Sea Level and Barrier Beaches by Bob Endlich

Bob Endlich describes growing up around barrier beaches and how they were changed after every strong storm that went through the area. He also provides information from news accounts during that period of time. Climate alarmists frequently use barrier beaches to show how global warming has changed the environment, but, in fact, these sandbars and sandy shorelines have always moved around in the wind and waves due to the natural effects of the weather.

I lived in New Jersey from 1940 to 1963, when I went into the Air Force; I went home typically 2-3 times per year until 2006, when my Dad passed away. We lived in Little Silver in Monmouth County which is the northernmost county on the Jersey Shore; it is only a mile to Ft Monmouth from there.

We lived ~4 miles from the beaches of Sea Bright; the latter is a barrier beach. My Dad, born in 1913, had an aunt who lived north of Sea Bright whom he visited from his home in Newark,  and he told me when I was maybe 10 that when he was a kid, that Sea Bright was  ~half a mile wide and that there were corn fields in the part of Sea Bright where it was only ~1000 ft wide, the town center, in 1950. So, I learned at an early age that barrier beaches were ephemeral structures; those lessons solidified in my Geology 201 Physical Geology class in 1960.

I remember very well the November 1950 storm, made famous because it was like an East Coast Bomb, <bottom drops out of the pressure and the storm intensifies explosively as it crosses from North America to the Atlantic> and the meteorologists of the day realized that the “barotropic” numerical models, which moved storms along like chips of wood in a brook, failed to predict significant strengthening. This storm, and its importance,  was featured in a text book by Hans Panofsky of Penn State, one of my profs when I was in Grad School there in 1968.

See the 100 mph wind speeds in NYC and New Jersey!  Also see the hand- plotted and hand analyzed charts of the day; quite a difference from the cruder computer plotted and analyzed charts of today.

But what I remember best was the feet of sand in Bahlbach’s Restaurant in Keansburg, a block inland from Raritan Bay, and the 500-foot long freighter driven ¼ mile inland up Matawan Creek, sitting stranded in the woods. We lost power and were huddled around the fireplace with coats on, to cook and keep warm: this storm made quite the impression on me.

Look at this from the Asbury Park Press

It describes the 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm and that 5 new inlets were cut into Long Beach Island then.

And look at those photos. Yes, it is costing an arm and a leg.

Please read the stories and see how Ocean City was forever changed when the winter storm of 1916 hit.  “…without exception every inlet along the New Jersey coast has been formed, moved, closed up or reopened by northeasters during the past 200 years.”

”Rebuilding the Jersey Shore to handle storm surges, meanwhile, could require billions of dollars to replenish beaches swept away during superstorm Sandy, erect steel bulkheads at $3 million or more a pop, rebuild damaged seawalls, elevate thousands of homes on pilings, and buy out some neighborhoods. ”Making the New Jersey transit system more resilient to storms could cost $800 million, and putting electric lines underground could average $724,000 per mile.

Here is the story of the repeated damages

Arm and a Leg, indeed!

Author: Robert Endlich

Robert W. Endlich served as Weather Officer in the USAF for 21 Years. From 1984-1993, he provided toxic corridor and laser propagation support to the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range. He has published in the technical literature and worked as software test engineer. He was elected to Chi Epsilon Pi, the national Meteorology Honor Society, while a Basic Meteorology student at Texas A&M University. He has a BA degree in Geology from Rutgers University and an MS in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University.