Rebuilding for Resiliency
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy is now forcing an important conversation among stakeholders involved in every aspect of development in diverse areas in New Jersey, about how to focus our shared efforts on rebuilding in a more resilient, sustainable way, so that we can support the full range of lifestyles, livelihoods and recreation opportunities that have made New Jersey unique.
New Jersey Future has been involved in a pilot project, inspired by recommendations in FEMA’s National Disaster Recovery Framework, that has placed local recovery planning managers (LRPMs) in six Sandy-affected communities, to assist them with long-term resiliency planning. Now, three years after the storm, we have released a new report assessing the program’s successes and challenges, including lessons learned and recommendations for future implementation of the program.
The question of where and how to rebuild various areas of New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy has been a complex and nuanced one, involving urban density, property values, lifestyles, employment opportunities and significant tourism revenues, weighed against the risk and costs of similar severe weather events in the future. In addition, local development is governed by a dense network of plans and regulations: municipal zoning and master plans; the state’s environmental regulations, including those dedicated to water resources and to guiding coastal development; and the ways in which we’ve directed investments in water, transportation and power infrastructure.
- Local Recovery Planning Managers: We have placed three local recovery planning managers in six Sandy-affected communities to bring them the additional capacity they need as they rebuild after the storm. Local recovery planning managers have been working in Highlands, Sea Bright, Little Egg Harbor, Tuckerton, Commercial, Maurice River.For each town, the recovery manager has:
- Prepared a Strategic Recovery Planning Report. All participating towns have adopted their reports;
- Led the establishment of a recovery planning and implementation steering committee;
- Facilitated public outreach/community engagement involving a wide cross-section of residents to discuss future sea-level rise, flood risks, and adaptation/mitigation strategies;
- Worked to secure Sandy recovery grants to address specific needs in each community;
- Continued to work to achieve FEMA Community Rating System certification.
- State Policy Advocacy: With a variety of partners, we have been working to develop a national model for disaster recovery that improves equity, resiliency and sustainability outcomes and that provides a template for other states to use in their disaster-resiliency efforts. Among our desired outcomes:
- Land use decisions seek to enable people and property to withstand future storms.
- All levels of government adopt comprehensive risk assessments that consider long-range sea-level rise and other factors.
- Governments use the risk analyses as a driving factor in their hazard mitigation plans, land use plans, land preservation efforts and capital investment decisions.
- Strong land-use planning elements are incorporated into local and regional hazard mitigation plans.
- Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies (Smart Growth America)
- Resilience in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy (AP-NORC)
- Studies on rising sea levels (Urban Land Institute)
- Urban Climate Change Research Network
- Sources on climate change and urban resiliency (GoodyClancy)
- Interactive maps on what would be lost with various degrees of sea level rise (New York Times)
- Surging Seas (Climate Central)
A new report card on preparedness for climate change gives New Jersey a low grade for failing to put plans in place to mitigate future risks.
New Jersey Future recently submitted comments on two Rebuild By Design resiliency projects, emphasizing the need to incorporate climate projections into planning, and to develop a robust public-engagement plan.
A new report examines successes and lessons learned from the groundbreaking local-recovery program piloted by New Jersey Future in six Sandy-affected towns.
The State Planning Commission is set to extend center designations another three years, even though this action invites coastal towns to put new development in locations vulnerable to flooding and sea-level rise.
At a recent seminar, experts outlined ways that coastal areas can grow and prosper while enhancing their resilience to future climate threats.
An afternoon symposium Oct. 30, 2014, in conjunction with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, focuses on how to advance, and pay for, increased resilience in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Approved for 2 AICP CM credits.
A one-hour webinar explaining a new, parcel-based tool that assesses financial vulnerability to coastal flooding and sea-level rise. Friday, May 15, 2015, noon – 1:00 pm.
An interim report, three years after Hurricane Sandy, on New Jersey Future’s groundbreaking local recovery planning manager program, including lessons learned and recommendations. October 2015.
A gathering on the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy to connect with others involved in rebuilding the Jersey Shore.
A conference on the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy examines the rebuilding progress made to date, and the work still left to do.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- 10/09/2015: Comments on Hudson River Rebuild by Design Project
- Recommendations on Unmet Needs, NJF, 12-27-13
- Planning Needs Description New Jersey Future 5-31-13
- Sample Local Recovery Planning Manager Resolution of Engagement
- Sample Local Recovery Planning Manager Memorandum of Agreement
- Risk analysis public mtg presentation Tuckerton-Little Egg Harbor 4-14-15
- Strategic Recovery Planning Report Tuckerton 4-15-15
- Local Recovery Planning Manager Scope of Services Tuckerton-Little Egg Harbor 1-31-14
- 06/29/2015: National Disaster Resilience Competition
- 03/06/2015: New Jersey Future NDRC Comments
- 01/15/2015: New Jersey Future Action Plan Amendment 12 Comments
- Sea Bright exposure analysis
- 09/05/2014: Comments from New Jersey Future on ERB Program Guide
- 08/01/2014: Rule Proposal: DEP Docket No. 03-14-04
- 04/11/2014: Letter of comment on the Draft 2014 State HMP
- 03/05/2014: Sandy Action Plan Amendment Planning Letter
- 03/05/2014: Sandy Action Plan Amendment Resiliency Letter
- 02/12/2014: Testimony on Proposed Sandy Plan Still Puts Taxpayer Dollars at Risk
- 02/03/2014: Statement on CDBG-DR Funds
- Superstorm Sandy A Live Town Hall
- 04/29/2013: Sandy Recovery Action Plan Doesn't Commit to Resiliency Planning, Sustainability
- Agenda Invitation Dunes Dunes and More Dough May 8 2013
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program - Request for Public Comment
- Sandy Recovery Action Plan Selected Comments
- 03/19/2013: New Jersey Future CDBG-DR comments
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 3 Comments
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 2 Basis and Background
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 1 Part II
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 1 Part I