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STONE HARBOR - As bids go out for the upcoming federal beach replenishment on Seven Mile Island, Stone Harbor is unable to borrow sand from Hereford Inlet due to restrictions placed on the traditional borrow areas by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

That agency’s interpretation of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act has upended the long-standing use of Hereford Inlet sand by the Army Corps of Engineers for hydraulic beach replenishments.

Borough Administrator Jill Gougher told the governing body Aug. 6 the borough would get no sand for this year’s replenishment.

Instead, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps will take sand from dunes that are above template levels.

This sand that is already in the dunes will be “moved around” to replenish the beaches. The dunes will then be replanted at heights closer to template levels. The amount of sand used for replenishment will be less than what the borough would have received from a hydraulic dredging process.

Both the state and the Army Corps have opposed the Fish and Wildlife’s restrictions. Gougher explained the borough would have no costs associated with the sand movement. 

The expense would be paid by the Army Corps and the state, she said. “It’s their way of saying sorry,” she added.

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