Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove Sandy recovery’ Category


Nov. 4 2012. Neighbors discuss the storm. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

Nov. 4, 2012.  (6 days after Sandy)   Neighbors discuss the storm. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net








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This is the cover of the Together Campaign 2015 booklet. This painting was made by Sue Anderson Gioulis, artist of Ocean Grove. ©

This is the cover of the Together Campaign appreciation 2015 booklet. The painting was created  by Sue Anderson Gioulis, Ocean Grove artist. © Re-post in Blogfinger from 2015.  The Together Campaign raised over $1,500,000.


Sign on the Great Auditorium before Sandy hit. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©


August, 2015:      “May what we do and how we do it strengthen and rebuild Ocean Grove.”

“These words introduce the booklet just distributed at the Together Campaign dedication of the newly renovated Cupola in Auditorium Square Park on Sunday, August 2, 2015.  The booklet lists all the contributors, volunteers, organizations, fund raiser events, citizens, businesses, Together Campaign workers, and others who deserve recognition for their contributions to achieve the Campaign’s goals. Over 2,000 people contributed money, large and small amounts.”

“The recognition list of all these groups and people is huge and will make great bedtime reading.    The booklet contains a history of the Sandy super-storm in OG along with many photographs.  It will become a treasured memento.”

“Dale Whilden, President of the OGCMA said  (August 2, 2015) , ‘The great and overwhelming success of the TOGETHER Campaign was achieved by the generosity of dedicated donors, valuable volunteers, extraordinary organizations, and commitment of the Campaign Steering Committee, each of which worked hand-in-hand to accomplish a virtually miraculous outcome’ ”


Editor’s Note, April, 2019:  The OG Camp Meeting Association accomplished quite a few projects with this fund including boardwalk repairs, Great Auditorium roof reconstruction, and Thornley Chapel project, among others.

The Blogfinger Film Festival is mentioned among that large list of contributors.  We brought  film students from  6 universities in the area.  The event was held in the Youth Temple with the help of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and the OGCMA.  All profits went to the Fund.

Soon the CMA will embark on another fund raising drive which will have multiple goals including restoring the Pier.  We will report on the details.

–Paul Goldfinger,   Editor@Blogfinger.net

ALICIA MORTON and VICTOR GARBER  from Annie—-“Leaping lizards, together at last, together forever”

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OG boardwalk near Seaview Avenue, looking south towards the Pavilion. The long unfinished stretch is to be completed by Memorial Day.  CMA funded territory.  5/2/18 © Blogfinger.  Click to enlarge.


This shows the North End boards where TREX meets non-TREX—FEMA funded territory. Blogfinger photo. ©



By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  Video by Blogfinger.

Regarding the current boardwalk project, we have communicated with the OGCMA  and with FEMA, and here is a summary of our findings:

a.  You may recall that the massive Sandy storm, in October, 2012, destroyed about 60%  of the boards in Ocean Grove, primarily in the “middle beach” section.   But damage occurred at the north and south ends as well.

From the OGCMA:  “FEMA reimbursed a significant percentage of the cost to repair/replace only those sections of the boardwalk which were significantly damaged by Sandy.”

b. The South End boards were protected somewhat due to a pre-existing metal bulkhead that had been built after a 1992 nor’easter. But the CMA embarked on a reconstruction project near the beach offices and the connection to Bradley Beach.

c.   Similarly, there was some damage at the North End, and a new bulkhead was built there after Sandy.  The boards at the North End, by the White Whale building, which don’t match the TREX are, according to the CMA, not old boards.  “They are newly installed wood, despite being of a different material than the other new portions of the boardwalk.”

