North Wildwood sues N.J. for $21M over beach dune fight and acknowledges impact of climate change – The Philadelphia Inquirer

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Climate Change

North Wildwood is suing New Jersey for $21 million, saying that’s how much it has spent fighting beach erosion the last decade because the state Department of Environmental Protection hasn’t been doing its job.The suit, filed in Superior Court in Cape May County, attests to the acrimony that’s developed between the Shore community and the DEP over not only recent beach erosion but a beach replenishment project planned in 2012 that was never started.The DEP sued North Wildwood in December, seeking to stop it from buttressing its dune system with what the state calls an illegal 400-foot steel bulkhead the Shore community plans to install after fall storms caused beach erosion. A hearing is set for Jan. 17.» READ MORE: N.J. is taking North Wildwood to court over the town’s planned dune repairsNorth Wildwood’s answer was a two-pronged legal action filed Wednesday, seeking not only the money for its long-term expenses but also a request to proceed with the bulkhead.“They haven’t done their job,” Mayor Patrick Rosenello said of the DEP. “It’s cost us a lot of money. And we’re asking the courts now to intervene.”Rosenello said the relationship between the town and DEP has “gone off the rails.”Caryn Shinske, a spokesperson for the DEP, said Thursday that the agency did not comment on pending litigation.For its part, North Wildwood acknowledged climate change as a factor in what it now faces.“Like the rest of the world, Nort …

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