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)
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.
A survey will help Sandy-damaged towns determine their residents’ readiness to address flood risks.
New Jersey Future’s comments on the proposed new CAFRA rules call for more stringent protections.
A grant secured by New Jersey Future will pay for dredging and coastal restoration projects in two Sandy-affected towns.
An afternoon symposium Oct. 30, 2014, in conjunction with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, focused on how to advance, and pay for, increased resilience in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
A conference on the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy examines the rebuilding progress made to date, and the work still left to do.
A gathering on the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy to connect with others involved in rebuilding the Jersey Shore.
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.
Feb. 3, 2014 — The newly released Substantial Amendment for the Second Allocation of CDBG-DR funds, intended to guide the disbursement of $1.46 billion in Sandy recovery assistance, represents a step forward in both resiliency language and public involvement, but misses key steps needed to ensure taxpayer dollars are wisely spent to make New Jersey “Stronger than the Storm”.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- 04/29/2013: Sandy Recovery Action Plan Doesn't Commit to Resiliency Planning, Sustainability
- 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
- Sandy Recovery Action Plan Selected Comments
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program - Request for Public Comment
- Agenda Invitation Dunes Dunes and More Dough May 8 2013
- Superstorm Sandy A Live Town Hall
- 03/19/2013: New Jersey Future CDBG-DR comments
- 09/05/2014: Comments from New Jersey Future on ERB Program Guide
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 1 Part I
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 1 Part II
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 2 Basis and Background
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 3 Comments