Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Law of Unintended Consequences

The Army Corps of Engineers is so often involved in projects like this, which backfire. Last fall they excavated 500,000 cubic yards of sand from the beaches of Surf City, New Jersey, in order to improve the beach.

The unintended consequence? The dredging unlodged 1,111 pieces of WWI ordinance that had been dumped in the ocean. So the beaches were closed for months, and at a cost of $2.3 million dollars, the beaches were cleared of the ancient discarded weapons. The beaches are being reopened, but now there are special rules: You can't dig any deeper than 12" into the sand.

Just the kind of place you want to take the kids!

NYTimes: After Ordnance Scare, Beachgoers Told to Dig With Care

Aaron Houston for The New York Times

A fuze, a device used to ignite explosives that dates from World War I, was found Monday by a detection crew in shallow water off Surf City.

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