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Many Beaches in Pre-Sandy Conditions [AUDIO]

Although Superstorm Sandy left New Jersey beaches battered, much of the state’s coast is stronger than ever going into summer 2014.

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(Toniann Antonelli, Townsquare Media NJ)

The 2014 State of the Shore presentation in Asbury Park on Thursday was much more optimistic than last year.

“The water quality is excellent, the beaches are in great shape, and virtually all of our beaches are open,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin.

The report is put together annually by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium in participation with Stockton College.

Thanks to almost two years of beach replenishment projects by the Army Corps of Engineers, the state, and municipalities many parts of the shore are in better shape than they were pre-Sandy.

“The state we were in prior to Sandy is we had a lot of nourished beaches that were in dire need of re-nourishment and they just hadn’t gotten the funding. What were able to do is build those back to where they needed to be and build a consistent line of defense up and down the coast,” Miller said.

Miller noted that in many cases, communities would be able to better withstand a storm similar to Sandy. The exceptions being beaches in Southern Ocean County, which the professor noted are still too vulnerable.

“Those will be vulnerable until they get that sand,” Miller said.

A relatively mild winter has been a major factor in letting communities make headway in restoring the beaches.

“We really didn’t have many storms that had all three ingredients for beach erosion; which is high water levels, big waves, and they last a long time,” Miller said.

Experts predict a mild storm season for 2014.

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