Gotta respect the irony.


As bikini season approaches, Jersey Shore beach towns are preparing for their annual influx of tourists. This year, that will mean more than dusting off the cotton candy machines and stocking up on vomit deodorizer. When Hurricane Sandy hit last fall, boardwalks from Long Branch to Atlantic City — including Seaside Heights, of Jersey Shore fame — were damaged or destroyed. The shore is now in a frenzy of rebuilding and repairing, gearing up for Memorial Day. But environmental activists have been something of a buzz-saw kill.

The decking of these boardwalks pre-Sandy ranged from southern yellow pine to wood-plastic composite lumber to a tropical hardwood called ipe. That last option has rainforest advocates and town officials at loggerheads. Ipe, also known as Brazilian walnut, is the Cadillac of decking materials, prized for its density, fire resistance, and durability. More than one town is considering using it for boardwalk material…

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