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Beach Replenishment Project Puts Damper On NJ Family's LBI Vacation

LONG BEACH ISLAND, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- It's prime vacation season at the Jersey shore, but unlike other towns that ban construction during summer months -- Long Beach Island not only allows work on houses, but on the beach as well.

As CBS2's Meg Baker reported, the Lippin family said they planned and saved for their LBI vacation all year long, only to arrive to find dredging equipment where they normally sit their beach chairs, and signs blocking the entrance.

"Danger high power dredging," Karen Lippin recalled.

The Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project is finishing up work in the North Beach section of the island, right in front of the house Karen and her husband Jay Lippin rented for two weeks for more than $10,000.

"I'm not going to spend that kind of money to take my car to the beach. I could go home to Westwood and do that," Karen said.

"No one from the real estate company or the landlord gave us notice this was happening on the island," Jay added.

The owner of Island Realty in Surf City would not speak with CBS2 on camera.

"In our contract it does say they are not responsible for hurricanes, acts of nature, or federal government things, but they did not tell us. These are things, you would think they would give you a heads up," Karen said.

Renters told CBS2's Baker that the work is not only affecting their beach days, but they've also been hearing noise at night.

"The machines that work back here are so disruptive. They actually shake the house. I was woken up a couple nights, whole house shaking," Steven Harrison said.

Despite the annoyance borough officials said the work is vital.

"Importance is it protects the shoreline property values for residents, and makes the beaches bigger," Long Beach Township Business Administrator, Kyle Ominski said.

The project works on 1,000 foot sections at a time and moves about 200 feet a day.

"It's difficult to predict exactly when and where the operation will take place given the unpredictable nature of working offshore with heavy equipment in variable weather conditions," the Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement.

The renters hope to war others to check on where the project is before packing their beach bags.

The property owner offered the family a free week over the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Updates on the project are posted daily on the federal agency's website as well as the township's.


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