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During the past decade, the Township of Old Bridge initiated efforts to reverse this trend. Forty-seven acres of waterfront land were acquired and the first phase of the Laurence Harbor Park was developed. Additional plans for groins, erosion control and recreational facilities were also initiated. Hopefully, future historians will be able to look back with satisfaction and pride to the 1980â€™s as a decade of renaissance for the Old Bridge waterfront. Significantly, the State of New Jersey had established a policy of upgrading and enhancing the Stateâ€™s waterways in the 1980â€™s. This policy evolved through continued efforts in planning and regulating development in the coastal area which culminated in a Presidential directive that 1980 be designated as "The Year of the Coast".
In 1995, as part of the Shore Protection Beach revitalization project, two new groins (jetties) were built off the Laurence Harbor beachfront and the entire beach was replenished with new sand. A New Jersey Shore Protection grant of $2,100,000 was provided for the project.
In 1998, the Middlesex County Park Commission leased the shorefront from the Township and planned the development of a major waterfront park.
In March 1999, the State Department of Environmental Protection awarded the Township with a $300,000 grant to repair the Laurence Harbor Beach groin (jetty). The award was presented to the Township through the office of the DEP Administrator, Bernard Moore, longtime Chief of the Bureau of Coastal Engineering. Since the old groin was already included in the Countyâ€™s plan for improvements, the $300,000 grant will be used for additional site work and recreational amenities.
Also by JamesHarmon McQuilkin
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