Beach Erosion Caused by Nor’easter
New Jersey beaches have been taking a hit from the latest storm system that began moving in on Monday. Strong winds meant bigger, nastier waves, which meant piles of sand being removed from the Jersey coastline.
Erosion is mainly a threat between early fall and early spring when hurricanes, followed by nor'easters, tend to form. This year's hurricane season was rather quiet for New Jersey, but the season for nor'easters is just getting started, according to Dr. Stewart Farrell, director of the Stockton College Coastal Research Center.
Farrell said a number of shore towns will see some "beach loss" with this week's storm, but given no major storms in the immediate future, a lot of the sand will find its way back to the same beach or a different one.
"Usually, recovery occurs to some degree," he said. "It is a common process of cross-shore back-and-forth movement."
The process isn't so simple, though, with storms such as Superstorm Sandy, when the sand is moved way offshore and struggles to return.
Farrell compared the erosion and beach replenishment process to "repainting your house every 5 or 7 years." Towns must restock their beaches over time as Mother Nature takes a toll.
Nor'easters typically occur between two and four times per year, according to Farrell.