At a recent meeting held in Keyport, Mayor Robert Bergen mentioned something I found interesting.
This was a meeting to discuss what I now deem the “infamous” waterfront in Downtown Keyport and its impact on business owners. (Rather, the meeting for business owners to state reasons why Downtown needs more parking and why shouldn’t it be included by the waterfront if the borough is reconstructing now?)
The mayor mentioned something about the bulkhead, a completed aspects of the waterfront.
He said bulkhead is elevated about 18 feet but also pointed out that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had recommended it to be 20 feet high.
“We didn’t go with that recommendation,” he said. “They are concerned with utmost shore protection.”
So . . . This is what I personally gathered from that statement, along with its other implications and taking into consideration the current situation of most Bayshore communities:
Keyport was more concerned with the aesthetics of its waterfront and therefore did not listen to the recommendation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding shore protection.
Let’s think about this: If a large wave approaches Keyport that is, say, 20 feet high, it will probably be deterred properly by a 20-foot bulkhead.
Two feet does not seem like much, but when you take into consideration flood protection and the fact that the Federal Emergency Management Agency just bombarded the Bayshore with the taunt of flood insurance, it seems a bit distasteful to me that the borough would not construct a bulkhead of at least 20 feet.
Forget about residents want to look at. Obviously the borough disagrees with most of its residents on the Downtown parking situation. I don’t see them running out to make sure any of the proposed parking spaces “look good.” In reality, a giant parking lot on the waterfront is an unnatural distraction, albeit convenient.
What is more important anymore: The way a town looks or the fact that it will probably not exist after the next serious natural disaster?
I’m not even going to point out the fact that by pleasing one of those ends and “ignoring” the other, the borough makes claim to some of its reputation.
Interesting. Oh, and why does an agency such as the Army Corps get paid to be ignored, then?
JUST wondering, Feds and Keyport. Just wondering.
PHOTO: Seaside Park, N.J. (Melissa L. Gaffney)