A smiling Gov. Chris Christie leaned across a broad blue banner imprinted with the words, "New Jersey, Stronger Than the Storm" and cut the ribbon on a brand new boardwalk in Belmar. "The biggest reason that I want to come and open these boardwalks," he told the crowd in May, "is because I want New Jersey, the region and the country to know that New Jersey has come back…" Just down the road from Bob’s place, next to the marina, is Surfside Products, which processes virtually all the surf and ocean quahog clams landed by New Jersey fishermen. In terms of total economic impact, Dave Bushek, director of Rutgers’ Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory in Port Norris, estimates an annual contribution of $180 million. But the plant also sits just yards away from that sand berm breached during Sandy, and its parking lot floods now with every high tide.
/ / One year after Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey’s forgotten western shore struggles to rebuild