WARETOWN, NJ – Last summer, Ocean Township officials announced the use of Green Acres monies to demolish a once popular restaurant. Even before Superstorm Sandy caused massive damage to the Galley Grill, the owners abandoned it. The Township purchased the waterfront property and hopes it will be ready for recreational use by the springtime.
Located on Barnegat Bay at the end of Bryant Road, the area is also known as the Old Fishing Station. It once included a fishing pier, bulkhead, boardwalk, and gazebo. When Sandy hit, storm surges took out the entire 90-foot boardwalk.
Ocean Township received a FEMA grant and was able to build a beautiful new dock in 2015. It offers a picturesque view of Old Barney across the bay.
Since the site is part of the Green Acres Program, all work must be authorized by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP.) As far as the other docks at the location, the DEP has required that the boat ramp remain in place.
Township Committee members plan to seek DEP approval to remove the other long dock that is in a state of disrepair. Instead of bulkheads or cages, local officials seem more inclined to riprap the area around the shoreline.
“Like the bulkheads, the cages will require some kind of maintenance,” suggested Deputy Mayor Lydia Dodd. “They can become clogged with seaweed and things.”
Public access is a premier requirement of all recreational facilities that are part of the Green Acres Program. This includes setting up picnic tables and benches, as well as accessibility to bathrooms.
All that remains of the Galley Grill are a pair of restrooms. As it turns out, that’s a good thing. Since they’re already in existence, rehabilitating them as they now exist isn’t a problem.
“If there was any expansion, it would have to meet flood elevation compliance,” shared Ray Savacool, Supervising Engineer from T&M Associates.
Other plans for the new waterfront park include provisions for non-motorized boats and food vendor onsite.