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Governor Phil Murphy

Press Pool Coverage: Governor Murphy, Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and Congressman Pallone Tour Port Monmouth Flood Protection Project to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy



Where: in Port Monmouth, NJ, near Sandy Hook Bay and Raritan Bay 

The tour begins in a parking lot here: Seabrook-Wilson House · 719 Port Monmouth Rd, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758  

A webpage about this project for more:  

From the beach here, Manhattan is visible. 

The weather is in the low-50s, mostly sunny with wisps of clouds and enough wind to unfurl flags atop poles. 

This is a $265 million Army Corps project that includes levees, flood walls, tide gates, pump stations, dunes, beach nourishment and other elements, according to a handout provided ahead of the tour.

We will see pump stations and a new dune.  Other parts of the project are ongoing and aren’t expected to be completed until April 2025. 

Elected officials participating in or speaking during tour include, not including all staff and other high-ranking officials: 

Gov. Phil Murphy 

Sen. Bob Menendez 

Sen. Cory Booker 

Rep. Frank Pallone, in whose congressional district this is 

The tour was led by David Gentile, the project manager, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District  

The governor arrived at 11 a.m. for a quick parking lot briefing with the other elected officials. 

David Gentile says this is one of the projects the Army Corps has been working on since Sandy, meant to protect 770 homes damaged here during Sandy. 

Menendez asks who paid for the project 

Gentile replies that it is entirely federally funded  

Menendez: “You never get any credit, so you might as well when you do something right,” 

The governor jokes that this question was a fastball down the middle 

We get in vehicles and drive a short distance down the road to see part of this multi-part project near Pews Creek, including a storage basin to hold flood water and also pumps and generators meant to ensure that the pumps work. 

They pump a total of 120 cubic feet per second of water — enough to fill a pool in a matter of seconds.  

Suddenly, as Gentile leads the tour, the pumps kick on and splash water on Gentile and Menendez, who was wearing a charcoal overcoat. There were droplets on the back of Gentile’s suit jacket and on the front of Mendez’s coat. 

The governor steps near Menendez and makes another joke: “He did say it was paid for by the feds but operated by the state.” 

There are also flood gates here. Each gate weighs 40,000 pounds. 

The governor asks what would have been averted had this project been in place during Sandy. 

“If the entire line of defense was in place, I don’t think there would be significant damage to homes,” Gentile said. “There still would be likely street flooding in spots, but overall, homes would be defended.”  

Elected officials are visibly impressed and murmuring about this. 

We then get back in our vehicles and drive back to where we began for a brief tour of a dune the Army Corps has built.  

(Menendez has removed his overcoat, so finishes the tour in his blue suit.) 

Gentile resumes the tour, leading us to a ramp atop a dune, which crowns a beach that looks across the bay to Manhattan in the distance.  

The dune is about 15 feet high and will need “renourishment” every 10 years or so. To keep down costs, the Army Corps may be able to use sand that is being dredged from a nearby project in Belford.  

“This project has been successful, what has been completed to date,” Gentile said. 

The tour ends at 11:24 a.m. and officials walk a short distance to the press conference. 

Ry Rivard



Edwin Torres

Governor's Office