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Some shore towns eye sea walls to guard boardwalks

BELMAR, N.J. (AP) — Some New Jersey shore towns are opting for an additional layer of protection in the form of steel sea walls placed between the boards and the shoreline as they spend millions to rebuild boardwalks wrecked by Superstorm Sandy.

But not everyone is convinced the costly add-ons will work in the next storm.

Belmar and Seaside Heights have decided to add sea walls in front of their boardwalks. Spring Lake is considering doing so.

The projects involve burying steel sheets in the sand, with 4 or 5 feet sticking out. They would be covered with sand and dune plantings.

The idea is to protect boardwalks and nearby homes from storm surges. But some say the barriers actually worsen erosion as waves scour the sand at the base of the walls.