By Daniel Nee (Patch Editor)Toms River Township has agreed to rake areas of reclaimed sand deposited on the oceanfront in Ortley Beach to ensure it is appropriate for beachgoers, but residents' concerns about contaminants have proven to be unfounded.
Ortley Beach residents, in recent weeks, have quietly voiced concerns to township officials over the use of so-called "reclaimed" sand being deposited on the oceanfront by township trucks and contractors in order to shore up the temporary dune against winter storms. Though extra sand is always a welcomed sight, the residents have questioned whether sand reclaimed from the bottom of Barnegat Bay, from public streets and even the Route 35 reconstruction project could be subject to contamination.
But tests show the sand is, indeed, clean despite the presence of aggregate material mixed in with the finer beach sand.
"It's all been tested," said Township Administrator Paul Shives.
Officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection confirmed the sand being laid down on township beaches has been tested and no contaminants were found.
"Our most recent survey of the beach and dunes in Ortley Beach was on Thursday," said Bob Considine, a DEP spokesman. "Our inspectors dug holes into the dunes and beach in various locations along the oceanfront and found the material to be mostly sand."
Township officials have informed the DEP that the sand was sourced from numerous locations, such as sand trucked in from a quarry, dredge material from Crowder Gulf – the contractor that worked on the post-Sandy cleanup of Barnegat Bay – and some material from the Route 35 project.