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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.

Sandy damage -- resiliencyThe 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.

Resources

Future Facts
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State’s Application to National Disaster Resilience Competition Is Strong, Can Be Stronger

New Jersey Future supports the state’s draft application to the National Disaster Resilience Competition and suggests ways it can be strengthened

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New Jersey Enters National Disaster Resilience Contest

New Jersey DEP has posted a draft of its application to the National Disaster Resilience Competition, and is inviting public comment. If successful, the state could get up to $1 billion for design and implementation of resiliency projects.

Sandy-related flooding in Little Ferry. Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Experts Detail Challenges of Adapting to Climate Change

Experts at a recent roundtable discussed the challenges New Jersey faces in adapting to a changing climate.

U.S. Air Force photo of Sandy damage to the Jersey Shore.
New Jersey Future Vulnerability Assessment Process To Be Presented at National Conference

A process developed by New Jersey Future helps that municipalities quantify their financial vulnerability to flooding and sea-level rise will be featured at the American Planning Association’s national conference in April 2015.

Photo courtesy of NJ Spotlight
White House Executive Order May Make Shore Communities Less Vulnerable to Storm Damage

New Jersey policymakers applaud the White House executive order requiring all federal agencies that distribute project money to require consideration of sea-level rise in building standards.

Articles and Stories
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What’s Next After Rebuilding? Making Resilience Happen

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.

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An Evening at the Shore

A gathering on the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy to connect with others involved in rebuilding the Jersey Shore.

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Sandy One Year Later: Looking to the Future

A conference on the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy examines the rebuilding progress made to date, and the work still left to do.

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A Grownup’s Christmas Wishlist for New Jersey (from a land-use perspective)

Dec. 15, 2014 — New Jersey Future’s wish list for 2015 — adequate transportation funding; homes that are affordable; updated statewide water supply plan; a new tunnel under the Hudson River; protection from future storms and a new State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

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Advocates Call for Valid Risk Assessment, Mitigation Planning in State’s Draft Post-Sandy Action Plan

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.

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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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