In 2013, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered state agencies to do whatever it took to build an engineered dune system along the entire Jersey Shore to protect from storms like Sandy.

Most oceanfront property owners have signed the necessary easements and dune-building is finally starting this spring on Long Beach Island.

As the state starts eminent domain proceedings, however, holdouts concerned about personal property rights are refusing to sign over permission to build dunes on their land, leaving a giant hole in the shore's protections as hurricane season approaches.

Dune-building started this month on Long Beach, a skinny piece of land connected to mainland New Jersey by a bridge.

Giant dredging boats far off the coast are sucking up sand from the bottom of the ocean where it's then pumped to the wide, sandy beach. Earth-moving machines push it into tall hills in front of shorefront homes. Eventually, long grasses will be planted to slow erosion.

Copyright 2016 WHYY, Inc.. To see more, visit WHYY, Inc..