AVALON - Avalon officials recently met with Sen. Michael Testa (R-1st) to urge support for an increase in the state’s Shore Protection Fund.
The present $25 million per year funding level has not been increased since 1998 and is considered inadequate to the task of supporting protection programs for the state’s beaches, back bays, and inland waterways.
The Shore Protection Fund has a dedicated source of revenue, the Reality Transfer Tax. Shore communities want the state to stop diverting revenues above the $25 million limit to the general budget, and instead increase protection efforts for New Jersey’s $20 billion per year tourism economy, much of which depends on having sand on the beaches and clean and healthy bays and waterways.
The state’s avowed purpose in establishing the Shore Protection Program is “To protect public and private property and infrastructure from coastal storm damage, erosion and shoreline migration, and sea-level rise. Projects include beach replenishment and construction and maintenance of bulkheads, jetties, and seawalls.”
Efforts to increase the fund have been ongoing for several years.