New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium Hosts 22nd Annual State of the Shore

May 23rd, 2024

This year’s State of the Shore media event was an important opportunity for members of the community and members of the press to meet with coastal expert Dr. Jon Miller, Laura Kerr, and NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette to learn how New Jersey’s shorelines fared over the winter and a forecast on conditions and storms for our state’s beaches during the 2024 summer season. View the recording of the event here. 

Get your beach towels and flip flops ready because summer is almost here! After this winter of rain and snow, New Jersey’s residents and visitors are ready for the summer weather and sunshine. The locals and tourists aren’t the only ones ready; most of our sandy shores are too!

(From right to left) Dr. Peter Rowe, Executive Director, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, Shawn LaTourette, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Dr. Jon K. Miller, Coastal Processes Specialist, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium; Research Associate Professor, Director of Coastal Engineering Research Group, Stevens Institute of Technology; Author, 2024 State of the Shore Report, Laura Kerr, Coastal Resilience Specialist, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium; Senior Research Engineer, Stevens Institute of Technology

Coastal flooding, erosion, and wave activity varied from location to location. The northern part of the state experienced higher peak water levels, while the southern part of the state experienced more flooding events. During a January storm, water levels at Sandy Hook measured some of the highest water levels since Superstorm Sandy. However, the storm this past April that dumped several inches of rain and downed trees throughout the state was the most intense storm that impacted Sandy Hook. While some beaches remained pretty much intact during this winter, others had erosion that may require some sort of remediation. These small or moderate storms that cause this are expected to become more and more common.

While many beaches suffered little to no erosion, some beaches in the south need replenishment to repair some of the berm erosion suffered by the mild-moderate storms this winter. Beachgoers should be aware of large sand bars this winter produced along the shore that can lead to dangerous rip currents. As the memories of Sandy begin to fade, this winter should serve as a reminder of the damage that can be caused by more common storms and the need to continue to maintain our beaches through programs such as the Shore Protection Fund.

The forecast for this summer is predicted to be very eventful. This summer’s La Nina conditions are expected to result in more extreme weather this summer. The four independent institutions have reached very similar models of above average number of storms. Despite relatively low probabilities of hurricanes making landfall in general, it’s important to remember that it only takes a single storm to create catastrophic impacts.

As always, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is excited to provide year’s State of the Shore Report to give the public insight of the condition of New Jersey’s beaches. Just remember to be safe: wear your sunscreen, remain cognizant of your surroundings, check conditions, be aware of rip currents, and guard your fries from hungry seagulls. Have a great summer!





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