North of Seaview Avenue  (see photos above,)   FEMA estimated and paid $494,650.80 for that work, but the CMA wound up spending $862, 542.13, and they paid for the balance.

d.  The Middle Beach project was completed in 2014 with FEMA funds.  The engineering and structural challenges were significant, as the CMA strived to rebuild a very strong boardwalk to withstand future storms.

f. From OGCMA:   “The current project replacing boardwalk from the southern side of the Boardwalk Pavilion to Seaview Avenue is 100% financed by the OGCMA.”     President Michael Badger says, “This replacement effort is not part of the FEMA reimbursement for super-storm Sandy.  The demolition of the old section of the boardwalk, debris removal, surface grading, and construction involving structural components, decking, railing, steps, curbing, and other elements are being funded by the OGCMA   (‘over $1 million’) without government reimbursement.”

FEMA has verified that this  CMA statement is factual.

g.   From FEMA:  “In total, FEMA awarded $2,174,565.82 in public assistance funding to repair the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association boardwalk. These costs are from the cumulative total of three separate PA project worksheets addressing different areas of repair. Included in this total is $549,612.00 for the north section of the Boardwalk.”

h.  At Blogfinger we have been interested in this subject since the storm  and  we posted many articles, more than any other media outlet,  about the FEMA decisions vis a vis reimbursement to rebuild the Boardwalk and about construction and engineering details.

So many people from the OGCMA, State and Federal governments, and Neptune Township, participated in the difficult effort to obtain reimbursement for the Grove as other Jersey Shore communities did.

You can do Blogfinger searches by typing in key words at the upper right hand corner of our home page.  The topic is very complicated.




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Monmouth County Historical Association presents their Sandy exhibit. A lifeguard stand sits outside. Eileen Goldfinger photo for Blogfinger. ©


Photo from the “Tracking Sandy: Monmouth County Remembers exhibit.”

The photograph above is the Driftwood Cabana Club in Sea Bright, by Mike McLaughlin. ©

The public is invited to view this Sandy exhibit at the Monmouth County Historical Association at 70 Court Street in Freehold, NJ.  They are open from Tuesday through Saturday 10-4 until October, 2018. Parking is easy.

The exhibit is impressive, with slide shows, videos, oral history recordings, scientific explanations, and special displays.  About 15 Blogfinger images  by Paul Goldfinger were chosen largely because of our work in Ocean Grove.  Most were seen in a slide show organized by towns. Another feature used 6 of our photos of volunteers at the OG beachfront. (see below)

One of our images was used large,  (see below) depicting a Neptune Comitteeman, Randy Bishop, comforting a resident of Shark River who had to put out most of her  first floor furniture and belongings to the curb. The residents were upset in large part because scavengers were showing up to take some of their curbside belongings. We will show some of our Shark River images from November 1, 2012.



This Blogfinger photograph was from  the exhibit:   Shark River. Committeeman Randy Bishop comforts a victim of the flooding. By Paul Goldfinger © Nov. 1, 2012.


big size

Exhibit features 6 color photos of OG volunteers by Paul Goldfinger © Blogfinger.net

From the exhibit:  Volunteers came from near and far. Nov. 3, 2012. Ocean Grove. By Paul Goldfinger  Blogfinger.net©  Click to enlarge.

CHRIS MARTIN  (Coldplay)  live from the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief—“Us Against the World”


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Bob Bowné  October 31, 2012.  ©. Ocean front at Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  Special to Blogfinger.net

Ocean Grove  was hit hard during Sandy losing most of our boardwalk and fishing pier. Bob Bowné  photographed when Sandy carried away the Fishing Club and he took the most iconic image of that day. (link below)

These oceanfront Victorians took a beating but they survived as they probably did during many storms since the late 19th century. Ocean Grove was relatively lucky.  It would be two years before the Boardwalk was partially rebuilt, and it is still not done.  But you can’t hurry love:


Here’s a reminder from 2015 Blogfinger.

2015 Boardwalk post

And a link to Bob Bowné’s iconic photograph from the day Sandy hit:

Sandy iconic photo


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October 30, 2012. © Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net

October 30, 2012. © Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net

“Every storm runs, runs out of rain

Just like every dark night turns into day

Every heartache will fade away

Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain”

GARY ALLAN  “Every Storm Runs Out of Rain.”

