Three years after superstorm sandy rocked the east coast of the US, I was sent to work on rebuilding the shoreline of Long Beach Island, NJ. New Jersey experienced the worst of the storm, and her shores were all but obliterated by the raging hurricane.
I spent the summer of 2015 as a survey engineer on the LBI beach nourishment project, building up the dune and extending the berm of the entire Long Beach Island coastline.
During my first week, the construction of a new 22 ft dune began from the base level of the beach, and the beach began building up and moving south. I was doing hydrographic surveying on the ocean most of my time there, and I also worked from the beach. However, it was from out on the water that I saw this immense stretch of coastline take its new form. Over the roughly 10 weeks I was there, I saw the a huge stretch of the beach transform into a bigger, stronger, and protective coast that could withstand the likes of another Hurricane Sandy.
I took a step back and looked at my small yet vital role in this immense process. We were building a beach. Protecting communities from major storms and sea level rise. Providing a beautiful coast for tourism and vacationers. The sheer scope of the project was mind blowing. To be a part of such a historic relief effort in the form of physically recreating what was swept away by Sandy was something I am proud to have been a part of.
I also learned how to surf this summer! Everyday after work I took out my 8ft Wavestorm (costco board lol) and hit the waves of Surf City, a township of Long Beach Island with one of the few decent breaks on the east coast. Apart from building the beach, going out and surfing everyday was the highlight of my summer!