By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
Happy August, Monmouth County! It’s hard to believe we are just a few, short weeks away from Labor Day! Soon children will be heading back to school and the cooler weather will be here. However, let’s forget about all of that now and just enjoy the remainder of this great summer season!
I would like to take the time to discuss an important project that will soon be underway and especially noticeable to those living and traveling near Shark River. The second phase of the Shark River dredging project will begin early this month with an anticipated completion time before next summer season. The first phase of this project was completed earlier this year.
It has been roughly three decades since the last significant dredging project of this body of water. Not only does this river provide homeowners and restaurant patrons with a pleasant view, it also serves as a popular destination for recreational activities including boating, kayaking and fishing. However, the ramification of not dredging the river for an extended period of time has adversely impacted those traversing and living along the waterway. In fact, before the entire project began some sections of the river were so shallow that tiny “islands” began to form.
As both a local and county public servant, I’ve worked alongside officials on all levels of government to conceive a plan and pull together the necessary resources and finances to begin this project. I would like to thank everyone involved throughout the years, especially Senator Jennifer Beck.
Together, Senator Beck and I hosted a meeting recently for the residents of Seaview Island – those who will be most impacted by the impending project. As part of the project, the dredge materials will be placed on the island until they are removed at the conclusion of the work next spring. During this meeting, we also had representatives from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection on hand to explain the scope of work in the coming months.
I would like to reiterate something I said during the meeting – we will do everything we can to maintain the quality of life for these residents and minimize any disturbances from this project. At the end of the day, the entire project to dredge Shark River will allow countless people to enjoy recreational activities on the river and, at the same time, maintain the high property values of homes in the area. I look forward to seeing the completion of this project and allowing Shark River to return to being the vibrant resource it is in Monmouth County.
On a separate note, I would like to thank all law enforcement agencies throughout the County who participated in National Night Out. This annual event is a great way for our law enforcement officers to meet with and support local youth. As I have said before, I believe Monmouth County has the best agencies in the State.
Lastly, in light of the recent drowning tragedies, I would like to remind everyone the importance of never swimming alone and to only swim when a lifeguard is present.
As always, it is an honor to serve the great residents of Monmouth County!