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Portion of the boardwalk from about Heck south to Bradley. Note new flower beds.  June 4, 2015. Blogfinger photo. ©

The South End wooden Boardwalk extends from about Heck  Avenue to Bradley Beach.  Note new flower beds, recently placed as an Eagle scout project. June 4, 2015. Blogfinger photo. ©

Repaired old boardwalk just south of the Pavilion.  6/4/15 Blogfinger photo

Repaired old wooden  boardwalk  just north of the Pavilion. 6/4/15 Blogfinger photo

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

For those of you who don’t walk the boards in OG very often, especially since Sandy hit in October 2012 and then since the ribbon cutting in July 2014, you might be surprised to find out that there are significant portions of the old boardwalk still intact to the north and to the south.

Areas of boardwalk that survived Sandy  were protected by preexisting rubble and metal bulkheads.  At the North End, the original boardwalk remains, with some repairs, extending from the Pavilion north to Sea View Avenue where it meets the asphalt path that extends to the Casino. 

Wooden boardwalk meets asphalt at Sea View Avenue. (looking north) Blogfinger photo ©

Wooden boardwalk meets asphalt at Sea View Avenue. (looking north) Blogfinger photo ©

Another stretch of retained wooden boardwalk is at the South End.  You can see in the photo above that there is a nice 2 1/2 block run of traditional wood boardwalk that stretches from south of Heck Avenue to Bradley Beach.  

Those areas of original wood boardwalk did require some repairs, and now they are a monument to history.  

Sandy destroyed the Middle Beach area, and the region that had to be rebuilt extended north to the  Pavilion and south around the beach offices.  It was estimated at the time that 60% of the boardwalk was irretrievably damaged.  The first part that was fixed was near the offices and the pier.  The North End received a temporary asphalt path.

The severely damaged pier was repaired to a limited extent, and its recovery is enjoyed today, with wooden boards,  on a daily basis, although there is no fishing at the OG Non-fishing Pier.  Unfortunately, in an act of inconsistency and flip-flopping, FEMA refused to consider the pier as part of our Boardwalk Public Boulevard.

Once FEMA relief was approved and money raised by the Together Fund and by a Neptune bond offering, the new Trex Middle Beach  Boardwalk was installed in 2014.   It was built after careful attention to engineering challenges.  The OG Camp Meeting Association deserves praise for doing the job right, and we must specifically admire the fortitude and resolve of Dale Whilden, Ralph del Campo and Bill Bailey—CMA officials.

Along with the new Trex boards, new cement access walkways, stairs and other related structures were put in place. Sand dune reconstruction was started,  and now the new season has begun.

During the Memorial Day weekend, a delighted beach and boardwalk crowd enjoyed the reborn and still evolving Oceanfront.

The North End boardwalk work  is on the launching pad, and Neptune Township has provided temporary funding until FEMA writes their check.  That work will begin after the summer season when the asphalt trail will be replaced.

Major dune grass planting will be done this year. The CMA is seeking volunteers for that project.

South End island. Ocean Grove beachfront.  June 4, 2015. Blogfinger photo. ©

South End island in the sun, adjacent to the Boardwalk, at Broadway.     This “triangle” was saved by the Beautification Project after considerable Sandy damage.  Ocean Grove beachfront. June 4, 2015. Blogfinger photo. ©

Take a walk over to the Boardwalk this season and appreciate what was not destroyed by Sandy and the fine work which continues by those involved in all aspects of the rebuilding  at our beachfront.

In some ways, the Sandy devastation made Ocean Grove better; and especially we must recall and admire the spirit of volunteers, citizens, contributors, OG organizations, fundraisers, and those politicians in Neptune, Trenton and Washington who helped in the recovery.

It is said  that “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”  That idea holds true in Ocean Grove.

SHIRLEY MACLAINE:   Music by Cy Coleman; words by Dorothy Fields.

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