Experts say beaches are wider thanks to Margate dune project

- The controversial Margate dune project that the city did not want looks like it is helping. Experts say the beach is wider. But still, not everyone is happy with their new view of the beach.

It was a perfect day on the sands of Margate Friday. The waves were crashing, beachgoers were tanning, but Geoffrey Greenberg was fuming over the loss of his ocean view.

“I think they took a beautiful beach and destroyed it," Margate resident Geoffrey Greenberg said.

For this Bucks County toy manufacturer, what was a line-of-sight “look” at the Atlantic from his 5-million dollar property is now a dune, studded with plants and a water pump nearby.

“Since it’s been done it's flooding, puddles and mosquitoes," he said.

The  Army Corps of Engineers has spent two years here building the dunes, widening the beach and erecting what will be five outfall pipes to pump flood water to the ocean. All at the direction of former governor Chris Christie believing it would protect the shoreline.

Margate, which has protective bulkheads built in the 20s fought it.

"We already had our protection.  We feel out bulkheads would have protected us. That’s our position from day 1 and hasn’t changed," Margate Mayor Michael Becker said.

New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, the Army Corps and a costal researcher, in a recent seminar, all argued the communities are better protected with wider beaches and pipes to drain flood-water.

A view which divides beachgoers based on where they live.

"You can’t fight the ocean. The ocean is going to come back and take what was done. It was a lot of money wasted," Denise Beroth said. 

"I think they’re bigger. Their beautiful. I’m enjoying them immensely," Paula Sykes said.

The work isn’t done. The Corps will be back after the season says the mayor to complete the job before the summer of 2019 rolls around.

While Geoffrey Greenberg has his own construction plans.

"We are considering raising the home because we love it here and want to continue to see the beach," he said.
 

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