Atlantic County Coastal Region Releases Climate Resilience Action Plan

By: Connor Mason, Follow South Jersey Intern

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – In order to stay ahead of the curve, the Atlantic County Coastal Region has released its plans for climate resilience action on the 10th year anniversary of one of New Jersey’s biggest disaster hurricanes, Superstorm Sandy. Other regions have also chosen to take part in these plans.

Referred to as the “Resilient NJ” plan, it is “an outgrowth of a National Disaster Resilience Competition award to New Jersey intended to advance regional planning in areas most impacted by Sandy,” according to NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

The following are the plans and strategies for the Atlantic County Coastal Region:

  • A Living Bay Master Plan and a Bayshore Continuous Shoreline Protection Study to leverage private investment for implementation of shoreline protections and a blue/greenway trail along Absecon Bay.
  • Innovative infrastructure such as stormwater management parks and a feasibility study of “blue/green streets” that utilize networked green infrastructure, pervious surfaces, and structural soils to convey stormwater.
  • Hardening existing above-grade utility poles and burying utilities where possible, installing new pump stations and back-up generators in key low-lying areas to improve stormwater management and sewer systems, elevating evacuation routes, and improving emergency preparedness planning and outreach efforts to engage socially vulnerable populations.
  • Increased use of parking-lot and rooftop solar arrays and an analysis to identify the most appropriate locations in the region for siting solar powered community microgrid systems to reinforce local power distribution in the event of disasters.

Nick Angarone, the Chief Climate Resilience Officer of New Jersey, says that it is crucial for all of us to understand the importance of climate change, and that the only way to stop it is to properly plan the necessary precautions, and went on to details of how this plan works.

“For too long, the public has thought of climate impacts as a problem happening somewhere else, and at some time in the future,” said Angarone in a press release from the NJDEP. “But know that the threats are happening here and now. The key to success of the Resilient NJ Effort is putting local-decision makers at the helm to ensure that these plans take root. Resilient NJ provides the critical resources and technical assistance to empower our communities to develop an informed, innovative, and implementable vision of their resilient future.”

According to the press release, the “Regional Resilience Action Plan effort was funded by the National Disaster Resilience Competition. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded New Jersey with a grant to advance regional planning initiatives in the nine counties designated Most Impacted and Distressed from Hurricane Sandy by HUD. Sandy devastated many parts of the state on Oct. 29, 2012.”

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