accretion in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest historically has caused extensive maintenance problems with their storm water management system and creates public health hazards on the beaches. The excess sand clogs storm-water outfalls which causes associated interior flooding and creates pools of stagnant water which produces unhealthy beach conditions. The excessive infilling at the seaward extents of the outfalls traps rainwater and requires the municipalities to regularly excavate the ends of the pipes to allow for adequate drainage. Periodically, these excavation efforts have to occur during stormy periods with higher wave activity where access becomes more problematic. Once the trapped rainwater is released, the subsequent high-volume discharge of impounded storm water can also cause spikes in poor water quality.
The recommended plan includes a berm and dune system along the Atlantic Coast for the communities of North Wildwood, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest & Lower Township. The total project length is approximately 25,000 feet with a dune elevation of 16 feet NAVD88 and berm elevation of 6.5 feet NAVD88. The project would be accomplished by backpassing sand from those areas along the project in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest that have an excess accumulation. The project includes periodic nourishment.
The Project Partnership Agreement was executed with the NJDEP in 2017 and design plans are 65% complete. The recommended plan includes a berm and dune system along the Atlantic oceanfront for the communities of North Wildwood, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and Lower Twp. The total project length is approximately 25,000 linear feet, with a berm of varying widths at elevation 6.5 feet NAVD88 and a dune with crest elevation at 16 feet NAVD88 along the entire length of the project. The project would be accomplished by backpassing sand from those areas along the project in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest that have an excess accumulation of sand.
STATUS: NJDEP executed State Aid Agreements with all four municipalities as of 28 March 2023. The project team, comprised of USACE and NJDEP members, are finalizing designs, obtaining the necessary real estate easements and completing required peer reviews for quality and technical accuracy. The USACE expects to solicit bids for construction in late Spring 2025.
PROJECT GOALS: The purpose of this project is to provide coastal storm risk management benefits along 5-mile Island. These benefits include reduced risk of damage to homes, businesses, roads and infrastructure. The project includes construction of a dune and elevated berm system along the entire length of the project. The project is eligible for periodic nourishments at four-year intervals.
BACKPASSING TECHNOLOGY: Provides high quality sand that is currently present on the beaches in the Wildwoods as a renewable alternative to offshore borrow areas, , reduces beach maintenance, and has lower emissions than traditional dredging.
SPONSOR: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
DATE OF AMENDED FEASIBILITY COST SHARE AGREEMENT: 28 October 2013
CIVIL WORKS REVIEW BOARD: 21 August 2014
DATE OF PROJECT PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT: 17 Jan 2017
PROJECT MANAGER: Erik Rourke