The Hughes women welcome Blue Acres into their neighborhood and hope to see the state demolish two abandoned homes across Creek Road from their home.They said the collapsing structures lower the value of their neighborhood.
Virginia Hughes said one of the empty homes, which has gaping holes in the roof and a glassless
"It's beautiful beyond all the trash," Alisen Hughes said, pointing to the marsh and creek beyond.Keansburg Mayor George Hoff said Blue Acres will be important to the future of this neighborhood, where the Waackaack Creek has eroded
More than 1,800 Keansburg homes were damaged during Sandy, and more than 300 are still unoccupied five years after the storm, Hoff said. Inland homeowners can rebuild higher on pilings, but these Creek Road homes along the Waackaack have little land left on which to build. Being a low-lying spot in the borough also makes them vulnerable to any flooding, he said.
Once the homes are removed, "we're hoping to expand upon our bulkhead that we just built two years ago, and expand it down here for the neighbors, (add) a walkway, and hopefully a launch ramp for either canoes or kayaks," he said.
Keansburg is not the only municipality in Ocean and Monmouth counties ready to benefit from the additional Blue Acres money. Department of Environmental Protection staff are also working with homeowners in flood-prone neighborhoods in Brick, Stafford, Neptune and other towns throughout New Jersey, said Martin, the environmental commissioner.