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Ocean County Press Release


TOMS RIVER – Ocean County's commissioners today praised and thanked Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) for his successful effort to fund beach replenishment from the Manasquan Inlet to the Barnegat Inlet.

Smith's support of the bi-partisan Infrastructure and Jobs Act ensured than $30.2 million will be earmarked for beach protection along the entire northern barrier island.

"We appreciate the hard work that Chris Smith put into brining this critical funding to Ocean County," said John P. Kelly, Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners.

Protecting the county's vulnerable coastline has long been a priority of the Board of Commissioners and Kelly said he was pleased to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Smith to defend the shore towns.

"Chris Smith has long been a good friend to Ocean County and we look forward to working with him in the future for the benefit of our residents," Kelly said.

Virginia E. Haines, deputy director of the Board of Commissioners, also thanked Smith for his efforts to secure the more than $30 million.

"Chris Smith has witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by Super Storm Sandy and earlier storms that have ravaged the county," Haines said. "He understands the importance of protecting and preserving our coast."

Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari, liaison to the Barnegat Bay Partnership, said the influx of federal dollars could not have come at a better time.

Some ocean beaches are still showing the effects of several major coastal storms that have battered the region over the past several years, Vicari said.

He also pointed to a Rutgers University report released just this week that predicts increased sea level rise along the Jersey Shore due to a slowdown of the Gulf Stream.

"We have already seen increased flooding along both the northern island and Long Beach Island," Vicari said. "Government at all levels must continue to work together to protect our fragile coastline."