Two Jersey shore towns will move soon to seize narrow strips of oceanfront land from owners whose refusal to grant permission for the work has been blocking a desperately needed shore protection project.

Flickr User angusleonard

With the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy three weeks away, officials in Ocean City and Mantoloking are preparing to use condemnation proceedings to take control of land needed to build a protective sand dune system along all 127 miles of New Jersey's oceanfront.

Gov. Chris Christie recently authorized the state to coordinate legal action against about 1,000 holdouts statewide whose refusal to sign easements has held up the dune work.

Mantoloking was the hardest hit shore community by Sandy, with all its 521 buildings either damaged or destroyed by the storm. Ocean City was flooded but fared better.

 

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)