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)
Comments from New Jersey Future and six other organizations call for the state’s draft hazard mitigation plan to be modified to take greater account of climate-based risks, and to integrate more closely with local planning efforts.
For the first time, the state requested public input on the draft hazard mitigation plan it must submit. But it opened the comment period only after it had submitted the draft plan.
Executive Director Peter Kasabach made his debut April 2 on Al Jazeera America, joining a panel on Ray Suarez’s show Inside Story to talk about the importance of understanding the risks posed by a changing climate, and giving communities the leadership and resources they need to plan accordingly.
For the first time, the state will accept public comment on its newly released draft Hazard Mitigation Plan. All interested parties are encouraged to submit comments.
A national organization that co-signed New Jersey Future’s comments on the draft plan for the next round of federal Sandy aid emphasizes why robust risk assessments must be included in how aid is distributed.
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”.
Nov. 13, 2013 — The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its notice for states affected by Superstorm Sandy to apply for the next round of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- 04/29/2013: Sandy Recovery Action Plan Doesn't Commit to Resiliency Planning, Sustainability
- 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
- 04/11/2014: Letter of comment on the Draft 2014 State HMP
- 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