Sand dune opponents invoke Zika fears in bid to stop project

MARGATE, N.J. (AP) — Opponents of a plan to build protective sand dunes in one New Jersey shore town are hoping a mosquito will succeed in killing the project where other efforts have failed.

Six homeowners in Margate are suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Protection. The lawsuit is to be heard Tuesday.

They claim the dunes will create puddles or ponds that would provide breeding ground for mosquitoes that could spread disease, including the Zika virus.

It’s a claim that hasn’t been raised by any of the other nearly half-dozen communities fighting dunes elsewhere at the Jersey shore. And scientists doubt it’s a realistic concern.

Jon Miller, a coastal expert with Stevens Institute of Technology, says he doubts the dunes will cause drainage problems.

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