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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 03:33 AM

NJ town plans to use rainforest wood on boardwalk

Source: Associated Press

NJ town plans to use rainforest wood on boardwalk
By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press | February 25, 2013 | Updated: February 25, 2013 8:08pm

AVON, N.J. (AP) — Environmental groups say they'll launch a boycott drive against a Jersey shore town that refuses to back off its plan to use tropical rainforest wood to rebuild a boardwalk destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

The groups calculate that 766 acres of old-growth tropical rainforest needed to be cut down to provide materials to rebuild just one small storm-damaged boardwalk at the Jersey shore, and they're promising a tourist season boycott if the town goes through with its plan.

Activists on Monday called on the small shore town of Avon to use something other than ipe (pronounced EE'-pay) to rebuild the boardwalk destroyed by the October storm but were rejected.

"There is a consensus to move ahead," said Commissioner Frank Gorman after hearing nearly two hours of objections from residents and out-of-town environmentalists.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/NJ-town-plans-to-use-rainforest-wood-on-boardwalk-4306779.php

15 replies, 2660 views

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:22 AM

1. There is ecologically sustainable ipe

Forestry Stewardship Council-certified ipe is readily available. There is NO shortage of ipe, and old-growth doesn't need to be harvested.

I can think of a few reasons TO use this wood: it is weather-resistant, and it's so hard it's almost impossible to damage it. Ipe is harder than nails - you have to drill holes in it and use special screws to put it down. It is so heavy it won't float. It is naturally fire-resistant - it has the same fire rating as concrete. Ipe is the right wood to use here, and I'm glad they're sticking to their guns on this.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:12 AM

2. silly these days to not use all the maintenance free, made from recycled plastic 'lumber'

especially decking for a boardwalk. I use the plastic wood for all my decks and walks around here, some are many years old and no problems at all. The plastic-wood IS maintenance free.

Wonder what company the town contracts with for boardwalk maintance and if the town board members have personal interests with that company?

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:16 AM

3. Agreed

It's used extensively here in the Keys.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:17 AM

4. Really? Plastic wood burns easily, with lovely black toxic fumes.

 

It can also be whittled to nothing with a relatively dull knife.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:04 AM

10. Non Combustible Fire Safe Decks, there are plenty of them not made of wood or heavy

here's one of them if you do a search there are lots. http://www.versadeck.com/

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:31 AM

6. No--that would provoke riots on the Jersey Shore. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:24 AM

5. lol seriosuly?

 

Why dont they just o ahead and use kitten fur for their upholstery while they are at it.

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Response to midwest irish (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:38 AM

7. oh that would feel nice on the feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:04 AM

8. Wildwood made a similar decision in 2009

Wildwood Opts for Ipe Wood Over Black Locust in Boardwalk Construction
Government

Tue, 12/23/2008
WILDWOOD — The rebuilt section of the Wildwood boardwalk won’t be as environmentally friendly as city officials had hoped.

With a looming Easter weekend in 2009 deadline and a gaping hole in the Wildwood’s famous walk, Mayor Ernie Troiano, Jr. and Commissioner Bill Davenport voted Dec. 17 to use ipe tropical hardwood to replace portions of the city’s aging pine wood boardwalk. Commissioner Gary DeMarzo abstained from voting on the resolution.

The decision to switch lumber came after the city was sent “an absolutely deplorable” shipment of black locust lumber, according to Troiano.

“What we got was horrible,” Troiano told the Herald. “Absolutely terrible and there was still bits of bark on it. There was no way we were comfortable using that wood to rebuild.”

The decision over what wood to use for the boardwalk’s facelift had been under scrutiny from environmental groups since August of 2005....

More at http://www.capemaycountyherald.com/article/38282-wildwood-opts-ipe-wood-over-black-locust-boardwalk-construction


I reclaimed some black locust beams that, in a damp climate, had been sitting on the ground for so long they were nearly buried. It had probably been there for 20-30 years (maybe more since the nails in it were handmade cut nails) and it was as solid as the day it was cut. It had a silver-black patina about 1/16th inch thick but was pristine underneath with no rot anywhere and no insect infestation at all.

So the properties of black locust are what they need for the application, but as I understand it, the domestic logging industry hasn't developed a supply chain that can deliver quality lumber in any kind of quantity. I'm not sure if this perception is accurate however, since it is largely based on hearsay about the quality of mature black locust people have seen and the instance recorded in the article above.

I don't trust the certifying organizations for the ipe, but it gives the politicos the cover they need to buy what is arguably the best wood for the job.

ETA: just found this about farming black locust
http://dirt.asla.org/2011/11/10/why-use-ipe-when-you-can-have-black-locust/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:32 AM

9. What the fuck is wrong with those people?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:37 PM

11. my guess

having grown up in Belmar which borders Avon to the south, it is different from most shore towns because it is almost all residential and doesn't rely on the weekend north jersey/NYC benny invasion. There isn't much to boycott. Avon has always done what is in the best interests of Avon. In fact, while my hometown Belmar is nice, it feels almost run-down compared to Avon. Avon does not cater to the summer bar crowd and would be amused by a boycott of mostly young people protesting their choice of boardwalk materials.

Avon isn't as exclusive as Deal or Rumson but contrasts somewhat with Belmar to the south and Bradley Beach to the north. Even so and personally, having cut ties with Belmar (for NE PA) in 2004 and being the 4th generation of my family to live there I would never return to live it is just too expensive and crowded.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:46 PM

12. If the lumber is already cut, it's kind of late to complain.

 

If the trees have already been cut down wouldn't it be even worse not to make use of them? The time to complain was before the lumber was cut. Seems kind of pointless to do it now.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:35 PM

13. No because buying it creates more demand.

And if the suppliers realize it creates too much controversy they may decide not to import any more of it to avoid damage to the sales of their other products.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:40 PM

14. Why not use stone? Isn't the problem beach erosion? Build a seawall, maybe?

Having never seen what they had before, but if the aesthetics are not an issue with how people enjoy the beach, but it's been done well before in other areas. And will outlast hurricanes and allow homes and business to survive storms. No wood involved, and extremely durable. Don't know if it would affect wetland protection, just don't know what the geography is.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:42 PM

15. Is there any actual reason for that, or is it the equivalent of "open fridges on Earth Hour?" nt

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