Work on NW beach begins despite ongoing lawsuits

North Wildwood began emergency work Monday on its beach ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend with the permission of the state Department of Environmental Protection, despite ongoing litigation between the city and the agency to the tune of $33 million dollars. North Wildwood has been given the go-ahead for the major repairs to dunes in the most highly-eroded section of its beach, working to restore beach access in badly damaged areas. The state contends that unauthorized work may have actually destroyed eight acres of dune vegetation, 6.7 acres of which they claim is critical wildlife habitat and just over an acre of freshwater wetlands. The state issued numerous violation notices then sued the city for $12 million. North Wildwood countersued, saying they needed to take emergency action to shore up dunes and buld an emergency seawall as it experienced serious erosion waiting for approvals. The $21 million they are seeking is the coast of trucking sand and laying it where it is needed. Mayor Patrick Rosenello told the Associated Press while he is happy the work is getting done, it does not solve the bigger issue of the lack of a beach replenishment project in North Wildwood.

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