By Michelle Durham

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — In light of studies emerging about the state of erosion on New Jersey beaches and the environmental changes that have taken place due to Superstorm Sandy (see related story) — and what appears to be resistance from some lawmakers to continue to fund beach replenishment projects — US senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and other members of the New Jersey congressional delegation met today with Gov. Chris Christie.

Menendez is clear on his commitment to rebuild the Jersey shore.

menendez bob thumb ofcl Sen. Menendez Urges Quick Rebuild of NJ Beaches After Sandy

(US Sen. Bob Menendez, in file photo, provided)

“One of our priorities is Army Corps projects along the New Jersey shore, many of which are already authorized — meaning we have the authority to go ahead but we don’t have the money for it yet,” Menendez (right) said after the meeting.

At what price?  He estimates between $750 million and $1 billion.

“Of course there are those in the Congress who believe that this is not an appropriate expenditure of federal money,” Menendez tells KYW Newsradio.  “I think they are wrong.”

Menendez says it’s important to start this work quickly and literally shore up the damaged and destroyed dunes before another nor’easter comes roaring up the coast and does more damage.

“The New Jersey shore is a birthright to every Jersey citizen, and I want to keep that birthright alive,” he said today.

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