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Some shore towns eye sea walls to guard boardwalks

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Photo -   The operator of a pile driving machine, right, pulls a lever to begin raising a support plank for the new Belmar N.J. boardwalk on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Belmar is one of several shore towns that are adding steel sea walls as an added layer of protection for the boardwalk as they rebuild walkways damaged by Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The operator of a pile driving machine, right, pulls a lever to begin raising a support plank for the new Belmar N.J. boardwalk on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Belmar is one of several shore towns that are adding steel sea walls as an added layer of protection for the boardwalk as they rebuild walkways damaged by Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
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BELMAR, N.J. (AP) — Some New Jersey shore towns are opting for an additional layer of protection in the form of steel sea walls placed between the boards and the shoreline as they spend millions to rebuild boardwalks wrecked by Superstorm Sandy,

But not everyone is convinced the costly add-ons will work in the next storm.

Belmar and Seaside Heights have decided to add sea walls in front of their boardwalks. Spring Lake is considering doing so.

The projects involve burying steel sheets in the sand, with 4 or 5 feet sticking out. They would be covered with sand and dune plantings.

The idea is to protect boardwalks and nearby homes from storm surges. But some say the barriers actually worsen erosion as waves scour the sand at the base of the walls.

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