US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center

Hereford Inlet to Cape May Inlet, NJ

Published Dec. 3, 2012
The Hereford Inlet to Cape May Inlet Study is evaluating erosion and storm damage potential for the municipalities on Five Mile Island.  Erosion has adversely affected the beach and dunes in North Wildwood increasing the risk of storm damage, while excessive accretion of sand along the central and southern portions of the island has caused health, environmental, and storm-water drainage problems in Wildwood Crest.

The Hereford Inlet to Cape May Inlet Study is evaluating erosion and storm damage potential for the municipalities on Five Mile Island. Erosion has adversely affected the beach and dunes in North Wildwood increasing the risk of storm damage, while excessive accretion of sand along the central and southern portions of the island has caused health, environmental, and storm-water drainage problems in Wildwood Crest.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: NJ-2

APPROPRIATION / PHASE: General Investigations / Feasibility

BUSINESS PROGRAM: Flood & Coastal Storm Damage Reduction

AUTHORITY: The Hereford Inlet to Cape May General Investigation was undertaken by authority of The New Jersey Shore Protection Study, by resolutions adopted within the Committee on Public Works and Transportation of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the U.S. Senate in December 1987.

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 is experiencing significant erosion of its berm and dune. What was the largest beach in the state now suffers from tidal flooding and wave run-up over a formerly protective beach. The municipality of North Wildwood has lost approximately 1,000 feet of beach during the past 5-10 years.  In contrast to North Wildwood, sand accretion in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest is causing extensive maintenance problems and health hazards with their storm water management system. The excess sand clogs storm-water outfalls, creates pools of stagnant water, produces unhealthy beach conditions and causes associated interior flooding . During combined periods of heavy rain and high waves the City can not access the outfalls for excavation and rainwater becomes trapped within the pipes. 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 Wilwood, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest & Lower Twp. The total project length is approximately 25,000 feet with a dune elevation would be 16 feet. 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 renourishment. Utilizing FY16 Sandy CG funds the Design Phase was initiated. Since the PPA was executed the sponsor has begun to acquire the necessary real estate to construct the project. It is expected that real estate acquisition could take several years to acquire. Therefore it is anticipated that construction would not start until at least late 2020.

PROJECT GOALS:  The purpose of this project is to evaluate erosion and storm damage potential for the municipalities on Five Mile Island. It presently includes a constructed berm and dune extending from Hereford Inlet in North Wildwood to existing dunes in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest using backpassing technology. The creation of a dune and berm from Hereford to Cape May will reduce risk from coastal storms.

BACKPASSING TECHNOLOGY: Provides high quality sand as  an alternative to offshore borrow areas, reduces beach maintenance, has lower emissions than traditional dredging and will not impact cultural or environmental resources within Hereford Inlet.

SPONSOR: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

DATE OF AMENDED FEASIBILITY COST SHARE AGREEMENT: October 28, 2013

CIVIL WORKS REVIEW BOARD: 21 August 2014

PROJECT MANAGER: Mike Hart