Rebuilding After Sandy
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.
The question of where and how to rebuild various areas of New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy is 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.
New Jersey Future is currently involved in two significant initiatives as it works with other key stakeholders to identify paths forward to rebuilding a vibrant, resilient New Jersey:
Local Recovery Planning Managers: We have placed three local recovery planning managers in seven Sandy-affected communities to bring them the additional capacity they need as they rebuild after the storm. Local recovery planning managers are currently working in Highlands, Sea Bright, Little Egg Harbor, Tuckerton, Downe, Commercial, Maurice River.
For each town, we will work toward ensuring a Strategic Recovery Planning Report is created and adopted; a recovery planning and implementation steering committee is established; community vulnerability assessments are institutionalized in its master plan or other vehicle; a robust public outreach/community engagement program is undertaken to engage a wide breadth of residents; Sandy recovery grants are applied for and received; and its FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) score is improved.
State Policy Advocacy: With a variety of partners, we are 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.
- 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)
At the Lincoln Institute symposium, panelists stressed that innovative resiliency solutions need collaboration and a regional focus.
We need to begin the difficult conversation about how to accommodate rising sea levels and future severe storms, if we’re going to be ready for the next Sandy.
Event will focus on concrete steps that are being taken post-Hurricane Sandy to plan, pay for and implement resiliency measures on the ground.
A Japanese delegation visited New Jersey Future to compare notes on best practices and challenges in disaster preparedness.
New Jersey Future is sponsoring a free screening Sept. 20 of Shored Up, a documentary that examines the difficult issues related to coastal development in the face of severe weather and sea level rise. After the screening there will be a panel discussion and question-and-answer session.
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 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.
March 5, 2014 — New Jersey Future submits two sets of comments in response to New Jersey’s Draft Sandy Recovery Action Plan, calling for more attention to planning, transparency and risk assessment.
Oct. 28, 2014 — Two years after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, many of New Jersey’s coastal communities continue to struggle with recovery and rebuilding efforts. The highest community priority is to get people back into their homes, re-establish business operations and return to life as close to normal as possible. The elected officials who have led these efforts are hardworking heroes. But it’s also clear that recovery decisions made without a clear understanding of future risks can move people back into harm’s way, build infrastructure that will be damaged again, and waste taxpayer dollars.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- 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