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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.

In Deep cover graphicNew 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.

Download In Deep: Helping Sandy-Affected Communities Address Vulnerability and Confront Risk.

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.

New Jersey Future has been 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 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.

Resources

Future Facts
Sandy aerial view slideshow
Public-Interest Organizations Urge Commitment of Disaster Competition Award Funds to Regional Planning

A group of public-interest organizations sent a joint letter to Gov. Christie urging him to commit National Disaster Resilience Competition award funds to regional resiliency planning initiatives.

State Plan
Happy Birthday, New Jersey State Plan!

The New Jersey State Redevelopment and Development Plan just turned 15. It’s working, but it needs to work better.

Mystic Island3
Would Buyouts Be Good for Flood-Prone Mystic Island?

A public information session will review findings and recommendations from a study of the health impacts of a buyout program on Mystic Island’s residents, and on the community overall.

Flooding in South Jersey during winter storm Jonas. Courtesy NJ Spotlight.
Bayside Flooding Highlights Inherent Vulnerability of Barrier Islands

Bayside flooding during winter storm Jonas highlights just how vulnerable New Jersey’s barrier islands are. ‘Soft defense’ measures seem to offer the most effective long-term approaches.

Word cloud highlighting key issues at the Consensus Building Institute's coastal adaptation workshop.
Workshop Focuses on Helping Coastal Communities Confront Climate Risks

An invitation-only workshop hosted by the Consensus Building Institute focused on helping coastal communities talk openly about options for reducing their vulnerability to climate threats.

Articles and Stories
Sandy aerial view slideshow
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.

Mantoloking Sandy
Webinar: Understanding Coastal Vulnerability

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.

In Deep slideshow
In Deep: Helping Sandy-Affected Communities Address Vulnerability and Confront Risk

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.

pier-house-long-branch-01-for website
An Evening at the Shore

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

Cover slide for livestream
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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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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