Beach access repairs underway; June 19 opening date set

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During a meeting at the Bridge Avenue Beach entrance, Michael Van Sciver [right], broker and owner of M. Van Sciver Realtors, donated $7,500 to the Bay Head Improvement Association, represented by President Tom Gage, to help repair the local beachfront, which has sustained significant damage and erosion. (MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE OCEAN STAR)

BAY HEAD — Michael Van Sciver, broker and owner of M. Van Sciver Realtors, has donated $7,500 to the Bay Head Improvement Association [BHIA] to help repair the local beachfront, which has sustained significant damage and erosion, most recently due to Winter Storm Orlena.

“I went to [mayor] Bill Curtis and I went to [BHIA president] Tom [Gage] and said this is something I’d really like to do. I came down here as a kid and have been here as a realtor for over 40 years and [the town] has been great to us and to all the other realtors and businesses, so it is a small payback for everything they have done,” Mr. Van Sciver told The Ocean Star.

“I think Bay Head is probably the most unique Jersey Shore community and people come to Bay Head for the cleanliness of the beaches, access to the beaches and they are impeccable and Tom has a great staff and that only gives value to all of these [oceanfront] homes. 

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“Beaches are the backbone of the Jersey Shore. It [the donation] was something my company wanted to do to just help in any way we can. We have actually lost three or four prospects for rentals because people and families, whether they rent an oceanfront or way back near Bay Avenue … are not just going to pay for a summer rental if they can’t access the beach … so I am comfortable with what we have done. I want to do more for the town as the town has done so much for me … so it is just my way of saying thank you.”

Mr. Gage thanked Mr. Van Sciver for the donation, which was presented on April 20 during a meeting at the Bridge Avenue Beach entrance.

“It is very generous and we greatly appreciate it,” he told The Ocean Star. “We are not soliciting … he volunteered it and we are very grateful.”

Significant damage to the borough beachfront recently brought together officials across all sectors of government to find solutions to help bring some relief to the impacted area.

In February, Mayor Curtis met with Congressman Chris Smith, representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection [DEP], Ocean County Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari, assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano and members of the borough council to discuss the significant safety concerns posed by more than 18-foot vertical sand dune cliffs created by Orlena, as well as erosion seen throughout the years along the beachfront. However, officials state no federal and state support has been given.

The BHIA has set June 19 as the opening date for the beach season in the borough and work is currently underway to help ensure all access points are ready for the day.

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