Category: Beach Erosion

In a previous post, I spoke with Rowan University Science Professor, Donald Farnelli. He gave us some interesting insight into what will happen to our Barrier Islands in the future due to erosion. We spoke about man-made structures that are affecting the shoreline. He made a special point to talk about jetties. Jetties are the the long line of rocks that anyone can find on a beach.

Here is what one looks like:

Professor Farnelli told me what happens to the beach when the sand gets carried away, and runs into one of these jetties.



*photo taken by me*


This week I spoke with Rowan Science Professor, Donald Farnelli. I had him my freshman year, spring semester and thought he might be able to give some better insight into our beach ecosystem and beach erosion.

  We spoke for a long time and he gave me great information. One surprising fact he mentioned was that places like Long Beach Island will one day be connected to the mainland. He explains it here:


*Photo from Rowan University Facebook Page*

I wanted to show how drastic beach erosion can be on our coast line. The best way to do that is with a visual. Everyone one of the pictures below are beaches in New Jersey.

*Note:None of the following pictures were taken by me.*

Photo taken by Jim Phillips and Published Feb 3, 2010 as the Earth Science Picture of the day. The location is Surf City,  New Jersey.


Photo taken by Andrew Mills of the Star Ledger. The Location is the North Beach section of Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

Published on Location is also Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

Photo taken by Ben Wurst and published on


Photo taken by Jeff Fusco after Nor’easter in New Jersey

A couple of weeks ago, New Jersey was visited by the ultimate Benny herself, Hurricane Irene. Her 70mph wind speeds and feet of rain left our coastline, as well as further inland, in ravages. Many of our beaches were left in less than pristine  condition. 

Beach Erosion after Hurricane Irene   Courtesy AP
Beach Erosion after Hurricane Irene Courtesy Associated Press

When a dune is higher than your head, it begs the question? Who’s job is it to fix this?

 That job would fall to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, or NJDEP. Within the department is the Bureau of Coastal Engineering which is in charge of “conducting storm surveys, damage assessments and emergency repairs for coastal storms impacting New Jersey.”  They are responsible for beach nourishment and building structures to prevent beach erosion. Our beaches are a billion dollar industry and it is NJDEP’s job to make sure tourism for the New Jersey Coast stays bustling.

NJDEP has not made any statements about its plans post Irene as far as clean up, but has a Resource Page for residents to use for information.

Ahhh September,

The time when kids switch from  novels filled with mystery for their textbooks full of history; from chasing down the ice cream man to meetings with the librarian; and trading a Popsicle for a pop quiz. This sounds like the perfect time to create a blog dedicated to the Jersey Shore! No?

The beaches of New Jersey go through dramatic transformations every year due to storms which erode the beach away. Imagine coming back to your favorite beach destination next May only to see that the water is all the way up to the dunes.  Much more goes into making the Jersey Shore beautiful than G.T.L. Unless you thinks that stands for Government involvement, Tons of sand replenishment, and Land owner preparedness.

New Jersey is the Cha Cha DiGregorio of vacation destinations. It’s the best place with the worst reputation.  My mission is for this blog to give the Jersey Shore the credit it well deserves.

I hope that this semester-long project will open the eyes of Jersey residents as well as shore travelers, to the ways in which we can keep our beautiful beaches just the way they are for years to come. Because frankly, I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t look out at the ocean and be eating a slice of pizza the size of my head. Do you?