10/08/2015 14:51 EDT | Updated 10/08/2016 01:12 EDT

New Jersey goes to court to seize beach lots through eminent domain for Margate dune project

New Jersey has gone to court to seize 87 publicly owned beach parcels through eminent domain to be used for a protective dune system the South Jersey shore town and its residents bitterly oppose.

The state attorney general's office and the Department of Environmental Protection acted Thursday, less than a week after Gov. Chris Christie called Margate "among the most selfish people in the state of New Jersey" for refusing to allow the dunes to be built.

The town, just south of Atlantic City, says its wooden bulkheads are sufficient to protect against ocean flooding, and that most of the damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012 came from the bay on the other side of town.

Ten private lots still need to be acquired in Margate, which aren't part of Thursday's court action.

Wayne Parry, The Associated Press