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North Wildwood Installs Phil Murphy Signs on the Beach

North Wildwood Installs Phil Murphy Signs on the Beach

North Wildwood has adopted a remarkable and innovative approach to address pressing beach-related issues by directly confronting Governor Phil Murphy and NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. Those visiting the beaches recently may have noticed strategically placed new signs in blue, black, and red, which explicitly target the two officials, urging them to take action.

Installed early in July, these signs aim to empower beach-goers to voice their concerns about the urgent beach problems in North Wildwood, which have been seemingly neglected by the state.

North Wildwood Installs Phil Murphy Signs on the BeachThe message displayed on these signs leaves no room for ambiguity: “Murphy and LaTourette bear direct responsibility for the state’s inaction on replenishing North Wildwood’s Beaches. We urge you to contact them immediately and demand prompt answers, as your public and property protection are at risk.”

Each sign features pictures of the respective officials along with a QR code. Scanning the QR code automatically opens the visitor’s email app, with Murphy and LaTourette’s email addresses added to the ‘sender’ line and the subject line already filled as “North Wildwood Beaches.”

North Wildwood warmly encourages beach visitors to compose brief yet impactful messages expressing their concerns directly to the Governor and the Commissioner. This initiative marks a last-ditch effort in a prolonged dispute between the city and the New Jersey DEP over severe beach erosion.

By inviting beach-goers to actively participate in addressing the pressing issue, North Wildwood hopes to exert additional pressure on the state government to take swift and decisive action.

Also See: First Look – Morey’s Piers Ghost Ship Is OPEN!!!

With public safety and property protection hanging in the balance, the city’s residents and visitors alike have embraced this proactive approach as a way to amplify their voices and demand the necessary measures to address the critical beach erosion problems.

The signs serve as a tangible representation of the community’s determination to safeguard their beloved beaches and natural resources.

The apex of the conflict happened this past January when the city sued the state for $21 Million stating that the DEP failed to address the beach erosion in time. This caused the city to find other ways to not only protect their beaches but the properties beyond the bulkheads.

The New Jersey DEP attempted to dismiss North Wildwood’s lawsuit, but their motion was denied in court.

The tipping point of the issue, and what led to a lawsuit was when the State refused North Wildwood to install a 400-foot steel bulkhead between 13th and 16th street.

This bulkhead was to help protect the North Wildwood Beach Patrol building after many nor’easters caused significant damage to the Dunes leaving them more than half destroyed. This created an issue that if a strong enough storm rolled in, the NWBP building and the boardwalk behind it could be destroyed.

The Wildwood Video Archive toured the damaged dunes via drone. You can watch that video at the bottom of this page.

In response, North Wildwood sought emergency authorization from the DEP to install the steel bulkhead, reshape dunes between 13th and 16th Avenues, remove some decking, and erect jersey barriers to restrict access.

Also See: Next Phases of Wildwood Boardwalk Reconstruction Project – Fall 2023

The state, responsible for shoreline oversight and protection planning, approved the decking removal and barriers but rejected the new bulkhead at 15th Avenue and dune regrading, citing no immediate threat to life or property and concerns that the new infrastructure might exacerbate erosion.

Despite the DEP’s decision, North Wildwood officials proceeded with dune work, arguing that they posed a safety hazard, and proceeded to install the bulkhead against the DEP’s directives. This clash of actions led to exchanges between DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette and Mayor Patrick Rosenello and ultimately resulted in the filing of a lawsuit.

Now the city is asking the public for help with these new signs. When you have time, please scan the QR code and let the state know you are concerned.

As this unique strategy unfolds, all eyes are on Governor Murphy and Commissioner LaTourette, awaiting their response to this grassroots effort for change.

Below is the Wildwood Video Archive tour of the dunes from March 2023. In the video, you can see that the cliffs are roughly about 15 feet tall.

Before you watch the video please consider subscribing to the Wildwood Video Archive Youtube Channel. (We are trying to hit 100,000 by Labor Day and we can only do that with your help)