North Wildwood Beach Erosion Tour 2023

With the official first day of summer roughly 90 days away, all people can think about is getting back to their favorite beaches.

Those visiting North Wildwood this past weekend may have visited the beach and may have stumbled upon 17-foot cliffs.

North Wildwood Beach Erosion Tour 2023Last week the East coast had its first of many Nor’Easters that are predicted to hit our area in 2023, leaving behind beach erosion.

Beach erosion is the process by which natural forces, such as waves, currents, tides, and storms, gradually wear away or remove sand and other sediment from the shoreline. This can result in the loss of valuable beachfront property, damage to buildings and infrastructure, and the destruction of habitats for coastal wildlife.

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This isn’t new here in North Wildwood as for the past decade the city has been fighting with mother nature over the loss of its beach.

To protect businesses, houses, and infrastructure, the city of North Wildwood added a bulkhead from 3rd avenue all the way to 12th street.

On top of this, the city had been bussing in sand from Wildwood to lay out in North Wildwood to not only protect the island but also give visitors a place to enjoy the sun.

The storms in 2022 had caused much beach erosion from 12th to 16th street that the North Wildwood Beach Patrol Headquarters was a risk of being destroyed.

Back in June, The city applied to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency to install a bulkhead that would protect this and other buildings near but the DEP denied them.

The DEP’s denial of the permit application was based on concerns about the potential impact of the bulkhead on the surrounding coastal ecosystem. The agency stated that the proposed extension would likely cause significant changes to the natural flow of sediment along the beach, which could lead to further erosion in other areas.

The city is currently fighting this in court with the hopes of a resolution before the situation gets worse.

In the meanwhile, it is usually around this time when beach replenishment is in full gear in North Wildwood but for the first time in 10 years, there won’t be one.

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In a Facebook post, PJ Hondros, who runs the North Wildwood Coastal Processes Facebook group, laid out how the beaches will look for the summer 2023 season without the replenishment.

  • 1st Avenue: This area varies in width drastically. Most of the beach here is over 250’ wide at high tide.
  • 2nd Avenue: North of the 2nd Avenue jetty there is a relatively wide beach. However, no dry beach exists seaward of the 2nd Avenue jetty or seawall, even at low tide.
  • 3rd-5th Avenue: There is no dry beach at this location at high tide. A small sliver of the dry beach is present at low tide. The ramps are washed out, rendering this area inaccessible.
  • 6th Avenue: It appears that roughly 20’ of the dry beach is present during high tide. The ramp is damaged, but not destroyed.
  • 7th Avenue: 10’-40’ of dry beach exists at high tide depending on where you sit. The 7th Avenue beach access ramp is heavily damaged.
  • 8th-12th Avenue: There is roughly 40’ of the dry beach during high tide at this location. All ramps are intact.
  • 13th-16th Avenue: No dry beach exists at high tide. A 7’-15’ vertical scarp (cliff) exists at this location. All ramps are inaccessible due to storm damage, with the exception of 16th Avenue which remains unscathed.
  • 17th-23rd Avenue: Between the seaward toe of the dune and the high tide line, approximately 100’ of the dry beach is present. This number increases closer to 200’ as you move south towards 23rd Avenue. All beach access ramps are intact. There is no dry beach in front of the pier at high tide.
  • 24th-25th Avenue: Around 100’ of the dry beach is present at high tide.
  • The 25th Avenue beach access ramp is damaged. There is no dry beach in front of the piers adjacent to this location at high tide.
  • 26th Avenue: There is close to 900’ of dry beach at high tide. There is no dry beach in front of the piers adjacent to this location at high tide.

PJ was gracious enough to record a full video on the current damage to the dunes and the beach.

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