Margate Citizens Divided On Proposed Dune Project
By Cleve Bryan
MARGATE, NJ (CBS) – A group called Margate Citizens Questioning the Beach Project is challenging the notion that one dune fits all along the Jersey Shore.
On Tuesday night, they will hold a public meeting to gather questions about a proposed $20 million dune project in Margate.
“It’s not an automatic yes for Margate. I could understand why certain communities would want to absolutely move forward with a project of that magnitude. Many of those cities don’t have the structural integrity that we have of our bulkhead system here in Margate,” says MCQBP director Dan Gottlieb.
Gottlieb says his group questions whether the added protection dunes offer outweighs the long term cost of replenishing them every few years.
“Right now, we feel with the structural integrity we have with our bulkhead system that the cost benefit [of the dunes] isn’t what we would like it to be,” explains Gottlieb.
MCQBP has a meeting planned Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Dr. Dominick A. Potena Arts Center at Eugene A. Tighe School, 7804 Amherst Ave, Margate.
There is a non-binding referendum on the Nov. 5 ballot asking voters if Margate’s City Commissioners should proceed further in gathering information about allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to build 12.75′ dunes. A vote “yes” means the project won’t necessarily happen, but a vote “no” kills the project for now.
Margate Mayor Michael Becker says the three member commission which runs Margate is divided on the dunes. One commissioner says yes, another says no and he is undecided.
“It’s a question of how efficient the dunes are – how much protection they really give us. And those questions, in my mind, haven’t been answered, and in a lot of other people’s minds [they haven’t been either],” says Becker.