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Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute will host the Coastal Lakes Summit on February 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Magill Commons. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The Coastal Lakes Summit is a working meeting to advance multi-jurisdictional regional collaboration to overcome obstacles of identifying, funding, and implementing lake restoration plans and enhancing flood protection, streamlining regulatory processes, and identifying post-Sandy recovery and restoration priorities.  Resource managers, engineers, municipal officials, representatives of civic groups, community organizations, federal and state agency representatives, elected officials, and local and coastal watershed management groups will collaborate on restoring and managing the coastal lakes of Monmouth County and Ocean County.

Monmouth and Ocean Counties have a number of lakes located in the coastal zone adjacent to estuaries and the ocean. Coastal lakes provide a variety of recreational opportunities and are important habitats for fish and wildlife. Unfortunately, these aquatic ecosystems can become disrupted or unhealthy from the introduction of pollutants from storm-water and runoff, modifications to shorelines and riparian areas, or invasions of harmful aquatic plants or animals, such as Canada Geese. This is especially true in the case of the coastal lakes in Monmouth and Ocean Counties because of intense surrounding development and the fact that they have historically become the terminal receiver of road and overland runoff from storm sewers.

Superstorm Sandy exacerbated many longstanding issues of the coastal lakes and created new challenges of breached lakes that reconnected with the ocean. However, this storm opened a new opportunity to change the effort of managing the coastal lakes from an individual focus to a regional one.


9:00 – 9:05 a.m.   Welcome and Overview of Meeting Objectives, Tony MacDonald, Director UCI

Meeting Objectives:

  • Identify recovery and restoration priorities Post-Sandy
  • Overcome obstacles, streamline review, identifying funding opportunities to implement lake restoration plans and enhance flood protection
  • Advance multi-jurisdictional regional collaboration, and regional scale projects (e.g. engineering, mapping, dredging, habitat restoration and water quality

9:05 – 9:15 a.m.    Coastal Lakes Post-Sandy: A Call for Regional Action, John Tiedemann, Assistant Dean School of Science  

Part I: Immediate Concerns and Solutions

9:15 – 9:45 a.m.      Overview of Superstorm Sandy Lake Impacts and Issues,Dr. Stephen Souza, President, Princeton Hydro

  • Group Discussion

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.    Overview of Monmouth County Lake Initiatives,Matt Rutkowski, Monmouth County Environmental Engineer 3

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.  Breakout Groups – Issue Identification and Priorities

Engineering (flumes, spillways, retaining walls)

    Moderator: Peter Avakian, Leon S Avakian Inc.

Dredging and Storm Debris (permitting, equipment disposal)

    Moderator: Dr. Steve Souza, Princeton Hydro

Flood Capacity and Natural Shorelines

    Moderator: Captain Al Modjeski, AECOM

    Co-Moderator: Jim Nickels, Urban Coast Institute

Habitat Restoration/Water Quality

    Moderator: Bill Shadel, American Littoral Society

Fisheries and Wildlife

    Moderator: Captain Paul Eidman, Anglers Conservation Network

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.   Speaker: The Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr.

11:30 – 12:00 p.m.   Report Out from Breakout Groups,Moderator: John Tiedemann

  • Group Discussion

12:00 – 12:45 p.m.   Lunch

Part II: Long Term Issues and A Path Forward

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.     Federal Agency Panel: Roles and Responsibilities to Support Lake Restoration and Recovery

    Moderator: Peter Avakian

    Panelists: Carl Alderson, NOAA; Jason Shea, USACOE; Gene McColligan, FEMA; Eric Schrading, USFWS

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.      Breakout Groups: Advancing Multi-jurisdictional and Regional Scale Projects

    Moderators: Peter Avakian, Dr. Steve Souza, Capt. Al Modjeski, Bill Shadel

(Community, Lake representatives, County, State and Federal representatives will be assigned to breakout groups)

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.        Report Out from Breakout Groups,Moderator: John Tiedemann

  • Group Discussion

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.      Galvanizing Local, State and Federal Action for Coastal Lake Restoration

    Moderator:  Tony MacDonald

    Panelists: The Honorable Senator Bob Smith; The Honorable Assemblyman Sean Kean; John Tobia, Director of Monmouth County Public Works and Engineering; Joe Ettore, Monmouth County Engineer

4:00 p.m.                  Adjourn