The oceanfront Promenade is a hub for shopping, entertainment and special events.


Sea Isle City will share in a $100 million state fund to help communities along the Jersey Shore repair, reconstruct and add new attractions to their iconic, family-friendly Boardwalks.

In Sea Isle’s case, the town has an oceanfront Promenade made of concrete and asphalt instead of a traditional wooden Boardwalk. But the Promenade still qualified for a nearly $2 million grant from the state’s Boardwalk Preservation Fund.

“So many of us have created memories with family and friends at the boardwalks of the Jersey shore. Our boardwalks have long been a prized destination and we want to keep them that way by helping shore communities repair and maintain these wooden main streets,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a news release Friday announcing grants for 18 towns from the preservation fund.

Mayor Leonard Desiderio said Sea Isle would like to use state funding to help pay for a series of improvements that would include decorative lighting, additional handicap-accessible ramps, bulkhead reconstruction and the resurfacing of the entire Promenade.

Sea Isle spokeswoman Katherine Custer said the next step is for the city to develop an “action plan” to determine the specific improvements it will be able to make to the Promenade with the amount of state money it has received.

“However the money is used, it will be for the betterment of the community. Improvements to our facilities benefit all of the people in Sea Isle City,” Custer said.

The city has been livening up the Promenade in recent years with new decorative lighting, new benches and a new public address system, among other improvements. The 1.5-mile Promenade runs along the beachfront from 29th Street to 57th Street.

Although quiet during the winter, the Promenade bustles with summer crowds.

The Promenade effectively serves as the town’s boardwalk – a hub for sightseeing, shopping, entertainment, recreation and special events.

In fact, the asphalt and concrete Promenade replaced Sea Isle’s old boardwalk after it was reduced to mangled bits of wood rubble by the colossal Ash Wednesday storm that pummeled the Jersey Shore in 1962. Some of the old-timers in town still refer to the Promenade as “the boardwalk.”

Legislation that created the Boardwalk Preservation Fund last year originally included only wooden Boardwalks at the Jersey Shore, but state Sen. Michael Testa was able to revise it to include promenades like Sea Isle’s. Testa’s First Legislative District includes the shore towns of Cape May County.

Administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the Boardwalk funding is designed to help Jersey shore communities remain vibrant tourism destinations in the long term by investing in state-of-the-art materials that increase storm resiliency and ensure longer lasting infrastructure, according to the state news release.

“We are confident these grant awards will help our boardwalks thrive and continue to inspire and delight visitors for years to come.” DCA Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez said.

The Boardwalk Preservation Fund was made possible through federal funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which have been dedicated by the governor and state Legislature for an array of economic recovery and revitalization projects across New Jersey.

Sea Isle wants to add more of the handicap-accessible ramps leading to the Promenade, like this one at 44th Street.

Eligible projects had to meet at least one of the following criteria: Construction that adds new boardwalk components, boardwalk maintenance, boardwalk reconstruction, or repair of ancillary or related structures.

Examples of projects include replacement of old and crumbling decking along the boardwalk with resilient, longer-lasting materials; replacement of deteriorating pilings and boardwalk infrastructure; improving access and safety by building ADA compliant ramps and railings; expanding an existing section of the boardwalk; and providing grant funds to businesses that need to complete upgrades to align with the proposed boardwalk construction, the release said.

The following are the Boardwalk Preservation Fund grant recipients:

Grant Recipient Award Amount
Asbury Park $20,000,000
Atlantic City $20,000,000
Belmar Borough $1,504,184
Berkeley Township $448,125
Bradley Beach $4,275,000
Brigantine $1,185,838
Cape May City $6,722,552
Carteret Borough $2,417,339
Keyport Borough $800,694
Long Branch $3,249,000
North Wildwood $10,259,827
Ocean City $4,859,175
Sea Isle City $1,997,000
Seaside Heights $4,795,362
Toms River $1,018,441
Ventnor $7,110,689
Wildwood City $8,269,013
Wildwood Crest Borough $1,087,425