Congressman joins in re-enactment of the Inlet reopening to celebrate the 75th anniversary of that historic event
U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) praised the benefits of the Manasquan Inlet at a celebration marking the 75th anniversary of the reopening of the Inlet today. Smith joined local officials in cutting the ribbon over the waterway, which was part of a re-enactment of the 1931 Manasquan Inlet reopening ceremony.
"Today marks a great day in the history of this area. It is hard for many of us to imagine, but there was a time when Manasquan Inlet did not exist. The fact that this waterway is here for our enjoyment today is a tribute to the hard work of local, state and federal officials over 75 years ago. Without their efforts, this landscape, the economic vitality of the region and the recreational opportunities we enjoy today would be dramatically different," said Smith.
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"The federal government invested half of the money to reopen the Manasquan Inlet, contributing $300,000 to the project, which when adjusted for inflation would equal around $4 million today," said Smith. "Today, the federal government continues to invest in the maintenance and rehabilitation of this important waterway. In fact, total federal spending for Manasquan Inlet projects amounts to $14.6 million - which would be over $100 million when adjusted for inflation."
Over the years, Congress has appropriated money and worked in a partnership with state and local entities to rebuild the jetties, repair bulkheads, and dredge the river and tributaries - essential projects to enhance and protect the Manasquan Inlet. Most recently, the Army Corps of Engineers completed dredging of the Wills Hole Thorofare - a strip right above the Manasquan Inlet - last year with $600,000 in federal money.
On top of that, Congress has consistently allocated funds for the operation and maintenance of the Manasquan Inlet. This federal investment amounts to nearly $1 million over the past five years alone. The Corps performs the maintenance of the inlet and river with the small Hopper Dredge Currituck forty days each year.
Smith thanked Manasquan Mayor Richard Dunne for organizing the re-enactment and for keeping the history of the inlet alive.
"The Manasquan Inlet is the heart and soul of commercial and recreational fishing and boating in the area," Smith said. "Today's re-enactment organized by Manasquan Mayor Rich Dunn underscores the value of the Inlet and our intent to keep it open, thriving and safe for another 75 years and more."