Man-Made Islands Coming To Jersey? - My9 New Jersey

Man-Made Islands Coming To Jersey?

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Through a series of post Sandy ideas to protect the coast, man-made islands seem to be the new solution. This all started when President Obama formed a Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and assigned it to HUD - the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Professor at Steven’s Institute of Technology, Alan Blumberg, proposed the idea of “blue islands.” These are artificial islands made off the coast to take the initial impact from any storm before our coast line sees it.

“We want to put these dunes off shore in the blue ocean 10-12 miles off the coast. And they would look like a long slender banana that would block the next surge when it comes in from the ocean. This water would come in hit the dunes and then go back out into the ocean,” Blumberg explains.

Blumberg’s plan is a more regional solution, where other plans have done more to focus on Hoboken or Manhattan specifically. However, Blumberg’s solution protects the whole coast with these blue islands which cover 40–50 miles off our coastline. The dunes would rise about 20 feet up into the air with the expanse of about half a mile. These islands would take about 3 years to create off of our coast and cost between $10-$12 billion. Blumberg says a cost analysis shows that New Jersey could have saved $7 billion in insurance money if these islands were in place before the storm.

However, there is controversy surrounding the artificial island concept. If the dunes were put in place, the water will be more bay-like going into the ocean from the coast and then you would hit the islands 10 miles out where bigger waves would be developing past them. Surfers would definitely feel the impact the most should this change take place.

Jersey Devil surfer Dean Randazzo expressed his disdain for the blue islands idea.

“That’s not good. We want people to buy ocean front homes to see ocean and enjoy the waves. I have a business that deals with surfing and people love to surf. They love to come down and enjoy the waves and the ocean, not to come down and have a bay front,” Dean explained.

In addition, other questions are arising regarding the island plan and how it would affect sea life by the dunes and whether or not the island would even withstand a storm as strong as Sandy.

At the end of the day, money is the real focus when it comes to implementing the plan. A lot of our economy is made up of tourism where people flock to the coast here in the Garden State. The real hope is that a plan can be implemented that would possibly mitigate some of these storms and the damages they bring to shore line economics.



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