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Riverfront Improvements, Access High on Sea Bright’s Priority List

SEA BRIGHT: Officials recently highlighted the importance of improving the borough’s riverfront and access to it.

Bulkheads are one of the borough’s top priority mitigation projects, Mayor Dina Long said.

“We got a grant to raise the bulkheads at the ends of the streets downtown and to create a pump station,” Long said at the June 12 Sea Bright Town Hall meeting. “That work is in permitting phase with the DEP.”

Long said the Sea Bright Council is working on a bulkhead ordinance that would unify them.

“We need a plan to connect all of the bulkheads so that they are continuous along the whole riverfront in Sea Bright,” Long said.

The bulkhead areas in the borough are located from the north border to the Rumson Bridge, the Rumson Bridge to Chris’ Landing and down to the southern end of Sea Bright.

Long said home and property owners are also working to make their bulkheads uniform when they are rebuilding.

“Many homeowners and property owners, like McLoone’s, when they’re rebuilding their property, they are voluntarily rebuilding their bulkheads to that Army Corps recommended elevation which is seven feet NAVD (North American Vertical Datum),” Long said.

Restoring and creating new access to the borough’s waterfront is also necessary, Long said.

“Sustainable Sea Bright is talking about repairing the kayak launch, our river public access located downtown on west front street,” she said. “It has always been a great place to launch a kayak, so they are talking about getting that repaired.”

Sustainable Sea Bright committee was created to continue the engagement and involvement of residents in advancing projects in the Sea Bright 2020 plan. The 2020 plan outlines key recovery projects and strategies for the borough.

Long said there will be new riverfront access once the Anchorage Apartments are demolished and a park is put in its place.

“There will be landscaping with trees, native plants, boardwalk along bulkhead,” Long said. “It’s not going to be a parking lot.”

The owner and the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection negotiated the buyout program for the apartments, part of the Christie Administration's goal of buying out 1,000 properties in tidal areas affected by Sandy.

The apartments are located just north of the Rumson/Sea Bright Bridge and have been vacant since they were flooded by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The site is at 960 Ocean Avenue, and is approximately 1.2 acres in size. The property assessment before Sandy was $1.9 million for the site, which featured 23 housing units.

Long said a landscape architect is donating services for a landscaping plan for the site and that a $75,000 stewardship put up by neighbors in Rumson will pay for landscaping and plantings and offset lost tax revenue. The stewardship fund will be managed by Clean Ocean Action.

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