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Gov. Phil Murphy and Sen. Vin Gopal on Thursday visited the historic Asbury Park Boardwalk to highlight a $100 million Boardwalk Fund proposal in the governor’s FY24 budget plan that will invest in critical boardwalk infrastructure all along the New Jersey shore.

The Boardwalk Fund will help pay for the rehabilitation, resilience, and revitalization of these attractions, which serve as a boon for tourism and enhance the economies of our shore communities and the state as a whole.

“When I imagine a summer in New Jersey, it’s hard to do so without thinking of our beautiful shore towns, especially our boardwalks, in which I can recall many fond memories with my loved ones,” Murphy said. “The Boardwalk Fund will help us ensure that these wooden main streets, which are the backbones of their communities, remain a place for families to continue making memories at the Jersey shore for generations to come.”

NJBIA member Will Morey, president and CEO of Morey’s Piers and Water Parks, said his family-owned company located on the boardwalk in the Wildwoods is thrilled about the governor’s plan.

“NJ boardwalks are iconic and have been integral to the shore experience for generations of vacationers,” Morey said. “They are the lifeblood of our beach communities and tourism economy; investment in their improved infrastructure is an investment in our state’s future.”

The Boardwalk Fund will utilize American Rescue Plan (ARP) COVID State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds which have been dedicated by the Governor and the Legislature to a wide array of vital economic recovery and revitalization projects across New Jersey. The application process will be managed by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Office of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation, which will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to shore municipalities.

To ensure that the Boardwalk Fund addresses the most critical and necessary capital needs along the Shore, funding will be prioritized to shore municipalities facing financial distress and to projects that rehabilitate or improve the resilience of existing structures.

Using environmentally friendly and state-of-the-art materials for these projects is a critical component to secure safer, longer lasting, and more resilient boardwalk infrastructure. Projects that add new boardwalks or allied amenities, such as recreation areas, services, or retail facilities will also be eligible for funding, the governor’s office said.

Murphy, Gopal and Asbury Park Mayor John Moor visited three small businesses along the Asbury Park boardwalk to highlight the importance of this program as the start of the busy summer tourist season approaches.

“As state senator in a district that has a number of shore towns, I know the importance of a viable and safe boardwalk,” Gopal said. “As we look toward the summer, we know we will see residents coming from across the state to take advantage of the beach and boardwalk, and they will be sustaining and empowering the local businesses. I am excited to see more funding coming to our district through the Boardwalk Fund.”