Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project for Ocean City, NJ, Strathmere and Sea Isle City.The Army Corps of Engineers on Monday officially awarded a $57.6 million contract to the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill., to rebuild eroded beaches at the south end of Ocean City and in Strathmere and Sea Isle City.“In about two weeks, after receiving and reviewing performance bonds, we will issue a notice to proceed, after which Great Lakes is free to begin work any time,” Army Corps spokesman Richard Pearsall said.He said the Army Corps does not yet know exactly when work will start. The contractor has about 480 days to complete the project from the date of the notice to proceed. Pearsall said the Corps also does not know yet in which town work will start. Details are expected to emerge in the coming weeks.Great Lakes, the same company that completed the beach replenishment project at Ocean City’s north end in spring 2013, was the low bidder on the project (among bids opened last month). Great Lakes was founded more than a century ago on the shores of Lake Michigan. Today, the company works on dredging projects throughout the world.Read the Army Corps of Engineers fact sheet on the project.After years of lobbying to rebuild eroding beaches, south end property owners in Ocean City will see 50 years of continuing replenishment projects.The project will pump new sand onto beaches between 34th and 59th streets in Ocean City.The federal government will pay 100 percent of the initial project cost to restore beaches at the south end of Ocean City and in Strathmere and Sea Isle City.The south end of Ocean City will then be part of a continuing three-year renourishment cycle that will continue for 50 years (contingent on the availability of federal funds). The federal government estimates it will spend $309.4 million on the project area over the life of the agreement.The work will end a long waiting game for property owners in southern Ocean City, where the ocean met the bay during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 and flattened protective dunes. But even before Sandy hit in 2012, beaches on that part of the island disappeared during some high tides.The cost share for the renourishment projects in the future will be 50 percent federal government and 50 percent state government (with Ocean City responsible for 25 percent of the state’s cost).Read more: 50 Years of Sand on the Way to Ocean City’s South End__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebook
The associate professor’s ability to inspire students and instill a new social consciousness has made her classes popular with students across the UGA campus and has won her national recognition. Students taking Maria Navarro’s classes are likely to come away with more than just knowledge of international agriculture. They tend to have a new concern about the health and wellbeing of the world’s population. She uses her experience to build a curriculum for her courses that invites students to look critically at their own worldviews and see how their lives affect people around the world, Akin wrote in his nomination letter for his former teacher. She recently accepted the New Teacher Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the National Awards Program for Excellence in College and University Teaching in Food and Agricultural Sciences. She was one of two early career agriculture professors to receive the award at a meeting of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in Denver, Colo. Before coming to the UGA as an assistant professor in 2005, Navarro worked on agricultural development projects in North Africa. “As an international affairs major, I had never really considered the importance of agriculture in global issues,” wrote 2012 UGA graduate Jeremy Akin, a former Fulbright Research Fellow to Uganda who took Navarro’s international agricultural development course in 2008. “Uncovering the link between rural agricultural development and violent conflict in Dr. Navarro’s class has undeniably influenced my academic and professional career. … I honestly doubt if I would have ever considered (much less come to value) the crucial role of agriculture in a community’s sense of security without Dr. Navarro’s skill in daring students to connect the dots.” “Dr. Navarro brings a social conscience to her classes that has changed the way her students view the world,” said J. Scott Angle, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “She has been a champion for promoting diversity and globalization among our students. Dr. Navarro stands apart as a junior faculty member in that her impact on teaching has been campus-wide.” Navarro’s courses, including one entitled “Reflections on Fighting Hunger and International Agriculture Development,” have attracted students from many disciplines across UGA to think differently about agriculture. The USDA New Teacher Award recognizes undergraduate professors who demonstrate “sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching” and who have been teaching for less than seven consecutive years. In her tenure at UGA, Navarro has been recognized by the UGA Student Government Association as an outstanding teacher and by UGA President Michael F. Adams with UGA’s Fulfilling the Dream Award that honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to justice and equality.